The Research Phase
In the heuristic analysis, I familiarized myself with the site's function, searching for virtual reality (VR) equipment as an example. I used a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high) to measure certain criteria:
Consistency = 3
Different modes of searching (i.e. typing 'VR' or 'virtual reality' in search, or clicking VR categories) returned different page layouts and search results.
System and Real World = 3
The site avoided jargon, using common words and phrases. It struggled, however, in distinguishing differences between items (i.e. a VR headset is NOT a VR-compatible computer).
Aesthetic = 4
Relevant information was on prominent display. There was no overload of potentially irrelevant details that could unnecessarily scare users away.
Satisfaction = 2
I began noticing issues with the site the more familiar I became with it. Pop-up surveys asking for feedback would appear at unusual intervals and browsing seemed unstructured.
Overall Score = 3
The average score for the site was a 3. The strongest aspect was the aesthetic of the site, but the satisfaction can potentially hinder an otherwise pleasant experience.
Competitive & Comparative Analysis
Before I could get sucked into the vortex, I thought it important to see how other e-commerce websites fared. I selected Kohl's and Target because they shared similar levels of popularity among consumers with Best Buy.
Instructions were to use Best Buy to purchase an item of their choosing.
Persona: Tina Marks
Meet Tina. A "power user" who wants a simplified experience without distraction, she is not one person, but representative of the subjects of the contextual inquiry. She also wants to buy herself a Fitbit for Christmas.
Feature Prioritization: MoSCoW Style
With Tina's help, I could narrow the list of key features for the eventual design. I selected the MoSCoW method for its simple and straightforward application.
The Design Phase
Returning to the website, I charted the different paths a user like Tina could take to get to a Fitbit. There were 3, and it takes about 4-7 steps within each path just to get to Product Listing (except search!).
For the new user flow, I wanted to reduce these steps. Search variations of Fitbit take the user directly to the Brand Page, and Products list all the categories on one page. I also temporarily removed the sign-in page, pushing the ability to make an account after an order is complete.
I drew up lo-fidelity wireframes, making the search bar larger to accommodate users like Tina who skip browsing and enlarging images to encourage scrolling around the site for other users. I also reduced the checkout phase to a single page, making each step a separate tab that users can toggle between.
The wireflow shows the process of using the search bar through to the confirmation page after checkout.
Moving forward, I would push the low-fidelity wireframes further into medium-fidelity, eventually breaching high-fidelity mockups. As a researcher, I would also create a clickable prototype for user testing to measure the redesign's usability, especially if it allowed Tina and others to complete the checkout process with little difficulty.