Ecommerce: Eden Garden Supply
In weeks two and three of General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive course we delved into ecommerce. Our task for Project 2 was to create an ecommerce website for a local garden supply shop called Eden Garden Supply. We were further developing our skills with a lean UX process using a UX design method called the Double Diamond Process Model.
This project was about executing a full two-week design process while applying fundamental UX skills. At the end of the project we presented an interactive prototype of the ecommerce website.
We were given a client brief including the company ethos and some ‘musts’ and ‘should’ requirements. The client also gave us three personas to use as the fictional users of the websites.
Our project scope was to create a new ecommerce website that showcases their products while maintaining the brand image. Eden has a highly curated inventory, focusing on hand-picked quality over quantity, but at wholesale prices.
The project requirements included having clear ways of locating specific products, having an efficient way of purchasing one or more products and to steet customers toward popular products.
To address the discovery phase I conducted both a competitive analysis and extensive user research.
For my competitive analysis I analysed the key features of leading commerce websites, to identify the features that made websites such a Amazon and Asos industry leaders. Further analysis of Eden’s direct competitors, such as Crocus and Patch, highlighted there was a gap in the market for a customer-focused, efficient ecommerce website with a small local shop appeal. These findings shaped my later designs.
My user research enabled me to gain valuable insight into what my user needed from the website to solve their problems. My key findings came from my user reserach with Tilda and Nick, as both of them matched the personas.
Tilda is spontaneous and creative. She’s developing the garden of her new house, but lacks the time or patience to spend endlessly browsing products or creating lists. She knows what she wants. If she finds what she wants, she will buy it then and there, but only if she can do it quickly and hassle-free. I had hit on my design idea. A practical, efficient and quick-use solution.
“Don’t need to go and see, buy it then and there online”
“I only like ecommerce websites that are practical and efficient”
“It’s helpful if there are suggested products”
My interview with Nick, a Landscape Architect, supported my design idea. Sourcing materials could be a time-consuming and costly process. He needs a seamless online experience, a local shop and a range of products at wholesale prices. These qualities keep the project costs down by saving time, ensuring a balanced budget and low transport costs.
“Whole sale price is the most important thing, then the best search time”
The define process of the Double Diamond Method came in various stages. Firstly, I began to define my problem, the possible solution and desired outcome for my primary user journey for my persona David.
David is a gardening enthiast who wants to plant daffodils on Saturday morning, but doesn’t have the supplies and doesn’t have the time to pick them up at a local shop. Instead, he uses Eden Garden Supply to quickly search for daffodil bulbs and browse the tool section for everything else he needs. He is logged in, so can complete a quick checkout, selecting the time and date of delivery to his home on Friday. Success!
Secondly, my user reserach and competitive analysis made it clear that a clear and intuitive navigation system was essential. To do this, I used their product inventory to conduct open then closed card sorting exercises.
From these exercises and the series of adjustments, I developed my site map.
The next stage was development, the beginning of the iterative design process. I started drawing sketches that I thought might solve the problem for my persona David.
We then did a design studio, which involved rapid ideation by sketching as many possible solutions to my users problem in a short time frame.
From these ideas I sketched more wireframes and got some feedback on those. Finally, I felt able to create a paper prototype ready for testing.
The paper prototype enabled me to change my designs according to the feedback, which I then transferred to a low-fidelity digital prototype. User testing at this early stage enabled me to easily make changes and solve problems early on in the design process.
Continuous iterations to the design according to user feedback was essential to create an appropriate design to use in my presentation.
Finally, after all the iterations, here is the InVision digital prototype.
In the future, I’d like to allow customers to read and write reviews of products, reward loyalty for repeat customers and offer advanced ‘product finder’ tools.
To wrap up…
Learning about ecommerce and the intricacies of decision making in the design process has been fascinating. Ecommerce is accelerating at an incredible rate, so learning about the importance of developing a pleasurable ecommerce experience has been invaluable. Thank you again to my class and teacher Frankie, it’s been an educational two weeks.