Ideas & Advice: Redesigning the Inspirational and Guidance Content Website: Crafting a Seamless Shopping Journey from Discovery to Purchase
My role | Product Designer
As a product design co-op on the team, I contributed to redefining and designing the existing Ideas & Advice website.
My contributions encompassed scoping the product, conducting competitor analysis and usability testing to understand the current state of inspirational content websites, and creating wireframes to formulate evidence-based design outcomes.
Time & phase
January - July, 2023
Discovery & Define Phases
The Ideas & Advice Editorial Hub is our internal website that provides inspirational content to our customers. Ideas & Advice is designed to help customers easily find articles, learn, and receive the guidance they're looking for.
* Old version of Ideas & Advice page
However, Ideas & Advice had quietly become outdated, as it hadn't received significant attention from the design team. Now, it's time to consider a redesign.
Provide a fun and frictionless shopping experience that is consistent with our brand and channel.
Help customers discover products, improve trust signals, and create new opportunities for engagement that are relevant to search customers.
iNTERNAL GOALS / mY focus
During my 6-month co-op program, I worked as a product designer where I focused on:
Discovery and define the primary design opportunities that form the foundation of our customers' pre-shopping experience.
Gain a deeper understanding and evaluate any shortcomings in our current experiences compared to our competitors and the main goals of our customers.
Establish a shared understanding and design language for our layouts and feature improvements.
Ideas & Advice is my main project during 6-months co-op program. Over 6 months, I delivered:
Aligning the Ideas & Advice Redesign Journey with Cross-functional Teammates.
As the sole product designer, I was tasked with the Ideas & Advice discovery phases within 6 months.
I created a dynamic roadmap in Miro to foster alignment with cross-functional teams, including product, research, development, and design, in order to create a shared understanding of where we were and where we were going next.
I started the design process with a competitive analysis to find what the direct (e-commerce) and indirect competitors (e.g. media platfor) were doing.
Analyzing the hub page design details to determine how to enhance customers' experience when seeking inspiration and guidance.
In this analysis, I delved into the design elements of 17 existing inspiration sites, comparing them to Ideas & Advice. I studied how competitors present content on their hub pages, pinpointing effective UI details, to set a benchmark for an ideal user experience on the hub page
Data Synthesis & formating
cOMPETITOR research FINDINGS
Discover 7 critical design opportunities to improve the shopping experience, with a particular focus on seamless transitions from browsing, searching to purchasing via market trends.
Learned from our competitors' perspectives, it's time to shift our focus to better understand our current users' needs, pain points, and preferences through user studies.
uSER studies /usability testing
Incorporate user needs into the design process
Next, in order to advocate for customers' unmet needs and pain points on the current Ideas & Advice website and to reimagine the ideal customer search experience, I conducted mobile and desktop usability testing with 14 participants via UserTesting.com
Generate a baseline understanding of what existing users think about our experience.
Usability TESTING FINDINGS
Discover 7 critical design opportunities to improve the shopping experience, with a particular focus on seamless transitions from browsing, searching to purchasing from the customer's perspective.
The top-prioritized takeaway from user testing results for the Hub page user experience
of users on both Desktop & Mobile were unsuccessful in finding the right Ideas & Advice search bar to look for an article.
This led to a frustrating experience and forced users to find articles using the navigation menu instead of search terms.
Overall, most Desktop users were overwhelmed by the number of articles that were presented to them without any kind of grouping/ categorization.
This caused them to spend more time skimming
through the different article cards to find the one
15% of user on Desktop found the article card imagery to mis-match the article title which was noted as confusing and misleading
Next Step: Redesign the Ideas & Advice hub and article page experience to help users find articles easily and receive the guidance or inspiration they need prior to their shopping journey.
Design / Ideation
To enhance the user experience and facilitate navigation, search, and inspiration for users before and during their shopping journey, I created 3 types of Ideas & Advice hub pages, prototyped and evaluated these concepts with internal UX designers, content writers, and engineers.
While the details of the work I worked on are still under NDA,
I'd be happy to chat more deeply about my experience over a call.
Next Step & rEFLECTION
iF I HAVE MORE TIME
During my time at Wayfair, we were in the discovery phase of creating a new seamless shopping experience. If I have the opportunity to continue in the Ideas & Advice program, I will:
Continue prototyping, evaluating, and iterating design options in collaboration with Project Managers, Developers, Content Writers, and internal design teammates.
IF I Could GO BACK
Building Stakeholder Relationships Earlier
Establishing relationships with cross-functional teams right from the start, beginning with my onboarding process, would have enabled me to develop a deeper understanding of the team dynamics, the people involved, and how we could collaborate more effectively before taking on an overwhelming challenge.
Zoom-in Vs. Zoom-out
When I took charge of the project, we were in the discovery phase of an outdated project with a vague termination goal, such as 'improve customer experience.' This occasionally led me to think too big and feel disconnected from reality. Establishing clear, measurable objectives and aligning on key metrics with my colleagues in the early stages proved to be a time-saving strategy, helping us stay on track while striking a balance between thinking big and achieving our objectives step-by-step.
Easy to read, for everyone
Always keep the diverse needs of our audience in mind when presenting our design work, ensuring it's user-friendly and doesn't lead to confusion or hesitation. For example, including 'How to Read This Report' and 'TL;DR' pages has become a standard approach for me.