essie has long been a go-to source for nail trends– inspiring devotees of all stripes, but the site experience was not living up to their trusted name.

In 2012, essie came to us with an ambitious task: make the ultimate color & trend authority for nail enthusiasts online. We did just that.

We created a socially-led site experience that inspires, educates and redefines the category. From a searchable color wall to on-hand nail art featuring models and user-provided looks, we used real user browsing behaviors to inform every design decision.

Created to capture essie’s salon heritage and to celebrate nail color and nail art as an essential form of self-expression, the new featured three core experiences: the Color Wall, the Looks Gallery and the Scoop.



The Color Wall

A recreation of the salon wall experience in digital. Click any shade in essie’s 250-color collection and you’re transported to an inspirational and informative product page, including nail tips, tricks, recommended products and high-impact, socially-shareable photos of each look.



The Scoop

A searchable archive of every essie nail look that has appeared in the press, the red carpet or runway. The data visualization enables visitors to browse each color, view details on which celebrity wore it when, and click on press clips featuring that particular shade.



Looks Gallery

A blog-like destination showcasing real polish on real hands. Code and Theory and essie collaborated on unearthing and generating original content, including a selection of animated GIFs of nail art how-to’s, step-by-step color application tutorials and fan looks, as well as nail care tips.

The Results –

While the 56% of visitors experienced the site through desktop browsers, 44% of visitors used mobile or tablet, speaking to the sites ability to present rich content in a responsive format.

  • Visitors that enter through essie looks spend 71.5% more time on site and share 19.4x more often than the average visitor.
  • Each piece of content on has been shared and average of: 66.9x on Pinterest, 7.24x on facebook, 1.06x on twitter
  • Average of 40k pins/repins from a month
  • Some hero shades have generated over 30x pins/repins from without any recent promotion by the brand

In the end, the new was more than just a site redesign. It was a category changing experience for nails. And there’s only more to come with the launch of the essie pro experience.