Duration | 2 Weeks Tools | Sketch, InDesign
A mobile app, TailorMade is Etsy’s answer to an emerging trend in customer preferences away from mass produced, rampant consumption toward bespoke, intentional consumption. It meets this trend and user needs by matching buyers with available, vetted artisans for commissioning one-of-a-kind pieces, providing them with the option to either search for and engage individual artists or post and receive multiple artist quotes for their commissions.
Role | Research Lead, Concept Generation, Design Strategy, Sketching
I was part of the three-person project team. My duties were to define and execute the research plan, coach teammates on their research roles, lead research synthesis, and uncover key insights and opportunity areas. Together with the team, I helped ideate and sketch the design, define the interaction design, articulate user flows and tasks, and prepare the final client presentation.
Design Process + Methods
This project was a class assignment aimed at creating a way for Etsy's customer to order bespoke items. As such, it was important to more deeply understand user experience and habits related to Etsy as well as the company’s current approach to and footprint in the one-of-a-kind market. To achieve this, we conducted both user field research and business analysis.
First, through our business research and task analysis, we learned that Etsy is already attempting to break into this market through their “Custom Order” feature. Button placement made using the feature challenging. Additionally, we noticed a content problem also made the task difficult to complete. The word “custom” was used multiple ways throughout the site, each with a different meaning. User said "I didn't even know it existed" to a person. And finally, what little data we found on custom order sales did not suggest this strategy was having its intended impact.
The two primary user research methods used were interviews and qualitative and quantitative analysis of Etsy's iTunes ratings and reviews.
A screener helped us identify individuals who shopped at Etsy two or more times per year and previously commissioned custom made goods. Through interviews with 10 users, we learned that customers use Etsy for gift giving and events with a personalized touch. They like that buying from Etsy means they are supporting small business, and they appreciate when artists respond quickly to their requests, letting them know if they can or cannot fulfill their orders. The data from our interviews was validated by a review of App Store comments from the last calendar year. The average 4.7 rating often comes with review headlines containing “LOVE!”
That loyalty is critical because of common pain points users have. Our affinity map revealed six common themes.
The research allowed us to develop a primary persona to design for. This persona was developed using patterns from our interview data. Our research subjects were predominantly female, and those who were truly interested in custom goods shared characteristics in terms of income and curation goals.
In working with our instructor-client, we identified three potential paths. We weighed the pros and cons, all centered around two guiding questions:
(1) What will best position Etsy to enter the market?
(2) What will solve for the shortcomings Abby and other users like her face on Etsy's existing platform?
We used an importance/ difficulty matrix and chose the more risky path: to create a dedicated app for Etsy's one-of-a-kind business. That left us with the following design challenges to solve for:
Design challenges in hand, we got brainstorming, pulling from additional research we conducted which focused on companies that met similar challenges. These companies spanned project management, artist commissioning and quote-based platforms.
As the team member focused on the conceptual design, I began asking questions about artist vetting, the proposal cycle, and what would be different about each user group's experience. Our team collaborated on everything from layout to interactions, co-designing each screen and step in the user flow and task. See select sketches and screens below.
We had two instructor-client check-ins and used these touch points as opportunities for feedback. Two of the early and critical pieces of feedback related to navigation and user onboarding. We got feedback on layout and flow informally throughout the process, but formal usability testing was the most important we received.
We conducted testing with the same subjects we interviewed. About half of the testing was in-person, half virtual. While not reflected in our final wireframes, the key takeaways and recommended changes were:
- Visual Inconsistency: Users didn't understand how to navigate through the new proposed menu because of a confusion of colors and shapes. Recommendation: Return navigation to Etsy's main app menu and incorporate real images to the category selection screen, in order to show "the human factor"
Screen Complexity: Users were also confused by the construction of the quotes screen and the role/ indication of the hourglass icon. Recommendation: Replace the icon with text that indicates when the quote expires and improve labeling so it's clear what the users are seeing.
Unclear Tracking: The design neither provided feedback to users that they'd marked an item or completed a step nor was it transparent on the number of steps or progress. Recommendation: Make more visual, perhaps with a solid orange circle, finished tasks. Restructure the commissioning process to either be one screen or number the steps and indicate progress on every screen.
Click to see the pre-usability prototype and interactions.