The purpose of this project was to build upon concepts learned in the previous lessons while implementing new research and documentation methods, such as contextual inquiries, competitive analyses, and specification documentation. This project was segmented into two weeks: the first week, our group conducted business and user research for Best Buy in order to develop initial frameworks for a website redesign while the second week allowed us to individually convey the website redesign(s) of Best Buy based off of research insights from the previous week. This report outlines the basic methodology for this project.
My team focused on incorporating business and design research collected to inform our website redesign of Best Buy’s website, BestBuy.com. Some of the research methods employed (outlined in the sections below) were creating the business model canvass, competitive and comparative matrices, heuristic evaluation, screener survey and subsequent usability testing of BestBuy.com, card sorting, persona development, sitemap development, and wireframing. The research insights enabled us to revise personas and develop a problem statement which would help focus the website redesign to address user pain points. The purpose of the website I redesigned mainly focused on improving the site navigation in order to improve product conversions.
I served a dual role as UX researcher and designer for this project.
2 weeks: 1 week with a team and 1 week solo.
Limitations, Parameters, Resources, and Materials
Materials & Resources
Whiteboard and markers, cell phone (for mobile usability testing), laptop (Desktop usability testing), notepad and pen (for contextual inquiries)
Sketch: to create mid-fidelity wireframes
Omnigraffle: to develop the BestBuy.com sitemap
Maze (optional): for remote usability testing
Keynote: for visual reports
The website redesign focused on the desktop version of Best Buy’s website, BestBuy.com. We combined the usability test results with results from the contextual inquiry in order to refine the target demographic and revise our user personas.
After these initial methods, I conducted a solo design studio to sketch the desktop and mobile wireframes for the site and then converted these sketches into a mid-fidelity responsive design prototype. I then conducted two rounds of usability tests to iterate on the website’s navigation flow and address additional pain points arising from the website user flow.
Some of the limitations for this project were finding users of technology e-commerce stores (sample size) and time.
The Evolution of the Problem Statement
We held the assumptions that most people shop online and most people go to in-store retail spaces, such as Best Buy, for expert advice.
The problem statement was “How might we make the online shopping experience enjoyable and efficient for consumers?
Survey Screener & Usability Tests
We received 32 responses for the screener survey. One of our key questions for this screener was “Where do you prefer to buy your electronics or appliances?”, where 34% of people responded that they purchased electronics online.
Afterward, we conducted 1 round of usability tests for the mobile and desktop versions of BestBuy.com on 5 users.
For the individual round, I sent out a screener survey and received 17 responses in addition to a collection survey for additional usability test notes for the remote survey (using a Likert scale 1–5, with 1 being “easy to navigate tasks” and 5 being “difficult to navigate tasks”.
Once we conducted our contextual inquiries and usability tests, we were able to develop an initial user journey, user flow, and task flow for our main personas.
I then revised these personas into a primary user and a secondary user based on the feedback I received on how users like to navigate e-commerce websites. Many users from my second round of interviews noted that they just wanted to “get to the point” of a website in purchasing and didn’t want to be upsold on any items before that had found what they were looking for.
From that, a user persona was born: Erica Edit (shout out to #WOCintechchat for these gorgeous stock photos!). Her user persona is rather uncomplicated: she prefers to keep up with the latest trends and purchase top of the line products in store after she has done her research online.
I also developed a user journey for her to highlight her pain points when using the website and her successes, as well.
Feature Development & Responsively Designed Wireframes
The key features that were redesigned were the site navigation (based off of the sitemap) and the filtering. These addressed two pain points of simplifying the website design and making the checkout process easy.
Starting mobile-first was essential because it allowed me to see what the core functions users needed on the mobile site. I highlighted product recommendations and popular items on the home page in order to increase engagement with the sites images.
Usability Tests and Resulting Iterations
In a second iteration, users noted that the side filtering was confusing for the tasks, as many were drawn to filtering by the brand images. So, I eliminated the side filters from the left panel and only listed featured brands and called out services related to the product page (in this case, “laptops”).
Some of the recommendations for the next iteration were to take this into high-fidelity in order to see if the images increase the functionality of navigation on both the mobile and desktop and to flesh out some of the interconnected tabs, such as “Services”, in order to see how users interact with the site. Those changes will probably occur once this immersive course is complete due to time constraints.
You can check out the mid-fidelity prototype of the website redesign here.
It was interesting to see how new research techniques could be incorporated into the work we were already doing. Contextual inquiries were insightful but slightly nerve-wracking considering that, at one point, my team was being followed by store security. It would probably be significantly easier if I was already affiliated with the store so that they knew I was conducting this contextual inquiry and not appearing as if I was pestering their customers. Also, it would be useful to practice when and where to use certain research methods based on the answers we are trying to seek. It seems as if contextual inquiries would work better if I had less familiarity with a product and/or had no context about the consumers within a product category. Nevertheless, it was useful to gain insight into how to turn clicks into conversions, many retail associates turning in-store browsing habits into purchases.