Art and Soul Beads Logo

User
Research

Part a —
Customer Insight

I was hired by Emily, owner of Art & Soul Beads- a small craft jewelry boutique, to re-design her website and update the software, improve the overall buyer experience, and run her email marketing campaigns. To begin we needed to understand a few things about Art & Soul's current customer base.

To collect that information we used surveys, social media polls, conducted in-person interviews, and studied the store's analytics.

This is what we were trying to understand:
  • Where did they find value when they bought from us?
  • Where else were they shopping?
  • What were their goals when they shopped?
  • When buying beads online what did they find frustrating about their experiences?

Once we had collected answers to those questions we created three persona's which represented discreet groups of buyers.

Art and Soul Beads Personas

Customer Personas

Surveys

We surveyed our customers a few times between 2013 - 2015. Our primary goal was to collect feedback regarding ease of use after a design refresh of the website and satisfaction with product selection.

Interviews

While I was at the store in Lousiville, KY we had customers come in and demonstrate task-based exercises on our website to highlight pain points. We discovered issues with our check-out process and the overall Information Architecture.

— A checkout process diagram

Polls

We used Facebook to poll our customers about our marketing, products, services, and their experiences while using our online store.

Analytics

Maximizing sales drove us to test pages regularly with A/B split testing with Google Analytics Experiments. The changes that made the cut increased sales incrementally by .5% - 2%.

Part b —
Strategy Doc

Creating a list of business goals is the first step in creating a strategy document. We defined what the current goals were for the online store:

Business Goals
  • Increase sales by 10%
  • Expand email subscriptions by 10%
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Grow the business's Facebook presence
Customer Goals

The second step of creating a strategy document is collecting user goals. Those goals were collected from in-person interviews and email surveys:

  • Purchase unique beads
  • Save money on bulk orders
  • Easily find products
"Our customers were jewelry designers who want to buy unique gems at a low price"

Branding
& Visual

Part a —
branding
2011+
2015+
Part b —
Style Guide
Primary Background
#FFFFFF

RGB(255, 255, 255)

Primary Action
#00A99D

RGB(0, 169, 157)

Secondary Background
#E2E2E2

RGB(226, 226, 226)

Action Background, Primary Text
#1A1A1A

RGB(26, 26, 26)

Titles
Magnesite Green
Links
Connector Round-16KGP-M
Categories
New Products
Paragraphs
Funky Bangle Bracelets will...

Open Sans — Sans Serif

Weights — 300, 400, 600, 700, 800

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abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

Roboto Slab — Serif

Weights — 100, 300, 400, 700

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Photography by Nicholas Cole
Part c —
Visual Design

We worked through changes to the website on an iterative basis often based on analytics and A/B testing. Roughly every 12 months we would revamp the home page and some interior pages after which we would continue to refine with user testing, A/B testing, and from information based on page Analytics.

2011
Changes

  • 11
  • New Brand Mark, Brand Typography, and Brand Colors
  • New Shopsite E-commerce Template
  • New Checkout Experience

2012
Changes

  • 12
  • New Marketing Strategy; WordPress Blogging, Constant Contact Email Marketing, and a focus on Facebook Posts
  • Introduction of Bootstrap 2
  • Store Templates
Art and Soul Beads Concepts
Art and Soul Beads Concepts

2013
Changes

  • 13
  • Introduction of Boostrap 3
  • Style Guide; A Branding document unified design patterns across all Sale channels.
  • Pattern Library; A code repository which helped reduce the stores code by as much as 200kb per page.
  • Optimized Cards

2014
Changes

  • 14
  • CDN Intergration
  • Pages Optimized based on Speed tests
  • Models & Copyrighters
Art and Soul Beads Concepts
mood board

A mood board is a tool that helps a business owner share their opinion in a visual way by finding websites they shop or like with the designer. Emily was focused on finding examples that had great customer experiences and a minimalistic style which focused on simple product presentation.

This gave me some a general course when considering overall art direction and the creation of the concept.

2015
Changes

  • 15

Using the mood board as a reference along with the updated business goals, and updated goals from our customers, I sat down to redesign the entire online store.

Our focus now was on several product types. The branding and social strategies were changed to fit Emily's personality.

We tested the new templates and after a few iterations, we launched our new customer-focused experience.

  • New Brand Mark, New Brand Colors, and New Brand Email Templates
  • Heavy focus on SEO
  • New Code and Templates across all Templates for Shopify
Art and Soul Beads Home Layout
— Mobile Experience

The analytics for the online store were showing us that over 60% of the traffic for Art & Soul Beads was mobile-based. To make some of the most popular areas of the website more accessible I created a small menu which would only appear for a mobile user.

Art and Soul Beads Mobile Layout
Photography by Amy Bunel

Marketing
& Sales

Part a —
e-book

As part of our effort to expand Art & Soul Beads brand awareness in the beading industry as well as expand our email marketing reach, we created an eBook which featured more than 10 tutorials which Emily had published on her blog between 2013 to 2014.

To drive customer acquisition we:

  1. Gave out the eBook to Art & Soul's current subscribers
  2. Created a landing page to capture new subscriptions
  3. Included the eBook link in all marketing emails
  4. Added an eBook link to the store and blog pages
  5. Added the eBook to the iTunes store
Art and Soul Beads Concepts
Part b —
Responsive Email Newsletter

Initially, we sent an email to our subscribers once a month. We increased that number initially to twice a week, then to once a week. After each change, we saw some churn. Once we changed strategies, we started to see acquisition outpace the churn rate by 200%

Art and Soul Beads Screens
Each week our emails covered:
New Products
Monthly Sales
New Online Classes
New Local Classes

Art
& Soul

Conclusion