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User Experience Changes Related to Page Theme Update

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A little more than a month ago we announced that there may be issues with how our webpage functions due to a backend systems update. We have not made little progress to update our layout format (Theme) since that post. We have acquired a new theme and have started the process to apply our style and implement all our current functionality but ran into issues with our core system consistently seeing major updates every week as well as updates to our new Theme we were working on.

A note about or website system. We use an open source site builder with an added layer of an open source eCommerce structure. Both of these parts have assorted modules in use to tailor our functionality to suit our needs. A theme is the overlaying style format that we apply on top to give a consistent look and feel to every page. Behind all of that are our databases. These databases structure our user data, customer data, purchase/order data, blog post data and product data. We have to be very mindful of how any change affects these data tables. We utilize backups of every component to protect against corruption, but the more we change the risk increases. Every time an order is placed, a product added or updated, can lead to conflicts when migrating the new layout over the version currently in operation.

Since there were all these updates to the various modules of our site, we had to abandon our work on the new layout and must start all over again. With every task of our business being done in house by essentially one person, I have to divide my time between making product, processing orders, updating the site and managing every other little detail of the business. With our site functioning well in its current state, I have not been overly concerned about not updating the Theme to alleviate the performance risk related to our old theme.

To ensure I have enough time to accomplish some key tasks, I have decided to update the Theme to the live site and rush into applying all the desired changes. As this is a stylistic change, there will be minimal impact to functionality – things may just look odd for a day or two. Once it is launched, I can continue to add the remaining components to get our site back to 100%. Certain UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) pieces that are currently available, like search by fragrance or price may not be available immediately upon launch of the new theme.

I plan to make these changes this coming Saturday 12/29/2022. Around 12:00PM CST, I will apply the new theme and immediately add the certain universal elements like font and placement of some interface elements to assure familiarity with the page. There may be brief moments of a page being unavailable as it is being updated. Since these changes have nothing to do with the databases, there should be zero impact to building a cart and completing an order. This is actually an ideal time for me to do this work as it is the lowest traffic period during the day where I can be awake to do the work.

Thursday before this work begins, I will update our Home Page with a header notice stating the above details. This will remain at the top of the page until all core components are restyled. Over the following days, modifications will be applied to reach our overall desired experience. From there, regular tweaks and updates will continue.

About our new Theme. It is more robust and utilizes all the newest features of our site builder and eCommerce platforms. It gives us more options to provide content if new and different ways to make the experience even better for all users. When it comes to image content, we are looking to get better at getting photos sooner and have more styled photos to promote sales, events and other features. The assistance I had in this area has become unavailable leaving me to seek for other aid in tackling our photography needs.

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