Art.com is an international décor retailer, consisting of four companies. The business is SEO-driven and catering to two distinct user groups: the home decorator and the interest-driven image collector. The UX design team has consisted of two designers, and was just recently expanded to three.
- The existing Art.com Custom Frame Studio was built in Flash. It provides a wide range of custom service options to images that users select.
- The app, while offering a wealth of options, struggles with information being hidden under layers of clicks. The crowded UI also creates hurdles to adding more product categories, which hurts the business.
- The new project will be created in HTML5, and is designed tablet-first to accommodate a growing userbase.
Discovery User Journeys
User journey mapping helped me identify significant discovery problems earlier in the user funnel, mainly on the Home and Gallery page.
As discovery is handled by a different team, I created recommendations to address the pain points. Once these are solved we'll have set the stage for a successful product page.
Original Product Page
This page had significant scaling problems: added product types required additional controls and some of the most important ones sent users off to a different page.
The customization process felt alternately obscure and intrusive: hard to find form the first page but then forced on you as you attempted to check out.
In late 2013 a Product Requirement Document was generated by the business group, calling for improvements to an existing Flash-based web app.
The app was technically unsustainable and did not support adding product types.
The app pulls in a large portion of the company revenue, and changes have significant business impact.
User Research: Existing App and Competitors
The existing app broadly performs well.
The biggest response comes when users are offered visualization, such as a "product seen in a room".
Art.com and industry competitors suffer from same difficulties in their apps:
-Users have trouble with terminology, and fail to understand the words. -The order of decisions is not well understood so users hop back and forth and get confused. -The apps tend to not save users' work so they lose many of their decisions.
New Web App: Early Design
To minimize impact on the existing Product Page, the early framing web app was created as a free-standing module to be accessed from many brands, and many sections of the customer funnel.
I designed a prototype in Keynote, and tested it on users with promising results.
From a stand-alone app to dynamic product page
Further testing included a partially revamped Product Page, enhanced to support the new web app.
With the new page, users have more natural interactions with the framing products. In light of this, the web app idea is challenged in favor of a better Product Page.
The current design allows for most of the features requested in the original PRD.
It takes into consideration discoveries made in competitive analysis and user testing, and will serve both added and diminished numbers of product types.
The diminished product types experience is currently being investigated, as a way to promote certain products.