I have been taught that the first impression is crucial, and it's not just about wearing a clean shirt and nice shoes. In today's world, our appearance and how we present ourselves are essential, especially in professional settings. However, with the rise of remote work and casual attire, it can be challenging to stand out on occasions when we do meet people face-to-face. For me, wearing a nice watch is an easy way to make a statement, but finding an affordable yet high-quality watch can be a challenge.
To tackle this problem, I utilized a user-centered approach for my capstone project. This involved conducting extensive research and analysis to empathize with the user, generating solutions through ideation and defining the problem, and validating these theories through prototyping and testing. As a UX Researcher, UI Designer, and Content Strategist, I took on multiple roles to walk through the entire UX process from start to finish.
As of late, I've realized that I rarely visit physical stores and tend to do all of my shopping online. Even for basic necessities like groceries and household supplies, I find myself reaching for a device to place an order on the web. As an online shopper, I prioritize finding the best deals and products that are delivered quickly.
For those of us who view watches as a mere fashion accessory, selecting a well-constructed timepiece within a reasonable price range can be challenging. These individuals typically have limited income and are not concerned with the intricacies of watch mechanics. However, with a vast number of watches available on the market, the selection process can quickly become overwhelming and time-consuming.
Getting To Know the User
To address this challenge, I aimed to understand the user and their purchasing behavior by conducting a survey. A survey was conducted to gather insights from 31 individuals on their purchasing habits, their approach to buying a watch, and ways to simplify the process.
Some of the questions asked included:
- What do you consider the most important factor when buying a watch?
- What is your main reason for purchasing a watch?
- What is the maximum price range you are willing to spend on a watch?
Upon analyzing the screener survey results, I conducted in-person or remote interviews with four (4) individuals. The interviews covered a range of topics, including their past experiences buying watches, their experiences shopping online, and their thoughts on how to simplify the watch buying process.
Some of the interview questions I asked were:
- Can you tell me about your last experience purchasing a watch and what your expectations were?
- What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the watch buying process?
- Can you describe your ideal process for buying your dream watch?
The interviews revealed that most users preferred shopping in-store as they could touch and feel the watch before buying. However, they would be more inclined to shop online if they could have a similar experience without any disadvantages.
Affinity & Empathy Mapping
Affinity Mapping provided the opportunity to analyze qualitative data and identify common themes such as key ideas, quotes, and quantitative data from user interviews. An empathy map was then created in order to gain a deeper understanding of the users' frustrations, needs, wants, and pain points.
Heuristic Analysis of Competitors
To gain an understanding of the competitive environment in which the website operates, I analyzed four websites and assessed the strengths and weaknesses of each. Specifically, I evaluated the user control and freedom, consistency and standards, and flexibility and efficiency of use for each of these sites. By conducting this review, I was able to identify the effective elements of these websites, as well as any deficiencies or areas for improvement.
- The icons for “search,” “shopping cart,” and “login” are consistently located in the top right corner of all platforms.
- Each site uses accelerators that narrow down the number of options presented to the user at once.
- The shopping carts are user-friendly and easy to navigate.
- Some of the features on each site were limited in their usefulness and did not help users make informed decisions.
- Lack of personality or uniqueness in design.
- Overreliance on gestures without sufficient guidance.
How might we… Statements
In the final stage of the research phase, I formulated "How might we..." statements to serve as a foundation for the solution design process. These statements transformed the challenges identified during the research phase into design opportunities.
The "How might we..." statements were:
- How might we replicate the in-store shopping experience online?
- How might we decrease the number of options shown to the shopper at a given time?
- How might we assist shoppers in decisive decision-making?
- How might we increase shoppers' confidence in purchasing less popular brands?
These questions served as the framework for the next steps in the design process.
The Design Process
To enhance the user experience, a user journey map was developed to detect any bottlenecks, gaps, or redundancies. This involved considering every screen, choice, and action that the user would need to take to complete certain tasks within the app. As searching for available items for purchase and adding those items to the shopping cart are the two most critical user tasks, they were identified as red routes that are essential to have.
The website design was visualized through sketches, wireframes, and high-fidelity mockups, which showcased the color scheme, typography, and imagery utilized throughout the site. This helped to ensure that the design was consistent and aligned with the brand's image.
Along with conducting usability tests that included specific tasks and scenarios, I also gathered qualitative feedback from users through surveys and interviews. This allowed me to gain insight into their overall experience and perception of the website, as well as identify pain points and areas of improvement.
These tasks included:
- browsing all watches in the Best Sellers section,
- selecting a watch, adding it to the cart,
- navigating through the purchase information section,
- and processing the payment.
Based on both the quantitative and qualitative feedback gathered, final adjustments were made to the prototypes to improve the user experience.
◆ ◆ ◆
Read Another Case Study...