Mike
Stearns

Eric Haugen Guitar

Website

Eric Haugen is a guitar teacher who posts weekly lessons to YouTube. For the first several years of his career, he used SquareSpace for his website and to sell backing tracks and tablature of his lessons, but now was in the process of moving to Shopify. He had already begun building his new website, but ran into some roadblocks. I stepped in to assist a smooth transition and solve some pain points in his business model. We needed to reorganize his products and make them easier to navigate for the user, organize the information to direct users toward Patreon and purchasing expanded courses, and lastly we needed to import customer accounts from SquareSpace as well as sales history for each customer.

Tab Store

Eric had accumulated a huge online inventory in his 6 years of selling lessons on SquareSpace, so to make this easier to navigate for the user I added a secondary navigation filtering the lessons by topics that had the most sales. From there the user can further filter by topic. In the first full year of the new site being live, orders increased by 30%, and returning customers increased 9%. Year to date 2024 continues this trend with an additional 35% increase in orders over 2023.

The Mountain of Understanding

In addition to teaching on YouTube and selling lessons on his website, Eric also sells courses through online teaching website TrueFire. To explain how the courses relate to one another, Eric had the idea of showing them as a trail map. Some courses overlap with others, some stand alone, and some branch off into new directions. There’s an alternate portrait version as well for mobile devices.

Always Be Riffin’ Shirt

Eric’s lessons are on functional guitar playing in the indie rock, classic rock, and Americana genres. He wanted a t-shirt design that reflected his brand and audience, but didn’t have any specific ideas. I remembered that he had a tattoo of a sloth that said “Live Slow, Die Whenever” and suggested we could use the sloth as a recurring character to insert into classic record covers, starting with Nirvana’s Nevermind, with the sloth swimming after a guitar effects pedal. Eric suggested a slice of pizza rather than the pedal, and we were off. Eric’s tattoo artist Jonas drew the sloth and pizza and I laid out the design. “Always be riffin'” is one of Eric’s “Haugenisms” and he ends his YouTube videos with “Happy Friday, Eat Pizza.” Pictured below is an alternate simple one color design that was also pitched, and will be used later on.

Alternate One Color Design