Arek Chatmajian Project 3 Retrospective Report

My Roles:

UX Researcher, Interviewer, and Designer


5/15/17 to 5/26/17

Limitations, Parameters, Resources, and Materials:

The objective for Project 3 was to design a clickable prototype around an online shopping experience. Your design was required to meet the goals of the users (represented by 3 given personas), the goals of the business, as well as the goals of the brand. Our designs tested by users and followed Information Architecture heuristic evaluation. We were also responsible for choosing 100 products from our given retailer.

We were provided the following:

● Metropolitan Museum of Art, our client

● 3 Personas

● Product Template

● Inventory Spreadsheet Template

The design team’s process included the following:

  • Creating low fidelity wireframes of key screens.
  • Creating high fidelity mock ups of the screens.
  • Prototyping the screens using Invision.

Initial Problem Statement:

With large retailers like Amazon breathing down their neck, smaller retailers need to modernize and make changes in order to keep up. How can the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s gift shop improve upon and optimize their online ecommerce retail site?

Contextual Inquiry:

To understand the habits of shoppers at The Met’s gift shop, we observed and interviewed shoppers both inside and outside the museum. We observed people’s’ shopping activities, and discussed our observations with them for further insight.

Below are the questions we asked the guests:

  • Do you live in NYC?
  • Is this your first visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art?
  • What was your favorite exhibit?
  • How many of the gift shops did you visit?
  • Which one was your favorite?
  • About how long did you spend in the gift shop?
  • Did anything catch your eye? What was it?
  • Did you know what you wanted to buy when you entered the gift shop?
  • On a scale of 1–5, 5 being the best, how would you rate your gift shop experience?
  • On a scale of 1–5, 5 being the most expensive, how would you rate the prices of gift shop items?
  • What did you buy today?

Heuristic Evaluation:

Using Abby Covert’s Heuristic Checklist, we identified usability problems within The Met’s online gift shop. We examined the interface and judged its compliance against the following recognized principles of usability:

  • Finadble
  • Accessible
  • Clear
  • Communicative
  • Useful
  • Credible
  • Controllable
  • Valuable
  • Learnable
  • Delightful

Card Sorting:

During the research phase 2 rounds of card sorts were held. The first, open sorting, was a generative sort which discovered classification and taxonomy patterns of categories. While the second, closed sorting, was an evaluative sort which judged and assessed category nomenclature effectiveness.

Competitive Analysis:

During this research portion the client, Metropolitan Museum of Art, was given a competitive analysis against several other museum institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, British Museum, and National Gallery. Analysis compared the following features and statistics:

Web Traffic:

  • Annual Visitors
  • Website Rank (Global)
  • Website Rank (Domestic)
  • Top 3 Visitors By Nation
  • Bounce Rate
  • Search Engine Visits


  • Top Navigation
  • Favorites
  • Home Page Carousel
  • Site Map
  • Blog
  • Responsive Design
  • Donation Page
  • Newsletter Sign Up
  • Join Membership Page
  • Product Reviews
  • Product Ratings
  • Direct Checkout


Click here to explore the The Met prototype:

Usability Tests and Resulting Iterations:

During usability testing, users were asked to a complete a realistic task within the product, based on the primary persona of Daria:

  • You are Daria, a 29 year old freelance photographer and apple user who lives in NYC. You are looking to buy your sister Shawna, a fashion writer living in NJ, a gift from your visit to The Met. However they closed before you could get to the gift shop, so you must to buy her the book about the fashion designer Commes Des Garcon exhibit online, because you know she would love it. Product photos and item information such as description and reviews are very important to you in order to ensure you are purchasing a quality product.

Prior to the usability test subjects were asked the following preliminary questions:

  • Are you familiar with The Met?
  • Have you ever been to The Met?
  • Have you ever bought anything from The Met’s gift shop?
  • Would you buy something from them The Met online?

After the usability test subjects were asked the following survey questions:

  • On a scale of 1–5, how easy/difficult was it to complete your task?
  • On a scale of 1–5, how easy/difficult was it to navigate through the categories to find the product?
  • On a scale of 1–5, how easy/difficult was it to view multiple product photos?
  • On a scale of 1–5, how easy/difficult was it to view product information?
  • On a scale of 1–5, how easy/difficult was your checkout experience?

Based on data from acquired from usability test for the product we noticed several trends and patterns. Overall users wanted improvements on the following:

  • Add gift wrapping option.
  • Zoom in on product pictures.
  • Advanced filter options such as:
  • Star rating
  • Number of reviews
  • Price


During the course of the project I learned that the most important part of the UX process is following the methodology and that research is just as important, if not more important, than the actual design itself. Research methods such as contextual inquiry, card sorting, heuristic evaluation, and competitive analysis set the stage for deeply understanding the issue prior to begin working on a solution. After all if a building’s foundation is faulty, the entire thing will crumble. By building a strong research to base design decisions on the team is much more confidence in the structural integrity of the design and execution.

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