Project 2: Bringing A Toy Store into the Digital World.

01. Problem/Solution Statement

Our 2nd GA assignment was to design an e-commerce site for a fictional San Francisco toy company which focuses on carefully curated items. 3 personas were given representing typical site visitors.

My solution prioritizes efficiency while also allowing the store owners to inject their own personality in ways that did not distract the user from their primary task.

View interactive prototype here

.02 The Personas

03. Comparative Analysis (Site Structure and Branding)

Through comparative analysis and reflecting on my background in retail the most important concerns of e-commerce shoppers became apparent. The typical online is not always the same shopper who visits the store in person. Mainly they perceive their time as more valuable and they are more technologically sophisticated.

04. Site Structure

My solution puts an emphasis on 3 main things.

  1. Eliminating distractions
  2. Showcasing product details
  3. A quick checkout flow

05. Branding

The goal is to insert the companies identity and personality at appropriate moments during the shopper’s journey. To execute on this I recommend following these principles.

  1. Never impede the shopper’s from completing any task.
  2. Do not attempt to recreate the shops’s in-store experience through the use of metaphors.
  3. Use the voice of the store owners to guide and pursued the shopper. An example of this is displaying a thank you note after checking out.

06. Flows

Initial sketches and flows were based around minimizing the steps each personas would take in completing their respective tasks.

07. Final Designs

Again… view the interactive prototype here.

08. Insights

Stay in scope

Getting feedback is great but you can’t take your eye off the prize, which is executing on your strategy. Make a conscience decision about what ideas you apply into your design. A good idea may be great in the abstract, but not be a match for your direction. Design is like chemistry, every element you add has some reaction on all other elements.

Simpler user’s need win out in a tug of war

There were many instances where I wrestled with implementing a feature that was likely to be desirable for some of my users but would also take key page real estate and force users to stop an consider it’s function on the way to complete their tasks. An example of this was user reviews. Although this feature was requested by at least one of the personas and the storewoners I decided it had a negative effect on usability for all users except those specifically looking for this feature. Additionally, a shop the size of the Treasure Chest would have a difficult time collecting enough reviews for this feature to be worthwhile. Even large brands like Columbia struggle to collect product reviews.

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