Redesign of the 4th biggest eCommerce kitesurf store in Germany. The main focus was to redesign the Information Architecture.
The first question my colleague and I asked us after receiving the project brief was: ‘What kind of people do we have to picture when thinking of someone who is chasing an extreme thrill, someone who voluntarily enjoys being at the mercy of the wind?’
We have to think about people that are seeking stimulation and excitement. The thrill-seekers, people who search for arousal, and are risk-takers — a personality dimension that has been described as The Type T personality.
To start off, we created a provisional persona of a potential Coronation customer, based on the data that was provided by our stakeholder and in addition to our survey results. *Coronation is a kitesurfing eCommerce store and represents the stakeholder.
Our stakeholder has 13 years of eCommerce experience, therefore they do have a good picture of their regular customer, which again, was reassured by our survey results. Both, the stakeholder's data and our survey results confirmed our first assumption. That our typical user is the Type T personality, which has played a key role whilst creating the persona.
Our persona was something that we came back to throughout the project to guide our design decisions and priorities.
In order to formulate a problem statement, we conducted an in-depth interview with our stakeholders to clarify what their main pain points are. Once we identified the stakeholder's biggest pain points, we interviewed 5 of Coronations customers to identify their pain points. As a conclusion, we came up with 2 problem statements:
Stakeholders pain points:
Very high e-Mail volume regarding sizing questions.
High return rate, which leads to costs for the company.
Customers pain points:
The user finds it hard to navigate the current website.
Inconsistency makes the website feel untrustworthy.
- Problem Statement — Coronation needs to communicate all necessary product information so that the email volume can be decreased because otherwise, tasks that need to be prioritized will not be fulfilled.
- Problem Statement — Kitesurfers need to be able to find their wished product within a few clicks because otherwise, the customer leaves the website frustrated.
Guerrilla Usability Testing
Based on our interviews with our stakeholder and 5 users, we were able to identify the main pain points from each perspective as seen above. To validate the fact that users find it hard to navigate through the website, the next step in our process was guerrilla usability testing. We formulated the tasks in a way so that the testers did not need to be kitesurfers themselves, such as:
- You are new to kitesurfing and you want to buy a completely new set-up: Where do you find information about sizing and how do you find out what is needed in a full set-up?
- You want to buy a new Kite. The model that you are looking for is ‘Core Nexus 2018/19’ in the size 12m²: What do you do?
- You want to find out about special deals: What do you do and where do you start?
We tested the tasks with five individuals. The result was clear — each user had difficulties to navigate through the website and fulfill the tasks. All five ended up using the search bar to find the requested information. This meant to us that the customer's pain points, mentioned during the interview phase, were validated.
After gathering all our insights from the research and interview phase, we were able to identify the main pain points from both sides, our Stakeholder and our users. However, we still didn’t feel we’ve collected enough data to back our design decisions. Therefore we created a survey to find out how often the users purchase kitesurfing gear and what kind of features would help them to go ahead with the purchase. The survey was posted in various kitesurfing groups that were relevant to the project. Once we found out that most people buy new gear less than once a year or a maximum of 1–2 times per year, it became clear that the website needs to be trustworthy and the checkout process as transparent as possible.
The results also showed that the second biggest factor for using a website is the fact of how easy the website is to use. The opportunity we uncovered here is to redesign the navigation and information architecture of Coronation’s website. In regard to prioritizing future features, we asked our users directly, what features would be helpful to have in order to convince them to buy from a particular store. The users could pick 3 out of 8 options. The most relevant answers are the following:
- 69.3% said reviews about the product
- 42% said Q&A on each product
- 33% said a kite & board calculator to find the user-specific size
- 21.6% said a live chat
These results revealed to us that the implementation of those features could not only make the users happier but also decrease the email volume for the stakeholder significantly.
Simplifying the Information Architecture
When we started planning how the redesign of the website should look and feel, our most important goal was to make the product as simple and usable as possible. Throughout the information architecture planning process, we continuously focused on building an intuitive structure consisting of the functionalities with the highest impact. Firstly we laid out the 1st and 2nd level of the current information architecture, as seen below in picture 1. With the feedback and help of our users, we regrouped certain products and removed unnecessary categories as seen in picture 2.
Ideating the Solution
Once we were happy with the new information architecture, it was time to start sketching. We came up with several potential solutions to each of the pain points and we made some rough UI sketches. We did some preliminary validation on the Lo-Fi UI sketches and used the feedback to refine our sketches and narrow down our solutions for the Hi-Fi mockups.
Prototyping and Validation
We jumped into Figma to create Hi-Fi mockups of our proposed solutions and we used Principle to create a clickable prototype. We tested the prototype with 5 new individuals. Insights from the validation test led us to reiterate on a couple of the screens. Below you can see the Hi-Fi mockups of our final solutions including the results of the user testing before and after implementing our design solutions.
Stakeholders Pain Points:
- Very high e-Mail volume regarding sizing questions.
- High return rate, which leads to excess costs for the company.
- Removing the ‘Ask a question’ button and replacing it with a product-specific Q&A section in order to decrease the e-Mail volume.
- Making the ‘Review’ section more discoverable to make the decision process easier which could decrease the high return rate.
- Implementing the new feature ‘Kite & Board Calculator’ so that the user is able to calculate the correct kite and board size according to the individuals' size, weight and general wind speed in their area.
Customers Pain Points:
- The user finds it hard to navigate the current website.
- Inconsistency makes the website feel untrustworthy.
- Implementing a new information architecture and redesigning the menu bar of the website (as seen in picture 1).
- Removing the logo of product pictures, keeping all products aligned, redesign of the ‘Sale’ symbol (as seen in picture 2).
Coronation is currently the 4th biggest kitesurf eCommerce store in the DACH region. The stakeholder and the staff have a lot of experience with kitesurfing and their expertise is what gains their customers' trust. Sometimes it takes only a small change such as removing a feature, toning down the color or keeping a consistent design that can make a big difference. We are certain that making these changes could poise Coronation to be the European leader in Kitesurfing eCommerce.