UX Research into a Unique Product’s Website
The Swag is a sustainable brand. They sell their hero product The Swag, a bag that helps keep fruit & vegetables fresher for longer, as well as a range of other products. This project was a UX Research report into The Swag’s eCommerce website.
Why this Project
The Swag has good reviews and feedback, but their website struggled to convert visitors.
I was part of a team of 12 studying with Harness Projects. We individually conducted UX research over seven weeks and presented our findings to the client. We would meet 1-2 times a week as a group with a mentor to discuss insights, problems and next steps.
As this was a research project, my outcome was research report presented to the client identifying the 2 major issues, the Swag does not exist and the Information Architecture is horrible, along with recommendations and next steps.
The goal was to understand how to help The Swag’s audience “take the leap” and purchase
- Operating in an agile environment: The website was continually changing, and that could potentially influence testing results.
- COVID-19: Due to COVID-19 restrictions in place, all work, including interviews and tests, would be done remotely over video chat.
- Corrupted Google Analytics: Due to a changing website and other recent UX Research conducted, which would influence Google Analytics, the data was most likely unreliable.
First I surveyed 34 people, revealing that 91% were interested in the idea of The Swag
I first wanted to get a clearer understanding of potential customers, to either confirm or reject the assumptions made by the client on who their customers were. Participants were asked questions about the product, their shopping habits, household and them.
10 Usability Tests found that people didn’t understand The Swag
- The Swag was confusing: Potential customers knew it was a bag but didn’t understand how it worked, its benefits and some were sceptical.
- The Other Products were clear: Participants, quickly identified what “other” products were, how they worked and their benefits, based on a combination of the name and photos.
Customer Journey Mapping showed that those who emotionally engaged with the site came closest to purchasing
The Affect of Emotions:
- Increase time looking: Those who were engaged emotionally by the website spent more time looking to figure out if they wanted The Swag.
- Go down over time: Emotions dropped the longer a participant spent on the site, unless they were re-engaged.
- Needed for interest: The only interested participants were engaged emotionally. But once that engagement dropped to a level of indifference, they lost interest.
2 existing customers purchased The Swag to “try it out”, and now love it
- Did not buy straight away: One took 18 months, the other a few days before purchasing.
- Initially didn’t understand the product: When they first saw The Swag they didn’t know how it works or its benefits.
- Doubted the performance: When they learnt more, they were sceptical as it how it would perform.
- Purchased to “Try it out”: They had wanted to try it out because they liked the idea despite being uncertain about its performance.
- Happy with results: They were pleasantly surprised by the results and would recommend.
We know the product is good & people should be interested, but they’re not. Why?
By doing Affinity Mapping and making a feature wall of sticky notes, I was able to identify common themes and pain points.
Identifying the signal from the noise
Affinity Mapping identified 19 different negatives people had relating to the products. 18 of these were for The Swag. I could have looked at each of these issues individually and recommended fixes for those, but I identified that these were symptoms of deeper problems.
- The Swag does not Exist: The participants understood the “other” range of products as they were direct alternatives to existing products. But The Swag doesn’t exist in their minds, it wasn’t an alternative product to something they’ve seen, but an entirely new product.
- The Information Architecture is Horrible: Most of the information about The Swag is on the website. But people can’t find it, or it is not presented in a clear way that entices customers and engages with them emotionally.
My presentation exhibited the issues, recommendations and the next steps
Unfortunately, this was only a research project as it would have been an excellent opportunity to go further with this. Prototyping and testing solutions on how to tell the clients story in a way that engaged peoples emotions, and informs them enough that their rational brain lets them make the purchase, would have been fascinating.
Primary Recommendations & Next Steps:
- Tell the Story: The client had this great story about the problem and the journey that led them to create and sell The Swag, but the website doesn’t tell it. Telling this story will educate people, allow them to empathise and minimise their rational brains interference.
- Get a full content audit: Too many parts of the website assume visitors knowledge of the products, which most of the time is incorrect. By addressing the Information Architecture, this problem can be solved.