Isle of Harris Distillers

A redesign and update of the Harris distillers website.

Project background

The Isle of Harris distillery has been an amazing success story. Five years ago, the building hadn’t been built and the first drop of alcohol hadn’t been distilled.

Fast forward to today, and the company are gaining an ever more positive reputation. This is largely thanks to the popularity of their outstanding gin. They also have the stunning natural backdrop and a unique story behind the inhabitants that live there. Consumers have fallen in love with this quaint distillery and the values which it stands for.

The previous version

When starting out, we worked with the Harris team (of which there were about 5 members at the time) to create a simple website that ‘did the job’.  This information provided basic information about the anticipated vision of the project.

Since the website was created, the content and need for it to evolve has expanded. We were tasked with giving the website somewhat of a facelift to bring it in line with competitors in the market.

Working alongside the Harris team, I helped to design the new interface for the new site.

What was involved?

Alongside the design of the main Harris site, we were also moving them onto the Magento 2 platform. This was to help accommodate the increasing number of sales they were experiencing.

The design brief was somewhat simple.

“Update it to match the competition, whilst not changing everything”.

As such, elements of the interface remained, whilst others were lost – most notably, the peach background.

A clean, simple interface

Whilst conducting research into competitors look and feel, it became apparent that a clean, simple UI was what was needed. Some stunning photography that exists of the island, bottle and packaging. It was therefore important to use this to convey the quality that Harris Gin invokes.

I was keen to reduce the copy used on the site, as this was a downfall of the previous iteration. Photography and snappy titles can help portray a far more effective message to the end user than six paragraphs of text that would inevitably bore them.

Shop overhaul

To expand the potential of the online offering, the Harris team moved to the Magento 2 platform to sell their product.

This involved a series of wireframes and prototypes being created to simulate the shopping experience. Some complex processes were prototyped to show how various elements of the process worked – such as click and collect and delivery rates based on location.

A few iterations of the wireframes took place, and once signed off, the style and design of the shop interface could take place.

This was influenced by the design that had been created for the website, creating a seamless experience from content to basket.


Feedback for the design of the Harris website has been well received.

The main objective of this redesign was to bring the website more in line with what competitors were doing. The client is pleased that this has been achieved. Only launched in December 2017, there is undoubtedly work to still do, but we’re heading in the right direction.

Thanks for reading.