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Industry Project / Hackathon

A collaborative design sprint with multi-disciplinary tech team comprised of other students from different programs (Data Science and Web Development) to create a digital solution for TheBay.com

Industry Partner - The Bay

  • Through a digital-first, purpose-driven lens, The Bay helps Canadians live their best style of life. The Bay operates thebay.com, one of the largest premium life & style digital platforms in Canada

  • TheBay.com is focused on being a digital-first, purpose-driven retailer that helps Canadians live their best style of life.

  • They have a Growth vs. Fixed mindset - viewing new opportunities, challenges or change as an opportunity to learn and grow as opposed to a fixed mindset that feels threat or distress. 

  • They also challenge themselves to think differently and view challenges through different contexts, to approach them with a Growth Mindset.

Design Challenge:

Role: UX Designer

How might we alter our digital platform to further increase conversion, encourage repeat customers and decrease returned items?

  • Empathize —understanding the users and their pain points, what that they think, feel, say and do. 

  • Define — Defining and refining the problem we are trying to solve and who we are trying to solve it for.

  • Ideate — Coming up with ideas on how to execute the design to solve the problem

Commonly, the UX designer also creates prototypes of the design and tests these to come up with the best solution.  However, given the time constraints, there was no opportunity to do these activities.   

The Approach

The Double-Diamond Design Process is the process  that allows for divergence – convergence of teams.  It is a collaboration method that builds on benefits of both working alone (divergence) and in a group (convergence).  

Note that even though they are typically referred to as phases, in reality, this is not a linear process.  The process is iterative and there is a lot of back and forth throughout the phases to ensure the creation of a good user-centred product.

Research, Discovery and Synthesis

First, we needed to narrow down our problem space and relied heavily on data from our data scientists to provide us with information regarding the target audience, common trends and other relevant data/information.

How Might We Statement

How might we improve the user experience in order to encourage repeat customers and increase conversion?

In order to find our design solution, we approached the problem 4 ways:

  1. Category research & trends

  2. Usability (Heuristics) Assessment

  3. Journey Mapping (to highlight current pain points and frustrations)

  4. Accessibility Lens

Category Research and Trends

What the user experience should be

✓ personalized content & information based on activity and preferences, using saved preferences and machine learning to make recommendations

✓ more content and more interaction (videos, reviews, photos, etc.)

✓ transparent around how we are using their data to offer a richer experience

What is not working

An audit of the  current experience was conducted through the following lens:

  • Usability Heuristics 

  • Journey Mapping by testing participants’ experience with purchasing a vacuum in order to highlight current pain points

  • Accessibility

 

Results of the journey mapping can be found here.   Given time constraints, two key compromises were made: 

1. Usually, in journey mapping, consideration is also given to what the users are feeling, seeing, thinking, etc.  However, given the tight timelines we were not able to do a full assessment of the experience.  Rather, focus is largely on pain points or the areas of improvement.   

2. Despite the journey mapping, we could only focus improvements to a limited number of screens given time limitations, namely:

  • signed-in landing page

  • top menu

  • profile/preferences page

Ideation

Design Prioritization Matrix

Although a  design decision assessment matrix is conducted, looking at both the impact of the change and the effort that it would take to make the changes, a key assumption for this project -  there are no restrictions on  time or resources associated with the design challenge.  

​Combining our findings from:

  1. Category research & trends

  2. Usability (Heuristics) Assessment

  3. Journey Mapping (to highlight current pain points and frustrations)

  4. Accessibility Lens

Here are the suggested changes made to the TheBay.com website.  We will go through these changes through the eyes of our UX persona - Brooklyn Pyre - who personifies our target audience. 

Bio:

Brooklyn Pyre

  • Age: 32

  • Financial Advisor

  • Single

  • Pet: Dog (Cavachon)

  • Favourite colour: Brown

Needs:
A website that will be able to easily allow her to:

  • find a vacuum to purchase

  • provide her with the information that she needs to make a decision on which vacuum to choose

  • purchase the vacuum

Frustrations:
She was not able to easily:

  • know which section or department to find the vacuums

  • make a decision on which vacuum to choose

Story: 

  • Brooklyn just signed in to her account

  • From here, you will see that we added a preferences option

  • This option allows users like Brooklyn to tailor their website experience based on their favourite departments or brands.

  • Brooklyn is a regular so we have a record of her favourite brands.

  • If she was a new user, we can make suggestions based on trends and/or bestsellers.

  • Once she saves her preferences, we go to her personalized webpage that is tailored to her preferences. 

  • Some of the changes that are made on this page include:

    • Prominent welcome to the user

    • Reduced clutter on landing page

    • We also added social media content and how to videos which Brooklyn may find interesting

    • Increased text sizes

    • Made the drop down menu simpler and more readable by decreasing the amount of categories on the header menu​

  • With the personalized content, Brooklyn is inspired, not just to experience the website but to continue shopping. 

  • These changes improve the user experience, thereby, increasing repeat customers and increasing conversion.

Next Steps:

  • As this was our last project for the class, I intend to learn more and to further educate myself on design principles.  In the future I will create a better version of TheBay.com redesign.

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