iPhone sitting on plinth with THE ICONIC showing on screen

THE ICONIC: Creativity at speed

Positioned as a technology rather than fashion company, since 2011 THE ICONIC has focussed on channelling the latest tech to provide unrivalled access to more than 1,000 brands 
and 60,000 products.


To achieve their ambitions of becoming a billion dollar company in 2020, THE ICONIC needed a way to increase efficiency from their internal teams, while also satisfying the needs of content-hungry shoppers. Nightjar devised a way to inject new code into their rigid website architecture so that content teams could create marketing pages and publish content without having to wait for them to be built by THE ICONIC’s internal engineers, already at capacity with running the behemoth site.


13 million hits per month50% increase in CTR on destination pages88% increase in efficiency process150+ new marketing pages launched100% code coverageReduced involvement from 5 teams to 1

Two smartly dressed people modelling against a wooden table


How might we use tech to streamline internal processes - increasing efficiency and reducing the burden on THE ICONIC’s engineers?

THE ICONIC engaged Nightjar to solve a specific business problem - every time the content team wanted to create a new campaign or brand partnership page for theiconic.com, it would involve members of the UX, creative, product, engineering, production and marketing teams, and the cycle time from inception to delivery was 8 weeks. Not only a resource drain, but extremely restrictive in the fast-moving world of online fashion retail.

With such a mammoth product catalogue, and users’ appetite for content more voracious than ever before, the challenge was streamlining internal processes to produce more, better, and integrated content slices, without using internal development resources.

THE ICONIC is a behemoth site built upon an ageing tech stack, and to integrate new tech without direct access to the production or staging environments (for obvious security reasons) would be tricky to say the least. What’s more, everything would need to pass 100% code compliance, with zero downtime.

THE ICONIC website Spring 2018 page featuring two models in suits

A component based system to empower the internal content teams and relieve the pressure on the engineers, that will see THE ICONIC well into the future.


Collaborating with THE ICONIC team, we first set up a unified and scalable design system that would set the foundation for a consistent brand experience, from content, category, catalogue and product. A rigorous design process followed with a full requirements list that would power a component based system which could bolt together like Lego and feel harmonious.

6 screens in a grid showcasing THE ICONIC design system, from fonts to colours

Creating our flexible, ‘Lego’ foundation blocks

To achieve long term efficiencies, we would need to bypass much of the existing CMS, but not completely remove it, as it maintains a large part of the global site content. Nightjar recommended a headless CMS (Prismic) approach with a microservices architecture that would allow us to merge content with products from THE ICONIC catalogue API and editorial content from The Edition API.

Examples of the components include countdown timers (for coveted sneaker releases and other new arrivals), media tiles/carousels pulling in live product data of latest drops, ‘Shop the Look’ modules to close the gap between content and product, and ‘offers’ modules which were able to group product by shopper need or demographic - currently 35 modules and counting, which have been used to create over 150 new marketing pages.

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Competition slice on theiconic.com.au featuring a countdown and a woman in a suit
Splitscreen piece with an image of a woman sliced into 9 on the right, and text on the left
Module with four images of women in different clothing
Module showcasing 5 images in a grid, all of women exercising

The modules are being used to create anything from campaign pages, to landing pages, to the new ‘Designer’ hub, and even THE ICONIC’s brand Playbook.

Two screens showcasing multiple modules in use on theiconic.com.au
Latest drops module from theiconic.com.au showcasing multiple clothing images flowing downwards

Seamless integration of product x content

Answering THE ICONIC’s desire to engage users outside of the transaction period, our components are able to pull in live data from THE ICONIC catalogue API and encourage users to ‘shop the look’ they’re seeing right now on Edition, THE ICONIC’s content blog, a true merging of product x content.

Desktop and mobile homepage for theiconic.com.au Edition website

Our components are able to pull in live data from THE ICONIC catalogue API and encourage users to ‘shop the look’ they’re seeing right now on The Edition...

100% mobile first appoach

With 80% of THE ICONIC’s customers interacting with the site on mobile, it simply had to be fast and responsive. Every page load speed was optimised so the user could zip through to checkout. Bespoke image processing servers delivered optimised content cached for lighting delivery - images and videos, on mobile and desktop.

Three screens showcasing different ICONIC website modules all featuring premium clothing

Our approach was 100% mobile first, with all modules designed to look great on mobile as well as function effortlessly.

Mobile screen from an ICONIC Spring 2018 webpage, showcasing various spring looks
Mobile screen from an ICONIC Discover Sports webpage, showcasing various sports looks

100% unit testing. 100% compliant.

Our cross-company teams worked together on extensive code reviews and unit testing to make sure that all development met THE ICONIC’s stringent code standards, performance metrics and tracking protocols - including 100% code coverage.

theiconic.com.au SneakerHub screens,  showcasing various sneakers for sale

Increased capacity for branded collab pages

Creating brand pages used to be time consuming and drain internal development resources. Content teams are now able to spin up campaign pages in one day, rather than several weeks, and the components have been used to set up brand pages with adidas, as well as a brand partnership with sneaker bible Sneaker Freaker.

This entire, modularised, component-based approach not only made the lives of THE ICONIC easier (and more efficient) but the UX of each module was designed specifically with the end user in mind - taking into account THE ICONIC’s design system, brand guidelines, as well as best practice retail UX across all touchpoints.

Two mobile screens side by side showcasing sneakers for sale

We set up the campaign page in a day, and the adidas marketing team absolutely loved it.

Andrea Bauza, Marketing Merchandise Manager, THE ICONIC

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