⏤ PROJECT OVERVIEW⏤
Orangeville Outlet Centre (OOC) has been in the small town of Orangeville for over 15 years, taking pride in it's "Mom and Pop" style, low prices, and friendly customer service. The company's USP is that they offer top quality products for a highly discounted price. The company has a small staff, and most of the small-item stock is constantly changing, whereas the large furniture items are available on a fairly consistent basis.
Most of the sales are from in-store purchases, however, due to space limitations and customers preferences, larger furniture items (i.e. couches)) are ordered from suppliers.The supplier catalogues are available online via the OOC website, however, the current website setup navigates customers away from the OOC website to the external supplier sites, and does not provide an outlet for users to submit queries or place orders via the site.
⏤ DISCOVER ⏤
Secondary Research was executed to gain insight into the current market & competitors which lead into the Primary Research, which was done to further understand both the business & customers goals. Task Performance Analysis was performed to see how users interact with the current site to determine improvements to be made.
The research presented key areas of focus for the website redesign. This included a restructure of the Information Architecture on the site, a simplified flow for browsing furniture catalogues online, and an easily accessible form for users submit orders or inquiries online.
⏤ DEFINE ⏤
After speaking with the business owners and analysing the research, the key demographic was determined and a user persona was developed.
A thorough inventory of the existing site was taken, and a meeting was arranged with the business owners to determine what should be eliminated, what should be kept, and what elements should receive more attention. A new sitemap was created to address all of this.
User Task Flow
With feedback from the business owners, it was determined that the goal of their website was to allow users to browse furniture catalogues online so that custom orders could be placed by the store on behalf of the customers. This user task flow was made to determine the key decisions & screens the users would encounter in the process.
⏤ WIREFRAMES & TESTING ⏤
Testing Round 1 & 2: Low/Medium Fidelity
After determining the user flow, detailed wireframe sketches were developed for the key screens of the user flow. Usability testing would first be performed with the low fidelity wireframe sketches to ensure the flow was, first and foremost, functional and understandable. In the second round, the errors were considered, and iterated on when developing the digital wireframes & digital prototype. A second round of usability testing was performed to gauge any further issues and improvements needed to be made.
Testing Round 1 & 2: Results
During this testing, many errors and areas of confusion were revealed with the online furniture catalogue browsing process that would require further iterations. However, due to time constraints, it was necessary begin work on the UI elements at this time.
⏤ VISUAL DESIGN ⏤
Brand Moodboard & UI Kit
In order to suit the business' comfortable, unique, small town brand, a moodboard and UI kit was developed in order to implement a unified, cohesive look & feel for the website.
The store is often referred to as "The Outlet Centre" so emphasis was placed on this in the logo redesign. The logo redesign aimed to portray a more boutique, intimate feel as opposed to the somewhat industrial feel the current logo depicts.
⏤ ONGOING TESTING ⏤
Testing Round 3: High-Fidelity
With the UI elements determined, key screens were developed with considerations from the initial rounds of testing being incorporated. A high fidelity prototype was used to do the final round of testing, with minor ongoing iterations occurring as testing was performed.
Working with external websites proved to be more difficult than anticipated, however, the overall website layout and furniture browsing flow is much clearer than it was initially. If time permitted, further usability testing would have been performed prior to adding in the UI elements to ensure the process was understandable and functional for the users.
Ongoing testing would be performed with real customers looking to perform this specific task and a way to incorporate embedded websites that was both clearer and more appealing would be explored.