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My Role

Scrum master, initial research, concept ideation, sketching, wireframing, prototyping, visual design, tree testing

Team

Tools

Liz Mak, UX Designer

Ajani Oloye, UX Designer

Google Drive, Trello, Sketch, InVision, Optimal Workshop, Keynote

Duration

3 weeks

Especially Puglia is a startup that seeks to connect customers with independent farmers in CEO Michele ladarola's native Puglia, a region in Southern Italy.

Through adoption programs, customers are able to support their farms in exchange for a variety of Pugliese culinary goods, such as olive oil. cheese, honey and more. Our team was assigned to redesign their website to aid in their customer retention efforts.

THE PROBLEM

Most purchases are one-time gift adoptions and customers are not signing up for recurring subscriptions.

Michele ladarola, the founder and CEO of Especially Puglia, is driven by the mission to bring the Pugliese lifestyle to the United States. However, his establishment was struggline to establish brand affinity and a simplistic user experience.

HOW MIGHT WE

How might we engage users through Especially Puglia's website and content strategy to improve their experience in a way that will build trust and brand loyalty?

SOLUTION

Our team decided to revise the information architecture and work on ways to build upon the current narrative that Especially Puglia is providing to their customers.

The current narrative does a great job of using design and products to foster a connection between their customers and their products, but there is always more that can be done to enhance the experience.

Research 

SCREENER SURVEY

We started off with a screener survey to find users who had experience with subscription boxes.

We asked questions to include people who currently have a subscription to one of these services or had one and canceled. Further, we were interested in speaking with people who purchased a subscription as a gift to better understand this subset of the user base.

USER INTERVIEWS

Our team conducted interviews with 13 individuals, asking them about their general experience with purchasing a subscription box for themselves, and experience as recipients/gift-givers of a box subscription from/for a friend or family member.

In total, we received 20 survey results, but we chose to interview 13 of those respondents. These interviews were done to help us gain insight into the kinds of customer experience that build trust and brand loyalty.

Here are the key insights we discovered from those 13 interviews:

PERSONA & JOURNEY MAP

We used these insights to paint a portrait of the typical user who is gifted a specialty food box subscription.

Jules is educated on sustainability and food sources, but wants to learn more. Her job allows her to afford products that can be on the higher-end of things, but she values quality as well.

From there, we created a journey map to understand what a typical specialty food box subscription recipient goes through, from receiving the gift to subscription renewal. Currently, Jules faces some issues that cause her hesitation to resubscribe, such as inconsistent product quality, poor communication with the brand, a perceived lack of personalization and a lack of personal connection to the brand's mission.

Ideation

CORE FEATURES

Our team prioritized several features for the mobile application, based off of user insights from the interviews.

The features were decided based upon the needs of our user group at different phases of recovery. This process led us to our MVP, and that is the one-to-one chat for support feature.

DESIGN CRITERIA

We identified the key design requirements as a team to ensure we design with the same goals in mind. 

Here are the key design requirements we agreed on:

SKETCHING

Our team conducted 2 rounds of design studio to consolidate our ideas for the essential screens through low-fi sketches.

During design studio, we individually sketched out ideas first. Then, we converged and refined these ideas as a team to create the final layouts for the essential screens, which were the following:

  • Landing screen

  • Registration process

  • Onboarding

  • Survivor's and supporter's landing pages

  • Making a donation

  • One-to-one chat

Design

USER FLOW

Based off of initial feedback, we made changes to the design and brought it to high-fidelity.

When designing at high-fidelity, we focused on creating a harmonious user flow and prioritized the key features from user feedback. The style guide was used as reference.

FEATURE 1 OF 4 – REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR NEW USER  (SURVIVOR-END)

With the users' insights in mind, we shortened the registration process and gave them the ability to prompt an overlay for the additional questions that are relevant to each option.

FEATURE 2 OF 4 – ONBOARDING

To help users with the onboarding, we provided an onboarding guide for a first-time user on the survivor-end. With the users' insights in mind, pictures and color were added to make the 4 buttons more prominent.

FEATURE 3 OF 4 – MAKING A DONATION

Supporters can contribute to a specific event. When making a donation, they are given an option to either make a one-time donation or a monthly monetary donation. This way, they can get involved and stay within their budget.

FEATURE 4 OF 4 – ONE-TO-ONE CHAT

A supporter can give one-to-one emotional support to a survivor through messaging conversations. They are matched according to their wants and needs, which they filled out during the registration process.

USABILITY TESTING 2

Again, our team gathered 5 different participants to test our prototype to gain insight into whether the user flow is intuitive for actual users.

With the high-fidelity prototype, we sought to validate the changes we made to our design based on feedback from the initial user test. The tasks remained the same. Overall, feedback was more positive. We were able to validate our changes and design. However, there was also indication that further revisions need to be made to ensure an intuitive experience for actual users.

Reflection

NEXT STEPS

With Support Link, Jay's desire to help is matched with Laura's need for connection, creating a more sustainable pattern. In order to provide a more intuitive experience for users, like Jay and Laura, our team recognizes that further steps need to be taken.

Some considerations we had include:

  • Focusing on privacy for the screening process and conversations so the appropriate age group will be active on the app

  • Adding accreditation for payment security purposes

  • Improving the process of starting a conversation between two people

  • Planning an eventual iOS app release to fit with the current Red Cross app suite

  • Adding prompts for download on the American Red Cross site

REFLECTION

Developing Support Link was quite a challenge for our team given the sensitive topic.

Personal wants and needs have to be put aside in order to create a genuine experience for the users of our product. At the initial stages, it was difficult to not have our own input about the features, but we were able to overcome that challenge by putting aside our opinions and having an empathetic mindset. This experience made me realize the importance of the users.

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