UX & UI, Design Process
The project focussed on the transition into responsive design for a furniture e-commerce. The focus was on the overall usability through new interaction patterns and a user-centered UI.
For 3 months I worked at the client’s office as a UX/UI designer. The rest of the team consisted in a Junior UX designer and an art director that just joined the team and had no user centered design background. The introduction and implementation of a user-centered mindset emerged as a need for the team, and I was happy to advocate for it.
My tasks in details
During the analysis I realised what the main challanges really were:
The design sprint was needed to boost and show the impact of good design on the business, in a short time and in an environment of low UX/UI maturity.
STEP 01: THE DESIGN INVENTORY
To be aware of all the existing modules and interaction patterns, we made an inventory and used this mapping work as a basis for a one-week design sprint with the UX team.
STEP 02: BENCHMARK AND BRAINSTORMING
During the design sprint we compared benchmarks and brainstormed to define the interection-patterns that would work on the homepage. The aim of the sprint went further than just kicking-off the design work on the responsive website: it was also an opportunity to show the whole company the impact that a good UX and UI can have on the website and on KPIs.
Here below are displayed some of the wireframes built at different stages during the Design Sprint. We used the wireframes to:
In order to keep working in a coherent and efficient way while expanding the design of the website, the UX team needed a single source of truth for all assets, design patterns and specifications on the topics of usage and implementation.
This complex tool is known as the design system and I initiated it for the team by structuring it and keeping it updated, as the components evolved.
As Nathan Curtis once said, the design system isn't a project, it's a product serving other products. This means on a practical level that in order to function the system requires specific and focussed effort in several directions.
My role was also to share this knowledge with the team and help them answer strategic relevant questions that would be key for the future functioning of the design system:
Together with the developers we defined the breakpoints that were relevant for the usability and in terms of revenues. We then defined the grid specs for each breakpoint.
For each component we went into a deeper definition for their interaction patterns and UI.
We tested several solutions for each component in order to find the most fitting one. Here are the main aspects that guided us in the design process:
The new website was initially tested live on the Austrian market, starting from May '19, on a small percentage of users. According to the positive results the design was iterated and went gradually live, first in Germany and then on all markets.
In companies where the UX/UI maturity is not very developed the power of design on the client’s experience and KIP’s performance is often unknown or underrated.
There is a large confusion between what a design library and a system is, and often the basic principles of systemic User Centered Design are ignored in favour of the maintenance of the design status quo. The strategic business value of a well structured and managed design system is also largerly unknown, as well as the effort it requires to function properly.
Design sprints can be a powerful tool to let the stakeholders see in a very short time potential impact that User Centered Design can generate on the experience, on the quality of the service, and therefore on the revenues.