HYDRANT Collaborates With Room & Board to Bring Its Signature Customer Experience Online

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Redesigned e-commerce web site sets the bar for online furniture shopping.

Room & Board Web Site

They immediately understood the importance we place on our relationship with our customers, and were able to create a site that we feel is an equal partner to all the other experiences we offer. HYDRANT helped us move from idea to a final product smoothly and confidently, and never failed to meet our extremely high standards for design and attention to detail.

HYDRANT, a leading interactive strategy and design firm, today announced the launch of a new e-commerce experience for national furniture retailer Room & Board at http://www.roomandboard.com. The completely redesigned site, which went live on December 16, offers a best-in-class online furniture shopping experience as well as ideas, advice, and inspiration for transforming any space.

Room & Board began working with HYDRANT in the Fall of 2007 with the goal of overhauling their e-commerce site from a branding as well as a customer experience perspective. Jill Byrnes, Room & Board Creative Director, noted, "Our first generation e-commerce site was functional, but we strive for a higher bar in all our interactions with customers. We needed a site that could be the online companion to the experience we have worked so hard to produce in our stores and catalog."

Room & Board is well known for the consultative experience that it provides customers in its stores and over the phone, thanks to design associates who don't work on commission and who bring a significant amount of expertise to helping customers solve their design and space challenges. Room & Board stores are also widely admired for their innovative architecture and beautifully designed room settings.

Creating an online companion to that level of experience was a daunting task, noted Alder Yarrow, HYDRANT Founder. "It's rare for us to have a client that has deliberately crafted their offline customer experience so thoroughly. Our challenge was to bake the qualities of that experience into the visual design and interaction models for the web site. We want customers to feel that the online experience offers a different but equally powerful way to accomplish their goals, while still retaining the feel that is so unique to Room & Board."

After extensive customer research and collaboration with the Room and Board team, HYDRANT created an online furniture store that provides clear, comprehensive navigation across the entire product catalog. The site's visual layout easily allows customers to explore the options available to them within a category of products, as well as the many options for fabrics and colors within an individual product. Furniture pairing options and gorgeous room setting photos also help inspire shoppers to explore and experiment as they design their homes.

"Working with HYDRANT was an amazing experience," noted Kimberly Ruthenbeck, Vice President of Retail Customer Experience. "They immediately understood the importance we place on our relationship with our customers, and were able to create a site that we feel is an equal partner to all the other experiences we offer. HYDRANT helped us move from idea to a final product smoothly and confidently, and never failed to meet our extremely high standards for design and attention to detail."

Bob Skubic, one of HYDRANT's principals added, "It was a joy to work with a company that truly understands the value of a great customer experience while at the same time understanding so much about the principles of design. Together we were able to produce something truly exceptional."

The new web site will continue to add new features and functions through the coming year.

ABOUT HYDRANT:
Based in San Francisco, HYDRANT is a design and strategy consulting firm dedicated to helping companies deliberately craft exceptional customer experiences across multiple channels of interaction. HYDRANT provides a full suite of strategy, design and implementation services for the web, mobile, desktop, print, and physical environments. More rigorous than most design agencies and way more creative than most consulting firms, HYDRANT offers strategic insight, brilliant creative work, and dependable execution wrapped in a passion for helping clients meet their business goals. For more information, visit http://www.hydrantsf.com.

ABOUT ROOM & BOARD:
Room & Board is a Minneapolis-based furniture retailer offering unique home furnishings that combine classic, simple design and exceptional quality using natural materials. More than 85 percent of its furniture is manufactured in America. Room & Board is proud of its commitment to supporting American manufacturers and small, family-owned businesses. For more than 25 years, Room & Board professionals have helped people furnish their homes, translating their passion for well-designed home furnishings into outstanding value for customers. Room & Board has stores in Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, Orange County, San Francisco and New York, and makes its unique collection of home furnishings available nationally through Shop From Home, which includes a catalog, Web site, team of knowledgeable Design Associates to help with the selection process and professional, in-home delivery service. For more information on Room & Board, visit http://www.roomandboard.com or call 800-486-6554 to order a catalog.

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Alder Yarrow
HYDRANT
415.730.3209
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