Handkrafted – desktop web feature
Handkrafted is a Sydney based startup that provides an online marketplace connecting customers with makers to commission handmade goods. They currently only loosely facilitate interactions between their customers and makers. During this project, our brief was:
To provide an automated online mechanism to handle interactions between Handkrafted customers and makers, ensuring the outcome is aligned to the current site design.
This was a two week long, group project (as part of the General Assembly User Experience Design Immersive 2014) involving Myself, Len Williams and Igor Fastovski from General Assembly. My role involved conducting an initial content audit, competitor research, forming a scenario, creating personas, task analysis, user research, creating sketches and wireframes, and client meeting preparation and presentation.
Content Audit & Competitor Research
A content audit was conducted on the Handkrafted website and placed into a spreadsheet, helping us to understand the current content of the website. We also conducted competitor research for Handkrafted's main competitors in order to understand how others are solving the problem of managing customer and maker communication.
To better understand the steps that a customer and maker would go through using the Handkrafted website, I drew a flow analysis containing both perspectives on the process.
Throughout our project and at key stages in the design process we had meetings (check-ins) with the Handkrafted owners Phil Martin and Fred Kimel. The feedback we received from these check-ins helped us make important design decisions and ensured we were meeting both the users' and business's needs.
Our user research involved contacting our key user types (both a maker and customer) and asking a series of questions related to their experiences with Handkrafted. We gathered valuable insights from both types about how they currently managed the process of communication between each other when building a project.
From our user research we created a scenario from the perspective of a Handkrafted customer (Jenna) outlining in detail how she uses the Handkrafted website to communicate with a maker (Chris) to have a bookcase built.
A persona was created for each the customer (Jenna) and maker (Chris). We built these personas based on our user research and also from information gathered from our initial client check-in. These personas helped us to better understand each users needs and motivations.
After conducting user research and formulating both a scenario and personas, we began to generate ideas around what kind of content our solution would contain. This task analysis involved mapping out our ideas using post-its, discussing the relevance of each and placing them into different stages.
Ideation & Sketching
After gaining a better idea of what information was required within our solution, we began to sketch out wireframes, first individually, then as a group taking each others ideas and combining them into a set of wireframes which we presented to the client at different check-ins.
Taking into consideration the feedback we received during check-ins with Handkrafted, we made significant changes to our original sketches. The above image shows some of the major changes made from an early sketch I did of the My Projects area.
Sitemap & Structure Breakdown
From ideation and sketching we began to better understand where our solution would sit within the current Handkrafted website (being part of the initial brief). These images show a site-map I put together, as well as a breakdown of the information architecture in our proposed solution for Handkrafted.
Final Wireframes & Prototype
After validating our low-fi wireframes in a final check-in with Phil and Fred, we went ahead and created digital wireframes and a clickable prototype of our solution. The above wireframes were created in Prototyper and are from a makers perspective once logged-in to Handkrafted.
Results & Presentation
The final stage of our project involved presenting our work and process in a presentation to both Phil and Fred. Igor also demonstrated a click-through version of our prototype onscreen helping to illustrate the functionality of our solution.
In summary, this project gave us the opportunity to meet what Handkrafted needed out of a more automated online mechanism to handle interaction and to also learn and provide a solution for what Handkrafted's users wanted; a way to connect with high-quality woodworkers (Jenna the customer), and a way to be connected with a continued stream of potential customers (Chris the maker)