E-Commerce Store

Bambu Sunglasses

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Project Overview

I created an e-commerce store selling sunglasses for the eco-friendly and fashionable consumer. I wanted to find a niche within a popular segment and experiment with designing and building my own e-commerce experience. E-commerce is everywhere, and I felt it was vital to gain end-to-end experience in this area. Through developing Bambu Sunglasses, I learned how to create compelling, visually attractive content, write marketing copy, design a checkout and shopping cart experience, and source product along with all the headaches that come with it. This project was not only useful in helping me practice my UX skills, but it helped me develop empathy for e-commerce clients and understand their goals, problems and objectives.

User Research

After finding a niche, it was important to start by understanding potential customers. What are their problems, needs, motivations? I spoke to friends and family, and took a poll at the office. I narrowed the field to a few archetypes to determine the problems my store needed to solve for people:

A user persona about Mark Winter

Mark Winter

Mark is father and passionate environmentalist; he's fashionable and likes looking good. He wants a product that can deliver on both fronts.

A user persona about Katie Silva

Katie Silva

Katie is on the look out for new styles and wants something unique and stylish. Quick customer service matters to her too.

A user persona about Julie Archer

Julie Archer

Julie works outside and needs glasses that can protect her eyes and reduce glare. She also expects them to be durable and good-looking.

Information Architecture and Wireframes

Next it was time to map out the experience and block out the major elements of the store. I dug through store after store, taking notes and carefully analyzing the shopping experience. I even took a strange diversion down the rabbit hole of Amazon's dropdown menu design and algorithm.

Attention Grab

An e-commerce store must get your attention right away. By adding a large hero image along with several colorful callouts, I wanted to grab the user before showing them actual product. I set out to create striking visuals that fit the tropical, tiki-style theme typically associated with bamboo. The logo is a simple and elegant bamboo shaft--I didn't want it to overpower and distract attention away from the product. This section of the site grabs the user's attention and helps them understand the benefits of shopping here. It should be immediate and understandable from the start.

Product Collection

Using set collections is an important UX tactic. By creating a "Color" collection, for example, people may be more inclined to purchase multiple items within the set vs. just seeing them in a large product catalog. Additionally, most e-commerce stores have a method of segmenting product. Some do it much better or worse —all in an effort to break down content into manageable chunks and boost sales. I designed several collections to serve this purpose.

Easy Ordering

Key to designing a successful e-commerce store is making sure the purchase flow is easy. Purchase call to action should be clear and contrast with the background. There must be some feedback mechanism so the user knows the item has been added to their cart. The checkout flow must have large, clear input fields and be multi-step to reduce feeling overwhelmed. We also ideally want to grab the customer's email address so we can confirm receipt and delivery as well as follow-up with via marketing campaigns. Staying connected with the site's audience is important and email is a proven high ROI channel. I also set up a Facebook page and integrated their Facebook Messenger to allow site visitors to get real-time help. Frictionless, easy communication is a definite product differentiator and a must-have per one of our personas.

Close with Features

A good e-commerce experience has three major "containers." Starting from the top, you're hit with the WOW, then see product, then close with product features. Most users should ideally be interested by the time they see product, but this final container is designed to grab the holdouts and skeptics. Why Bambu sunglasses? They're polarized, they're solidly constructed from real bamboo, and they protect your eyes with UV shielding.