PROJECT SUMMARY: Groundwork wanted to think of their website as another location to shop for coffee, equipment, membership as well as get educated and get better integrated with the community. Therefore, the goal was to increase conversion and maximize ROI.
SOLUTION: The solution is to rework the architecture of the website, create hierarchy of information, and simplify the navigation. Since Groundwork is a community oriented company integrating social media and live updates was crucial.
METHOD: Interviews, surveys, card sorting, design studio, comparative/competitive analysis, user flow, site map, sketches, wireframes, prototype.
When I first got this project I decided to dive right in with researching. I gathered my things and went to the closest Groundwork location to be able to experience the design, the clientele, as well as try the product. I set there for a little bit people watching, and eavesdropping and after a while I got the nerve to actually come up to customers and ask them a few questions. Now, I must say I did get a lot of useful information from these interviews but, the order of things was wrong. I didn't know enough about the client (Groundwork) to be going around interviewing customers. So I went back to my laptop and started over with research. I was looking at statistics and who actually shops for coffee, and coffee related items online, how many people actually do that, and when.
After having a little extra data on my hands, we card sorted with a little group all the features, and pages groundwork actually has in their existing website - we found some issues with wording as well as hierarchy.
In addition, I started looking at groundworks competition, and analyzing what works best for each brand, and how I can incorporate that into groundwork to have them stand out, and have the most useable and functional website.
Going back and interviewing more people was important after I had more knowledge about the brand and products. I sent out more surveys and went out to interview more people, and that's how I got my Persona constructed. Though I must mention that my persona is not the only one who fits, there are several different types of personas, but the one I had constructed fit the user flow the best.
After having all the right information, constructing the site map was a pleasure, all of a sudden it all made sense.
Sketching on paper or on a white board is liberating. Possibilities are limitless at this point, and I just let my creative side go crazy. I feel like when sketching on a small scale I don't get stuck on details, I let the ideas flow from my brain to my hand, after completing a whole page of sketches I then am able to look back and reflect, what makes sense and what doesn't.
Since, one of the project goals was to think "Mobile First" I also went ahead and sketched a mobile version, of the website.