Locally grown in Texas, Hardie's is a family-owned fresh food distributor making daily deliveries of produce throughout the southwest. Providing farm-fresh fruits and vegetables to foodservice establishments since 1943, the company more recently branched out into meat, dairy, spices, and organic items. From seed to fork, Hardie’s prides itself on the highest standards of food safety, security, quality assurance and HACCP standards.
A renowned business with solid traditions, Hardie’s needed a modernized, mobile-ready website that still maintained the spirit the brand was built upon.
In addition to housing the company’s corporate identity, history, values, and work ethics, the site needed to highlight the brand’s product catalog and feature its impressive array of in-season produce in a visually compelling way in order to boost lead generation.
Art Direction, Graphic Design, Copywriting, User Experience, Project Management, Hand Drawn Illustrations, Animations, Front and Back-End Development, User Interface Design, Photography Manipulation, 3D Design.
To make the Hardie’s website even more memorable and add an interactive cool factor, we turned to gamification. The eDesign team created a dynamic wheel showcasing all the fresh fruits and veggies currently in season.
We even added a “draw it yourself” product search, allowing visitors to use their fingers to draw the shape of a fruit or vegetable in order to let the website determine the product in question. To match users’ hand-drawn doodles with real products, we used the latest artificial neural networks (ANN) technology.
We’re using artificial neural networks (ANN) to identify hand drawn images of fruits and veggies. What is ANN? It’s a computing systems inspired by the human brain. The network itself is not an algorithm, but rather a framework for many different machine-learning algorithms that work together to process complex data. In Hardie’s website, we use the power of ANN for image recognition. We have given users the possibility to manually draw the shape of the product they are looking for. Our machine intelligence matches the hand-drawn doodle with a real product.
We researched Hardie’s business story in detail to understand brand’s essence, core mission and market position. This discovery phase inspired our team to imagine fresh new visuals for Hardie’s online space, along with simple yet striking headlines and catchy phrases to grab the user’s attention. We made sure to pay special attention to the sitemap, wireframes and content layout, as we knew user experience was key.
The site makes it easy for visitors to find products, search the online catalog, or filter fresh cuts. This ease extends to the back-end as well, with an intuitive dashboard that lets our client easily swap out products or spotlight seasonal fruits and veggies.
During World War II John Hardie purchased a single farm-to-market delivery truck to fill a much-needed service in wartime Dallas. Three generations later, this simple service has blossomed into one of the premier fresh food distributors in the southwest. Connecting chefs with quality fresh produce directly from local farms is a fantastic concept.
Today, Hardie’s is still family-owned and applies the same historical values of hard work, innovation and genuine service. We are proud to work with a company, which values a healthy lifestyle from farm to fork.
Featuring vibrant, full-bleed photos and a user-friendly design, the new Hardie’s site makes it easy for visitors to find products, search the online catalog, or purchase cut-to-order produce. An intuitive back-end dashboard lets the Hardie’s team easily swap out products or spotlight seasonal fruits and veggies, while a news section called “The Source” allows them to post timely updates that affect the produce industry—such as droughts or shortages. Hardie’s was so pleased with the project that they retained eDesign for ongoing enhancements so we can roll out new features and pages regularly.