ETHKly SHOPIFY PLUG-IN DESIGN
UX/UI DESIGN HACK-A-THON
Ethkly is a Shopify plug-in designed to help vendors provide more sustainable and ethical options by offering clothing for rent, in addition to purchase. The company’s goal is to make clothing rental accessible and commonplace.
During a 3-day hack-a-thon, we were tasked with developing an MVP (minimally viable product) for the ETHKly plug-in.
Create a Shopify plugin that allows rental of purchasable inventory and include associate management features to help store owners control rental settings.
Three days from start to deliverable.
Laurie L. Young
Perform a heuristic analysis of existing wireframes and user flows; Create a C&C analysis of competing businesses; Conduct user interviews with vendors.
Use our research as a basis for making assumptions and creating a proto-persona.
Redesign user flow and interface based on informed assumptions. Create new information architecture
and design for calendar, product, and admin functions.
A new design direction and workable prototype that demonstrates new features and functionality accommodating all sets of users—vendor, customer,
DISCOVER [DAY 1]
We reviewed the existing wireframes and user flow to see what could be improved upon. We discovered that the product page and calendar function was overly complicated and difficult to understand.
We reviewed 3 competing companies to help us understand the market better, and in so doing, make better assumptions.
There were definite learnability and efficiency issues at a severity strong enough to impede a user.
I could see how filtering worked best in the other apps and how the process of reserving and ordering a product was handled in a calendar format.
Even with time constraints we were able to interview 3 vendors about their experience with Shopify and running an ecommerce site.
Additionally, I interviewed a Rent the Runway user to get her perspective on how well this business model work.
How to scale for small, independent designers
Inventory management is a major concern
Vendor needs rental capabilities to sustainably recoup costs, give new life to products
User likes a lot of options and opportunity to try out trends without committing to a purchase
User finds renting helpful for special events where she would only wear an outfit once
Based on user interviews, market research, and informed assumptions (due to time constraints,) we created two proto-personas: one for a typical vendor, and one for her user.
Diana Baake is business owner who is afraid that her inventory will not sell and needs to manage her excess product in a sustainable way that won't overburden her current process.
How Might We
How might we give Diana a powerful tool that doesn’t overwhelm her but will give her greater business options while creating a smaller environmental footprint?
Susanna Moreno is a fashion blogger, disturbed by the amount of landfill waste created by the industry. She wants to find a way to promote sustainable choices and reduce needless overconsumption.
How Might We
How might we provide Susanna the information she needs
to encourage her readers to consider renting over buying and reduce waste.
Taking in both Diana and Susanna's main concerns, we created a Moscow Feature Prioritization chart to determine the most important features to include in our design
Backend Product Filtering
Customize Calendar Visuals
Sustainability Tool Kit
Bulk Product Editing
DEVELOP [DAY 2]
Reviewing the existing site architecture, we iterated different ways of arranging the user flow to provide Diana a cleaner and more effective organization.
We realized that fewer categories would keep the flow simple and action-oriented, reducing cognitive overload.
Original site map:
Redesigned site map:
Once we had determined our architecture, the entire team of
3 UX designers and 3 developers gathered for a timed design session to find the best organization for the product pages.
Starting with Diana's scenario, we went through three rounds of iterations until we had a workable layout for any vendor to use to manage their inventory. We shortened the forms to the essential elements that were defined by our research.
I worked specifically on upgrading the interface design and created a fresher, more contemporary color palette and typography, that would evoke the environmental quality the stakeholders wanted to emphasize.
DELIVER [DAY 3]
In assembling the prototype, we had the opportunity to do a couple rounds of usability testing and make last minute revisions
to give to the developers to incorporate. We met with the stakeholders to get their input and refine the remaining few details.
Our presentation highlighted our successes in streamlining the user interface for both the vendor-facing and customer-facing platforms, while upgrading and refining the look, feel, and functionality of the vendor platform. We presented our recommendations for the next iteration involving data reporting, bulk product management, and features specifically designed for small businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, increase sustainability, and increase revenue.
It was a thrilling and slightly scary experience to participate in a hack-a-thon and redesign a website architecture and interface in 3 days. I learned the value of communication, organization, and have a true appreciation for my teammates. It's a little like being on a desert island—trust, persistence, and resourcefulness, as well as a sense of humor are your greatest tools.
I'm proud of the work we accomplished and delivered to the stakeholders. I look forward to the next one!