The beauty lies in the design

Europe’s leading premium beauty platform, Douglas, has embarked on a digital-first strategy that puts further expansion of its high-growth e-commerce at the centre. DEPT® has been developing solutions for Douglas for four years as part of its #forwardbeauty.digitalfirst strategy. In addition to focusing on optimising the customer experience and content of its online store, we also deliver unique, creative content for other touchpoints.

+4 years


+200 live shows


Skincare for an international brand

The rebranding of Douglas began in 2018 with an extensive corporate identity update. The focus was on the redesign of the 50-year-old logo, as well as a new, modern visual language, which was significantly influenced by campaign images by star photographer Peter Lindbergh. 

DEPT® came into play for the first time as part of this rebranding. Since the corporate identity update was primarily implemented for the print sector in the first step, Douglas needed a competent partner agency to adapt the new corporate identity from print to digital. Within this digital branding, we mainly translated colours, fonts and Peter Lindbergh’s photography into a digital context. In addition, our UX and UI experts developed a completely new icon set.

First step: a soft facelift

The next step was to make the newly developed CI visible. When it became clear that the relaunch of the Douglas online stores would take some time, but that the rebranding had to be experienced digitally as quickly as possible to ensure a consistent brand presence, DEPT® developed a facelift. 

The new fonts, colours, style elements and icons developed in the course of the rebranding and translated by us into a digital guideline, were used throughout the entire online shop. Spacing was recalculated and headers and footers were revised. With these adjustments, the DEPT® UX and UI team succeeded in helping the Douglas online shop achieve a measurable uplift in user experience. The facelift went live in 2018, the year of the Douglas-wide rebranding.

Iterative rebuilding in the background

Parallel to the facelift, DEPT® started with the redevelopment of the new store. While the software development company Netconomy was responsible for the technical implementation of the Douglas relaunch, DEPT® developed the UX and UI design. As part of the relaunch, DEPT® provided an uplift in the area of joy of use, for example, with the help of animated micro interactions.

The first go-lives were celebrated in 2019 with the relaunch of the Douglas online stores in Switzerland, Austria and Poland. Based on these comparatively small markets, the upcoming German launch could be optimised thanks to the learnings generated. To this day, we are involved in the continuous feature development of the Douglas online shops.

Sustainable brand design: design with a system

In contrast to a pattern library or a style guide, a design system not only contains reusable interface components, but is a comprehensive description of the cross-channel design language of a brand. With the help of a design system, a wide variety of digital products, websites and apps can be uniformly designed.

DEPT® has developed a component-based design concept for Douglas, which forms the basis for our shop relaunch in the first step. In addition, it is the basis for a new digital design system, which is now constantly being developed holistically and across touchpoints.

Alexander Storck, Head of UX, Douglas

At the end of 2019, Douglas decided to implement our digital design system as a future “single source of truth”. Within the design system, all design elements are created, described in detail, and made accessible to employees, so that they can be used across countries for the design of various components of the Douglas online shop. The in-house design system thus leads to a sustainable design process that is constantly documented using the zeroheight and Figma tools.

Douglas goes live shopping

The demand for comprehensive online advice is visibly increasing, with the store closures caused by the Corona pandemic having greatly accelerated this trend. In March 2020, Douglas successfully launched the live shopping channel Douglas LIVE. After the summer break, the beauty retailer took the format to the next level with Douglas LIVE – THE LIVE CHANNEL FOR BEAUTY using the new technology Livebuy and a completely new look.

For the launch and the daily shows, we created the new digital branding including logo and style elements. Content assets as well as videos for Douglas LIVE are provided by DEPT®. To date, DEPT® has created content assets for almost 350 shows and accompanies Douglas on its way to becoming an on-stop inspiration platform for beauty & healthcare.

DEPT® and Douglas: Highlights

  • Development of a scalable, reliable e-commerce platform – multilingual, multi-currency, multi-market
  • Fully integrated loyalty programme with more than 44 million loyalty card holders
  • Implementation of a design system that can be used across countries

Together with DEPT®, we are continuously optimising the digital beauty shopping experience in a customer-centric way to further expand our position as the No. 1 online beauty business in Europe.

Vanessa Stützle, EVP Ecommerce & CRM, Douglas


Director Marketing & Business Development

Gesine Meitler

Discover more

Next Case