To make so many complex issues easier to digest the document used personas based on two customer types and followed them on their journey through the ordering process. The user models we focused on were comfortable with technology and more comfortable with shopping online–the very customers that were now becoming the norm for the supplier. Walking through the process with them made it easy to demonstrate where their current system was showing its age. More importantly, it also demonstrated additional opportunities they would have to increase sales.
We also identified a large backlog of underutilized content, much of it video, that could be used to educate people about unfamiliar products and be an avenue to reaching an expanded audience. The content existed but needed to be organized into a content management system so it was accessible, easy to identify, and broadcast on the site or over social channels.
Due to the expectations of today’s shoppers, it was recommended that they adopt a consumer-style commerce model. Today’s shopper expectations for ease of use and the familiarity with online retail is expecting that type of experience in all online purchasing. There is also the matter of aesthetics and even an entertainment value. Making a site that was fun, engaging, educational and easy to use would promote more of a ‘shoppers’ experience for their customer.
The use of persona’s representative of their customer base to ‘tell the story’ made it very easy to tell this layered and complex story to all the stakeholders.
After broad approval core interaction types were identified and for the trial, a small subset of the vendor experience that was selected. This area could be explored from beginning to end but also touched on all the major interaction types. It would give them a means to do user testing and get input from their buyers before a broader rollout.
Then began an iterative process to define UX Patterns that were user-friendly and fluid enough to allow for flexibility for product types with a large degree of variation. The slides here are just a few examples of the types of data we were attempting to support. For the entire exercise, starting with wireframes, a working prototype was maintained to demonstrate interaction and user flow.
Working closely with Dave and his team key needs were identified that are unique to this business and widgets or flows were designed to meet them. Most of these occurred during the order process.