Fashion Community Site Custom-built on CakePHP

Written by Daniel. Posted in General


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Faeshbo - Share Your StyleThe approaching weekend is always good reason to start trawling my friends’ sites offering the proverbial 2c on usability, features and design. Today I thought about spending some time on http://www.fashbo.com, a community of fashionistas and designer professionals.

Fashbo picked my interest mainly because it is not your usual WP- or Drupal-based platform – the site is custom-coded in PHP using the popular CakePHP framework, while running a WordPress subdomain as well to host the company blog under the same roof.

The Fashbo Blog Under Microscope

These posts are good to have as updates in the fashion world but I think it would be a good idea to add in more personal and “down-to-earth” posts. For example, you could host a giveaway on your blog for or from (a piece of clothing or accessory they wore) the most liked or shared Fashbo. It would also be a good way to post DIY projects since these are getting very popular and a lot of people incorporate them into their outfits. If someone is wearing something they made, you could ask them to do an instruction set for it or get someone else to write it. Another thing you could do is a profile on a member you pick by a draw, the most shared or favorited—however you choose to pick it but do a profile on them and their style, what inspires them, how they adapt styles to themselves. These might make it more personal and connect people from around the globe as they inspire each other.

The Main User-Uploaded Photo Gallery (Fashbos)

These are so cool. I think it would be helpful if the uploader could put a description under the picture like “Mixing stripes and florals for the perfect spring look” or list where they got the main piece of their outfit. This would be a good place to explain if the piece is made from a DIY project. It would be really nice if you could search based on the style type like “floral” or on your age because there are some things that came back in a search that were of no interest to me. Also, maybe adding a handmade category would be helpful to posters and browsers.

I know the site is relatively old but having an app for the site always makes it so much more accessible to members at all times; along with that widgets, etc. to increase exposure. The Sale Rack is a very good idea—will those be products from members who have their handmade products listed on the site.

Design And Functionality

I signed up and never did get an e-mail sent to me. Tried again and it worked. I guess it could be my mail server, but still worrying. It’s not clear on how to add images to the fashbo binder. I never got to use the binder but it would definitely be a good idea if users could customize their binders and organize the images how they want to. Allowing people to invite their friends on top of being able to share individual fashbos is crucial in the early days, too. It would be a great idea if once someone signed up, they were presented with different bags, shoes, clothes, and accessories etc. so that they could pick the ones they like best so that the site could make some suggestions on what fashbos they might like best but also allow them to browse the entire site contents.

I am by no means a fashion expert and I do not claim to know what such a community would expect from their favorite hangout. But I am sure both the girl next door and Kim Kardashian are likely to use a mobile phone, engage in social media and look for recognition – Fashbo simply has to acknowledge this, get up to speed on current technologies and it’s user-base will increase in no time.

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