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CASE STUDY: Your Flora

The Challenge

This case study is an unpaid experience with start-up company “Your Flora.” A team of two, we were given a brief by “Your Floras” owner.

After meeting with the client and diving into the brief further, the following needs were identified;

  • Assess the existing target audience
  • Analyse and streamline user experience
  • Call out Your Floras value proposition and story
  • Improved site engagement
  • Establish primary business objective – An online marketplace for flowers

My Role

My role in this project was to manage the following;

  • SWOT, Business Model Canvas, competitive analysis
  • Recruitment and conducting user interviews
  • Synthesising research
  • Facilitation of design studio, empathy mapping, affinity mapping, value proposition canvas
  • Persona development
  • Journey mapping

Project tools

  • Sketch
  • InVision
  • Google sheets, slides

Our focus was to learn more about the users, and find a design that spoke more clearly to users

Understanding the users

Your Flora targets those interested in purchasing market fresh flowers or plants via the internet. When it comes to target users for research we had to take a punt, Your Flora is an early stage start-up and didn’t have enough actual users for us to research. So our job at this point was to pick potential users to investigate, we kept it simple and with the owner of Your Flora defined likely users as “people that purchase flowers and plants for decoration purposes.”

A better understanding of users was stated as an outcome of the client brief. But more so, this is so we could more directly speak to the pains and gains users may have, to ultimately design the solution that better meets user needs. So we started the venture looking to understand the users, and oh where to find people that enjoy plants or flowers for decoration purposes! This was relatively simple as it is a standard decoration item, the flower markets get packed here in Sydney, and we also have our own personal networks to leverage off

Empathising with the user

Using interviews as a tool for getting to know our users, my partner and I ventured off into the world of our personal network. “Hey friend, do you buy flowers/plants for decoration purposes? Excellent!”

The interviews proved really interesting, insights were developed almost immediately. Before jumping the gun and putting these ideas into personas, we thought it best to begin empathy mapping at our initial stages.

The empathy map was used as a tool to give us a deeper understanding of the users. We want to be able to solve real customer needs, and these requirements may lay deep in the realm of our user’s psychology.

The empathy maps were derived from our interview questions and provided the framework for creating more accurate personas later on.

Contextual inquiry

Our contextual inquiry required a 5 am run to the flower market Saturday morning. Wow, the early Saturday wake was harsh, but the flower market did not disappoint. The market was absolutely packed with people, diversity, and cool things to see.

Our intentions with the flower markets were to analyse how people behave in a natural setting when interacting with flower/ plant buyers. To also identify any potential pains and gains associated with the process of purchasing.

We found that the buyers spent time shopping around, asking the seller questions about maintenance, the age of fauna, and how to care for it…then spending some time price comparing before making that ultimate purchase.

So these are your customers!

User interviews, contextual inquiries, empathy mapping, talking to florists…these gave us the groundwork to start sketching up our personas.

The personas we developed were categorised into three;

1. House creator: Motivated by comforting others, purchasing plants based on decoration.

2. The creative: Purchases fauna based on individuality. Typically something unique if they see themselves that way.

3. The business keeper: Assigned to purchase flowers or plants as decoration for the business. Has more concern with the pricing and maintenance over the actual design.

These personas were used throughout the rest of our project, and assisted greatly in coming up with design solutions.

The users were seperated into three personas. Each buying flowers/ plants for completely different reasons

Lets see how users interact with the initial design

With a better understanding of the userbase, we took to the streets to find test victims. Our objective was understanding how the users were interacting with the current website, and mapping out the pains/ gains along the way.

The outcome of this stage was to give us an understanding of what would need to change on the website, what obstructs explicitly or assists the users on Your Flora. As our goal is to iterate on the current design, this stage was almost a no-brainer next step.

Analysing the journey

Through user testing, we took a few measures for determining the success of the current site.

– How long does it take people to decide upon a fauna and purchase

– What sticking points arrive along the way

– Qualitatively, what do people think of each page on the site relevant to the journey

The tests gave us a clear picture to create a journey map, with emotions, pains and gains. It was also apparent how the personas interacted differently with the website.

