Technology inherently takes a lot of the humanity away from our shared experience. Here's how to make sure you're not losing the human aspect.
Retro trend boosts demand for vintage products. Even though video shops are gone, record stores are still vital. Our team challenged to create an e-commerce website for a record store on Main street in Vancouver, BC. The goal is to increase social media engagement, create a customized experience for shoppers aside from the basic functionality of an e-commerce website.
The figure shows that record sales are increasing over the last 10 years.
In order to create an engaging website, it must deliver a memorable experience to the users. We also need to take into consideration that in physical stores, there are a lot of users that enjoy browsing and the atmosphere of the environment.
Since there are some record stores on the main street and neighbourhood, we conducted research to check the functionality of their e-commerce website.
Then we go out and visited several record stores on the main street. We talked with record store owners, staff and asked if they can cooperate with our project and allow us to put our survey card on their desks. They were all good people, pleasantly agreed.
After 5 in-depth interviews, we identified the motivations, goals and frustrations of our users. Most users were a student and well educated. Ages were between 25–35. Here are some quotes from users.
We conducted surveys to find out if our interview data would be supported by the survey results. Then we created infographics and affinity diagrams.
We categorized each group into users, values, shopping behaviour, record experience, money, main street experience.
Josh: Josh is a graduate student. He values tactile experience. That is one of the reasons why he likes records. He likes browsing stores, but a higher price setting frustrates him. When he can not find a record that he is looking for, he goes online and looks for it.
We have created a user journey map that shows user’s thinking, doing, touchpoint, experience and feeling in chronological order.
We come up with an idea of a chatbot that brings real in-store experience. Also, a visualizer to give an alternative virtual browsing experience to the users. We have got data to back up this idea.
We started user testing with a paper prototype. During this process, we shortened the checkout process and modified a music player.
We developed our prototype and proceeded to further user testing.
We passed our prototype with our research documents to the UI team to bring it to life. They have done font selection, colour scheme, mood board and inspiration.
Though we were able to work within our scope, there are several areas we want to work further. Firstly, we would like to confirm how much users enjoy the ‘‘experience’’ part of the website when the website comes to life. Secondly, seek the possibility of improvement in design. I surely think after further testing, we will find a solution to make the website better. Lastly, how we can grow the brand identity of the store as well as a tactile experience , one of the hardest things on the web at this point, but as technology advances, the shopping experience on the web will also be getting a satisfying solution.
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