Pen & Paper
What is Yard Announcements?
YA was started 5 years ago by Kathy, a CPA who was tired of her 9-5 desk job, corporate life.
She had a vision to help others, putting a smile on each and every one of her customer's faces, because, honestly, who can't smile when staring at a 7'x5' yard sign celebrating a special occasion or holiday?
Kathy hasn't done more than add photos and blog posts to her website in 5 years.
Business has grown far beyond her expectations but website doesn't reflect that.
Receives phone calls daily from customers confused about her site and how to navigate/check out.
Needs to both update her website and add features and items that weren't available before.
Create easy checkout process to eliminate phone calls, so she has more time to devote to her business necessities.
It's time to have a website that showcases the true beauty and enjoyment of these yard cards.
When speaking with Kathy, she informed me of a business competitor, Card My Yard. After looking into their website and user reviews, I found some features that worked well, and others that were in need of improvement.
Overview: Card My Yard is a yard sign company located all over the US that rents out customized signs for your yard.
Key Objectives: Card My Yard celebrates big and little achievements, holidays, announcements, etc.
Marketing: Card My Yard is on social media, such as Facebook and Instagram. It looks like that is where most of their marketing is directed.
Website is easy to navigation through.
Has locations in 45 states, 470+ locations.
Having a different site for each franchise plus a Home site makes things confusing for
Redesigning their main site to act as a redirect page to specific location would make more sense.
Multiple franchises can make it difficult to have a solid brand.
Typography varies through website; not cohesive.
Order Now page on their main site doesn't allow users to browse
inventory without putting in their email address and location.
Nothing special about product to stand out.
Mom & pop shops if customers want to support local, small businesses.
Price of product is very important because product is very specific with a lot of competition.
After speaking with the the client and fully understanding her preferences and her competitors strengths and weaknesses, 5 user interviews were conducted. We decided against doing usability tests at this stage because the client is looking for a completely redesigned site, with pages that will be deleted/added, new features and images, as well as an updated checkout process. The goals of these interviews were to understand (1) What will bring people to this website when it's a fairly specific product? (2) What are some pain points associate with shopping online? (3) What is most important for users when shopping online?
Jeanie | 35 yo | Engagement Consultant
Shops online multiple times a week
Needs multiple payment options (ie PayPal & CC) to consider purchasing from that site.
Heavily influenced by ads on Social Media.
Reads Google reviews often before purchasing online.
Stacie | 52 yo | Art Teacher
Will give up and leave the site if she can't figure out how to do something online.
Likes to support small businesses if it's an item that she can find through them.
Appreciates when you can adjust things during checkout (ie delete an item or add another quantity without having to go back to the shopping bag.
Ashley | 28 yo | Dental Hygienist
Needs relevant filters when shopping (ie color, size, occation) to continue shopping at the site.
Can't stand ads that pop up so tasks can't be completed until after.
Appreciates sites that have menus extremely visible (top of page, not a hamburger),
Likes when Apple Pay is an option for payment.
Walter | 47 yo | Sales
Goes on social media to find recommendations for things to buy.
Will browse sites if there is a sale or discount area.
Filters for color, occasion, size, etc is really nice to have.
Gets very frustrated when contact information for company is not easily visible.
Krystin | 35yo | Nanny
Always tries to contact someone if she can't figure something out.
Likes Amazon's checkout flow; very easy and fast.
Frustrated when descriptions and pictures aren't accurate to what the item actually looks like.
Enjoys reading reviews to find new sites to visit.
When conducting numerous interviews, especially about an e-commerce website, there's an abundance of information, pain points, wish lists, etc that needs to be categorized. The affinity map helped organize those thoughts, gaining knowledge and understanding of what users want and why certain features are necessary and others cause such frustration.
Insights and take-aways from the affinity mapping includes the necessity for clear and reliable access to chat with customer service. When speaking with the participants, that was a pain point brought up the most. When asking about features that are important to a shopping website, filters and multiple ways to pay were spoken about frequently. And, from a marketing perspective, users are highly influenced by social media ads, so that would be a good way to get YA's name out there and in front of people who might not know about the company or the product.
Kathy's average customers of YA are women, ages 30-55, with children. With that information and with the interview findings, 2 personas were created to represent the various professions, stages of life, lifestyles, that could utilize the products and services of YA.
1st time (soon-to-be) mom
Talia is a big fan of elaborate parties. She will often go big with yard signs, balloon arches, flowers, lights, etc, setting the mood for whatever is being celebrated for both herself and family, and for her clients. She will become a repeat customer if she finds a company that has easy navigation, quick checkout, and reliable services.
Mother of 3, 2 teens and a 3 yo
Stephanie has thrown countless parties for her children over the years. She loves to make a big deal because kids "grow up so fast". But now, having two teens, it's been awhile since her kids cared about having a party. So being a mother to a young child again, she's able to celebrate his accomplishments and birthdays without "embarrassing him". She wants fun party decor without having to spend much time sifting through images.
After analyzing the research that was conducted, low-fidelity wireframes were constructed using Whimsical.
With the basic layout finalized, I went to Figma to create the high-fidelity wireframes.
After creating the high-fidelity wireframes and prototype, I handed the designs over to Kathy for her UX Designer to test the product, iterating as necessary, and place on her website. Kathy tasked me to conduct the research and initial design of her website, while she's having her UX Designer finish it off.
Because of scheduling conflicts, collaboration with the UX Designer was minimal. With this being such a big project, I realized how imperative it is to work within a team where ideas can be brainstormed and feedback is readily available. I was able to get viable information from the client, but it would have been beneficial to the client, myself, the timeline, and the users, to work on this project with the UX Designer. Next time I will advocate more effectively the importance of collaboration, teamwork, and feedback to both the other team members and the client.