- Retail & eCommerce
- Microsoft ASP
- Interaction architecture
- Paper prototypes
- Task based user testing
Design Team Members
The ProcessThe design team began the process by assessing and understanding the businesses desired features and scope. The design and technical teams conducted business workshops with all of the key stakeholders to get a more detailed understanding of how the current system functioned, the important business processes, and details on how the business wanted to enhance the site. Once we understood the scope of work we began the initial design activities. We assessed how the current application behaved, its information architecture, and began the process of user testing. Our initial set of user tests were focused around collaborative design activities like card sorts. This was to allow us to better understand how users organized information, features, and their typical purchasing tasks. This initial set of design activities allowed the development of an overarching set of interaction principles. These principles defined the overall information architecture of the system along with the underlying interface principles to guide the design. While these overarching principles were being refined we began the process of designing and user testing paper prototypes. We began by focusing on a few key tasks like browsing and searching and adding the features over time as we refined the earlier tasks. This cycle of prototyping and user testing evolved into creating more precise wireframes and user testing them. As the application evolved the team began producing visual designs for review by the clients and for testing with the users. This design system applied the Staples brand to the wireframes that we had developed and allowed us to continue to refine and finalize the screen layouts for ASP and HTML development.
The ResultsThe redesigned site was launched in May 2000 with a wide range of improvements. The site featured a new navigational system that supported more efficient browsing and search capabilities. Users were also able to view their shopping cart contents on all pages and quickly and easily make lists of favorite items. After the launch of the redesigned site Staples reported an increase in sales of 20% per week and a 24% average order increase.1 Mediametrix reported an increase of 300,000 repeat customers in the third quarter up from 180,000 the previous quarter. A customer satisfaction survey of 300 hundred visitors resulted in significant improvements in the customer’s perception of the sites simplicity, user friendliness, and overall efficiency.2 The redesigned site received the best business-to-business site award from the Massachusetts Interactive Media Council and has been featured as a Forbes Best of the Web Pick for Entrepreneurs for several years.
1, 2 Softwaremag.com, Staples: The Run for E-convenience, November 11, 2000, Julie Lavallee