UI, UX, Research
The idea was inspired by a moment shared with my friends, when we couldn't figure out what to gift each other. What does he like? Does he already have this? How much time/money can I spend? All these questions led to a rather stressful experience, which shouldn't be the case when trying to do something nice for a friend or loved one.
Proposed solution: Provide users with a centralized platform for shopping and gift finding.
I created a survey on Typeform and had friends answer some questions to validate my hypothesis. The results helped me determine if I was solving the right problem, identify opportunities, and discover who my primary users would be. Common concerns included a lack of time and worry that the recipient would not enjoy the gift.
Using the data I had gathered, I created 2 personas to best depict the primary users. I then created user journeys to better understand the triggers, pain points, opportunities and more.
For a closer look at Clark's journey, click here.
For the final step of my research, I conducted competitive analysis, looking into current apps/services that are used in shopping & gift giving. While many apps offered a personalized experience for the user, none of them offered the same service when trying to shop for friends.
You can view my notes here.
As this product did not exist yet, I based my hypotheses off of the findings from my research, which asked questions about user's current pain points with similar apps. I would identify the most common complaints, then arrange those elements by order of importance.
Unsurprisingly, users wanted something quick and easy, but would have the option to expand into something much more customizable. There were still many differences in the test groups' requests/wants, so I had to find a way to create balance.
Help users find the perfect gift for their friends in under a minute. Make it easy, efficient and delightful.
Allow users to save items for themselves and view their friend's wishlists as well.
Remind users of holidays, events and upcoming birthdays. Allow users to customize the notification frequency.
Give users the freedom to find local goods. This will benefit those who do not trust online shopping, want to pay for shipping or need to buy a gift urgently.
I recorded my friends interacting with my prototype, asking them to complete certain tasks. I would omit words that were specific in the prototype. This was very important as in the earlier trials I noticed that my users would navigate the UI by finding the words I spoke. I had my users narrate their train of thought as well. This led to many iterations of the design (click the dots to view my exploration).
Pick a friend, the type of gift, their interests, and a budget - that's it. Give & Get will use their age and any other information available to help you find a gift that they'll love.
Easily view upcoming events with Give & Get's calendar, including a list view to see more at a glance. If you see that a friend's birthday or major holiday is coming up soon, easily find gifts in a single tap. You can also create your own events so you never miss a thing.
Many people today, still don't trust online shopping, or don't have time to wait for a package. Give & Get offers the experience of shopping online, with the capability of buying things locally. When browsing for items, you can filter all results to show only items available at local retail stores within a radius near you. When you "Reserve in Store", you'll be presented with the store finder, at which point you can select a location to reserve your item. The Cart holds both online and offline items for your convenience.
Give & Get learns from your interactions and organizes content to match your behaviours. In my research, I discovered that most users of shopping apps would open their apps when they had a specific need in mind. Things like searching for key words, looking at holiday related items, or browsing specific categories were of highest importance. The home screen was designed to satisfy the majority users, while allowing the casual shopper to still browse recommended items and explore their interests.
Product details in Give & Get show the most important details up front, providing you with things you actually care about. It will also display 3 of the most recent reviews for instant social validation. Give & Get allows users to view the seller's store, and shop directly from their catalog. For added convenience and personalization, they can follow the stores they love, and never miss out on new items and sales.
Have you ever loved a shirt so much, you wanted multiple in different colours? Give & Get allows you to buy multiple item styles in a single purchase, unlike other apps. Simply click on "Item Options" and add a duplicate item, where you can select a different colour and size. When you shop at Give & Get, you're also awarded with coins to spend within the app. More on that later.
Quickly import friends from Facebook, without having to send invites to Give & Get. The app will simply create profiles based on their details so you can shop for them with ease. If a friend is already using Give & Get, the user will be able to view their wishlists, interests and birthday. You can also manually add your friends as well.
Easily view all of your friends' upcoming birthdays and updates to their interests and wishlists. Simply click a profile, and you're given everything you need to shop for your friend. Users can also message their friends to discuss gift ideas and send products directly from Give & Get as reference. In the case that a friend uses Give & Get but doesn't update their interests, you can always add your own to stay on top of things!
Access your wishlist, interests, chat, and more under My Account. You can even customize when you want to recieve notifications for birthdays and holidays. If you're interested in discovering new things, you can try the "Surprise Me" feature under your interests. The cards shown are never affected by your current interests or shopping history, to give the user a fresh and exciting experience with every swipe.
A study conducted by Janrain showed that 74% of users leave the websites that do not show them content relevant to their interest. According to Invesp 56% of online shoppers are more likely to return to a platform that recommends products. People don't like switching apps to finish their tasks and crave a more personalized experience with the technology they use.
Feel free to explore the prototype, but note that there will be screens with defined paths. Try adding a credit card, shopping for men's down jackets, or reserving an item locally.
Click here if you're viewing this on mobile.
NOT A STEP
Give & Get will attract the majority of new users via social media marketing and referrals. The largest social media presence would be Give & Get's official Instagram page. The account will feature new products, contests and promotions to attract Give & Get's primary user base: millenials. Youtube pre-rolls will be put into action with videos under the categories of beauty, product reviews and vlogs. Facebook and Google AdWords may be used as well.
Whether potential users are brought to Give & Get's website, or the app download page, they will be instantly greeted with beautiful visuals and captivating copy. With the help of social media influencers (heroes), they are more willing to download the app just to try it out. When users open the app for the first time, they are presented with the product features and the option to quickly sign up with Facebook or skip sign up entirely. This will allow users to instantly jump into the product and fall in love with the experience.
Key to any successful app, Give & Get makes sure that it's users enjoy using the app and are loyal as well. By introducing the coin system, users are more likely to make purchases here so they can eventually redeem them for products and coupons. As an added incentive, there will be a daily coin collection, which increases with every consecutive collection. Users will stay with Give & Get as it offers both a gift finding service and personal shopping, all in one app (including calendar, messaging, store fronts, etc).
As one of the biggest forms of acquisition, referrals play a huge role in the growth of the product. Generally, products that can drive organic growth win big (think Slack or Dropbox). By introducing a referral rewards system, users earn coins with every successful activation using their referral link. Earning bonus coins when you shop for friends, or connect with them on the app will also incentivize users to spread the word.
Companies can purchase "retail space" within the app to promote their products. In order to maintain a solid user experience, only users with relevant interests/search history will be shown these ads. Companies can also purchase special coupons, ensuring that the best deals for the users will be directed back at the company. Give & Get will also take a small "local finder's fee" where every in-store purchase initialized by Give & Get will receive comission.
As this was my first dive into UX and product design, I encountered many obstacles and opporunities for improvement. One of the most important things I learnt from this project was the importance of an MVP, and why I should never dive into creating over a hundred wireframes from the get-go. The project made me want to learn more about ecommerce and consumer behaviour, and how to tap into the psychology of potential/existing users. In my research, I learnt how important it was to offer a highly personalized experience where users could complete tasks within a single app.