Personal project completed as part of DesignLab's Capstone Project through their UX Academy.
Cupcaked is a small, local bakery in Clifton, VA offering tasty and innovative sweets. Unfortunately, their outdated website did not reflect their creativity and innovation.
Small business owners wear many hats leaving them with limited resources, often leaving updating their website on the back-burner. Cupcaked needed an updated , responsive website with new features, all while overhauling the aesthetic of their site.
Conducted user research through surveys, interview, and competitive analysis to develop empathy with Instashop's users and establish project goals.
Define and Ideate
Organized and interpreted research findings to begin designing the experience for users, focusing on functionality and usability.
Design and Test
Created low-fi wireframes to test through UsabilityHub and InVision to validate solutions. Create Hi-fi mockups as a representation of solutions.
Planning and Gathering: A Recipe for Success
For small businesses, their brand is everything. This meant that I would have to get to know the brand before moving forward and what people thought of Cupcaked.
I began with a rigorous discovery phase by talking to people to truly understand the problem scope. First, I uncovered what mattered most to customers.
First, I uncovered what matters most to customers in a bakery. The most important factors were: Freshness, Customer Service, Quality, and Taste. First impressions are everything and one bad experience can keep customers from coming back.
Secondly, I identified what customers wanted more of. They were: Up-to-date menus, online ordering, and product photographs. Customers value relevant information.
Surveys are a great tool to compliment other research methods. I used a survey to find out more about our target audience. This survey offered valuable insight into what users wanted from a bakery site that allowed me to develop a minimum viable product.
From the survey, I learned that most people here about bakeshops in 3 ways: friend's recommendations, Yelp, or social media. This means that a solid online presence is a must for even small shops in today's market.
I also discovered that cupcakes are actually not the most popular items when customers go to a bakery, even if cupcakes are that bakeries specialty. Customers almost equally shop for other items, such as: Bread, cookies, cakes, donuts. This is especially important because on Cupcaked's current site, the "More Sweets" section is a blank page. This page would have to be updated to attract more customers.
Next, I was able to determine what users expected to find a a bakeshop website in order to develop criteria for a minimum viable product. The most important criteria were: Menus, Hours & Location, Contact Info, Online Ordering, and Pictures. Almost all of those surveyed stated that they would order baked goods online, but freshness and getting products that look like how they are advertised is are crucial to a store's reputation.
I ran a series of interviews with 3 potential users of Cupcaked's current site to gain empathy with them by asking them about their experiences, goals, and attitudes towards the current site. I used lookback to record their thoughts. This offered valuable insight into what were the most important problems to tackle first.
I used lookback to record my user tests and interview. View full recording here: Cupcaked User Test . (I would skip ahead to minute 5, it can be a little awkward for users at the beginning.)
Responsive Design: The Missing Ingredient
While giving the Cupcaked site a complete makeover, I faced another key problem: The current site was not mobile responsive. This was major since over 50% of all traffic comes from mobile devices. This was an opportunity to focus my design efforts towards creating a responsive site.
Designing a responsive site was not an option. Failing to have a non-responsive site can lead to loss of potential sales. This made responsive design priority number one.
Constraints Fuel Creativity
Redesigning an outdated site can be exciting, but the absence of constraints can lead to chaos. Initial Research showed that I would be dealing with some major constraints due to the lack of resources that small business have. It also uncovered must-have features, targeted on simplicity and being easy to update.
The major constraints I would be dealing with were that the site needed to reflect the charm of the shop, but be easy to update even for someone without a technical background. This meant the site would need to be simple while still being functional and aesthetically pleasing.
I generated many ideas that would add value to Cupcaked's site, but they would take valuable resources that were not available. I had to leave those ideas behind for now and focus on the features that were the most important.
These constraints gave me a narrow focus allowing me to channel my energy into creating that most effective solution.
Taking the key learnings from earlier stages combined with user research, I designed a new key screens for Cupcaked's new site. The user-centered approach aided in creating a new design focused on simplicity.
This gave me the building blocks from which to build the final design solutions. I started sketching lo-fi wireframes and prototypes, validating them through user testing before designing the final screens.