We, user tested the current design to explore areas of improvement for iteration purposes

With a better understanding of our users, things got both clearer and also messier. We knew it was time to organise our research, and make it actionable.

Putting all the research together

After spending countless hours interviewing people, researching flower companies, and talking to florists we reached the organise phase. By putting our research into actionable steps we could begin with the design of a solution. 

Making sense of the research

As a way to make sense of the research data, we were excited to begin affinity mapping. This is the process of plugging all ideas on a wall using post its, and organising as seen fit.

The affinity map gave us insights into what features Your Flora could implement, the degree of importance for these features, and the order in which it makes sense to implement.

Outside of the above, the affinity map also gave me and the partner a lot more clarity around the data we collected. Such as a deeper clarity on Your Floras value proposition, and how we could potentially design for the users pains and gains with the current site. 

Making the value proposition clearer

With the data from our user interviews, contextual analysis and user tests…we decided to make more explicit how people experience the purchasing of flora at the flower market and matching that with what Your Flora is doing.

By laying out the users pains and gains at the flower market, we were able to expand possible value adds to Your Flora. Any additional cost adds may require buy-in from the owner of Your Flora, yes…but some of the value propositions were just not articulated high enough on the site, therefore regardless the exercise demonstrated as very useful.

It was clear that after our research synthesis we had design changes to make, and ideas to implement.

The design phase

We had gathered enough evidence to justify a reiteration of the current website, and the actionable steps to move forward. Team member and I decided to jump right into the designing of the solution, we didn’t require a design studio because through our communication had agreed upon design changes we thought would best suit the project. 

All our designs went through testing throughout this phase. It started as sketches on sheets of paper, and through user tests evolved into a mid-fi prototype. Overall we went through three rounds of user testing with iterations and design changes. 

Landing page redesign

Two pain points were addressed in our redesign of the landing page. Ease of navigation, and clear depiction of the Your Flora value proposition.

The team addressed the above pain points via a number of solutions…including; 

– Adding landing page testimonials which also explained the service. 

– Edit of landing page written content, best describing value proposition

– No search bar on the site? So we added one in with auto-fill to streamline the search process.

 

Original product page

The original product page had brought up a few issues with users. 

– Inability to organise flowers and plants by size, cost, occasion

– Hard to visualise flowers combined as a bunch

– Number of flowers/ plants in picture didn’t equate to quantity being delivered

Redesign of product page

By having the check out option on the same page as the product page, we first tested to shorten the number of clicks to conversion.

Second, we examined a more virtual shopping experience. As you can see on the right of the screen, an ability to mix and match fauna drove interaction and increased conversion in tests. 

Also the ability for users to become free members. Save favourites, and automatically re-order fauna. (This was an idea when we found users would search multiple tabs, and maybe buy on second/ third visit)

We implemented a number of features into the prototype. But we weren’t done yet.

Next steps

Our next steps would be working closely with the marketing side of the business, to address in real time Your Floras concern on conversation rate. We would like to work with the marketing branch to devise ad campaigns suitable to our personas, ads that speak to each persona and target them more appropriately. With hopefully more aimed customers and a redesign of the site based on our recommendations conversion should see an increase, though for the highest degree of value we would love to work with the start-up company over time, using data in continuously improving the conversion till we reach a ceiling.

We would recommend tracking what pages each user clicks into, and also categorising users based on the ads that attracted them. More research into how customers interact live with the website will guide our future design decisions and allow more potent adaptations. We would also like to research actual Your Flora customers and get more accurate information on the personas motivations, this is to get even more targeted with both advertising and to our site design.

Overall, with the time frame and the limited resources, the client was happy with our insights and redesign. We got a startup with limited customer information and was able to devise a framework which would save the client lots of money on advertising, and give customers an overall more user-friendly experience with the website. We developed a value proposition for Your Flora which separates them from competitors (comparison of fauna side by side,) and also gave them numerous pain points which if addressed will ensure customers have an excellent experience with the company.