Redefining Search: A Design Challenge

My take on redesigning Indiegogo’s search process

Jill Tiutan
Feb 1, 2018 · 6 min read

Story

I was originally looking to do a redesign of Indiegogo’s UI, but in the process of doing so I came across a very interesting feature to work on– search.

Back in 2016 I had tried to look for an electric skateboard to use as a means of getting to class, and I looked up Indiegogo to see if the site had any new ones, since the current commercialized electric skateboards were all 1200+ in price but had the same features.

In the present, I asked my friends (both in university and outside) about what factors they would consider when trying to find a product they would want to buy on a crowdfunding platform, as well as what would make it easier for them to find said item(s).

The Problem

How might we make it easier for buyers to find and support (by buying) the products that they want?

Focus Feature: Search

User Feedback

  1. 80% of the people that I asked to test the product went straight to search when they knew what they were looking for
  2. 70% of the people I interviewed considered price to be the biggest factor in their decision to support an item
  3. 60% looked for some sort of price comparison to start with (to find a benchmark of what’s considered affordable and expensive on the site)
  4. 80% cared specifically about when the item would arrive
  5. 90% found the search results UI too heavy on the eyes

Some relevant comments

“I wanna know what the cheapest thing is first and then check if the quality is okay”

“I have a hard time choosing between so many options. Maybe Indiegogo should do a stamp of approval feature, like an “Amazon’s choice” type of thing, for people like me who are new to the product but want to buy something on the site”

“I want to see comparable products, like comparing a projector vs another projector, and seeing which ones are the most popular. They’re likely to be good if they’re more popular”

“There’s too many words on the screen, I don’t really know where to concentrate”

“Investing is confusing, I thought Indiegogo was a crowdfunding website?”

The Redesign

Here’s what my redesign looks like on the surface (explanations below!)

Major Pain Points

1. Search ≠ Discover

I did research on how to design search results and search navigation, and one thing I learned is that:

Search is for people who know what they’re looking for.

Introducing: Pricing filter

When people enter the search page knowing what they want, having filters for prices and estimated delivery dates (via Project Timing) are useful.

Through user testing and interviews, I discovered that adjusting the price range was one of the most useful and sought-out parts of the search feature.

Though displaying the price of an item was easy for marketplace type products, it was a bit harder to determine what price to put for crowdfunded items where theoretically people can choose to give any amount they like. How could we filter such an amount?

90% of the people I interviewed all said that they contribute to crowdfunded products with the intent of buying the product as opposed to just donating.

This being said, I decided to include the price of the item’s featured ‘perk’ as the determiner of its price in terms of search results (so that there is an accurate comparison).

Featured perk section in the item’s page

2. Filter information architecture

Changing the UI of filter options

As seen from the changes above, I moved the filters (originally in the sidebar) up. This is because these filters are more likely to be used than the category filter (sidebar), and it would be more intuitive to have a section of those put together in the same place.

3. Balancing quality with creativity/newer products

A possible reason why Indiegogo didn’t want to add a “stamp of approval” to just a few products might be so that newer products still get bigger chances of getting funded and exposed to more people.

If that were the case, how might we help buyers select a nicely built item while balancing the integrity of the service?

This goes back to figuring out how to navigate through search results. By adding being able sort by popularity, buyers will have the option of looking through items with the highest activity. This would mean sorting results by most number of backers and most number of comments.

‘Sort by’ options

This results in no “favoritism” of products by Indiegogo, yet equips buyers with useful (yet optional) information while purchasing items.

4. Optimizing the UI

90% of the testers thought that there was something quite heavy/messy about the layout of the search results that prevented them from having a smooth search experience.

To make the search results less visually heavy, I made some changes:

Renaming funding to Crowdfunding

Now this may seem like a minute change, but it has a big effect on differentiating ‘funding’ from ‘investing’ (not shown).

Removing descriptions

90% of the testers did not read through the description (self-reported) and just clicked on the image/title if they found it interesting

I decided to take off the descriptions to make the ui more digestible, while not reducing the click-through rate of the products.

Changing ‘funding’ to ‘crowdfunding’ and removing descriptions

Moving categories up

If you notice, the category ‘Transportation’ has now been moved to a spot right below the title of the search result card.

I moved it up there because there is no real connection between the category and the price below it; it makes more logical sense to place the category next to the actual product name for context purposes.

Moving ‘Transportation’ up

Reducing Sizes

A big reason as to why the UI seemed overwhelming was because of the competing sizes of different text and numbers.

By slightly reducing the sizes of the following, there is now a more hierarchal layout to the UI:

  1. Statements at the bottom of the card such as “Guaranteed Shipping” and “Now funding through InDemand”
  2. Amount of money raised (“$220,441")
Smaller text and number sizes

3. Header size (took unnecessary space in every search page)

Shorter header per page

I hope that the combination of all these changes and redesigns helps Indiegogo identify any possible pain points or issues within the current search experience.

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to email me at jilltiutan@g.ucla.edu for any inquiries.

Jill Tiutan

Written by

i write about product design, film and the world around me

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