pretty parlor

Client: Pretty Parlor (Student Project at General Assembly)

Year: 2017

Time: 2 week sprint

Roles: User Researcher & Designer

Goal: Create an option for Pretty Parlor customers to make purchases online

Software: Omnigraffle, Adobe Illustrator, and Invision


Pretty Parlor_Challenge_Solution

THE OPPORTUNITY

Pretty Parlor is a vintage boutique in Seattle, Washington selling vintage women's and men's clothing as well as vintage bridal. Pretty Parlor has a website providing information about the store, but does not actually sell any items on the website, instead it links offsite to an Etsy store.

Pretty Parlor would greatly benefit from adding e-commerce to the existing website. This would keep customers and revenue on the site and help to strengthen the customer base. A unique aspect of Pretty Parlor's business is the true vintage bridal. Most vintage stores do not have bridal, and most vintage stores are in actuality vintage-inspired and not actually true vintage.

The current website would benefit from reorganization. Assessing the site architecture and helping it to be intuitive for customers will increase the usability of the site. Currently, there are links to pages that have different naming conventions and links missing in expected places. Customers might not be able to find the information they’re looking for on the website without searching each page.

 

 
 “Our customers have a kindred spirit for nostalgia. They want to be unique, shop off the beaten path.”  —Anna Banana, owner
“Our customers have a kindred spirit for nostalgia. They want to be unique, shop off the beaten path.”
—Anna Banana, owner

The Stakeholder

An interview with Anna, the owner of Pretty Parlor, provided some insight into Anna's business goals, the history of Pretty Parlor, and the shop's clientele.

  • Hopes to add e-commerce to the website, currently only using Etsy for online sales.

  • Wants to differentiate the vintage items from the vintage reproductions.

  • Is excited about the store expansion to include vintage Bridal.

 

The CUrrent WEbSite

Problem 1: Pretty Parlor's navigation menu has a number of unnecessary pages, redundancies, and inconsistencies which is difficult for users to navigate.

Problem 2: Pretty Parlor does not currently have a way to sell merchandise on the website so they link to Etsy where they have a store. This is bad for the business because it takes users away from Pretty Parlor's site (exposing users to easy views of other shops) and Pretty Parlor pays a fee to list items and loses a cut of the profits to Etsy. 

Problem 3: The Bridal Boutique Page is a page dedicated to linking the user to other pages for information on the Boutique, rather than having the information on the Boutique. There is currently no way for a user to look at any Bridal merchandise before coming into the store, which means many potential customers will end their search of Pretty Parlor at this point.


The User

For the Pretty Parlor redesign, we were tasked to choose from 3 personas. I chose Danielle as my primary persona, because I felt that her desire for a vintage wedding dress matched Anna's business goals of increasing sales and highlighting the newer addition of the vintage bridal boutique. 

Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 6.42.06 PM.png

RESEARCH

 

competitive Analysis

Pretty Parlor stands out from the competition because they sell true vintage (not just "vintage inspired") products; this is especially unique of bridal merchandise. Most businesses are not selling true vintage, most “vintage” stores are really only selling vintage inspired designs. Bridal shops are not typically selling vintage.

Etsy (where Pretty Parlor currently has a shop) is the closest fit to Pretty Parlor’s niche because someone can find true vintage items. However, on Etsy customers cannot try on clothing until it’s purchased, which is not ideal for many customers, especially regarding wedding dresses.

For Danielle there is only one store fitting her wedding dress wishes, Pretty Parlor. Pretty Parlor is a local show allowing her a chance to try on dresses before purchase and it’s a small business so she can know exactly where her money is going.

Asset 1.png
 

comparative Analysis

I focused most of my comparative analysis on certain features of a few e-commerce clothing sites. I looked primarily at what sorts of links and features can be found on the global elements (See tables on header and footer elements). Additionally, I compared page elements for product specifics and the checkout process with several different retail sites including Amazon.


Design

 

USER FLow

Flow 1: Make a bridal appointment.

Project 2 User Flow.png

Flow 2: Product Search

Project 2 User Flow.png

Flow 3: Purchase Product

Project 2 User Flow.png

sketches & WIREFRames

A main area of focus during my designing was establishing a clear product page format for the Pretty Parlor site, since the website doesn't already have an e-commerce aspect to the site so this would be an important addition to clearly establish an e-commerce standard. 

Keeping the same feel of the original website, I sketched out different layouts for the product page essentials. I focused on what content would be necessary/expected based on user needs and expectations and overall easy to navigate. 

Flow 1: Make a bridal appointment.

Flow 2: Product Search

Flow 3: Purchase Product 


iteration

 

usability testing

I asked users to complete 3 tasks: 1) Make a bridal appointment, 2) Product Search, and 3) Purchase Product.

My most extensive changes occurred with the Product page:

  1. Addition of navigation for Search, User's Account, Favorite List, and Shopping Bag/Cart. Each of these navigation elements are ether necessary or standard for e-commerce websites.

  2. Moved additional images of a product below the main image viewer. User feedback suggested this would allow the page to be more scannable.

  3. Addition of Quantity Selector for items to purchase (this is important for reproduction items, as vintage would only have 1 available) and addition of a "Make An Appointment" Call to Action/Button for bridal products as an additional way to remind future brides about available Pretty Parlor resources.

  4. Containing details about a product in a scrollable box, which has a separate tab for measurements. This allows for consistency with pages even with variations in quantity of text for different items and the 2 tabs focus on the main interests of the user, quick sizing info and specific details on the product.

  5. Addition of suggested items for users looking at this product.

  6. Changed the "See More" to an arrow. This will take up less space (require less scrolling), and maintain visual consistency with the page.


results

  • These designs were only spec work and have not been implemented on the Pretty Parlor website. 

  • It would take a lot of time and resources to implement these designs and begin selling merchandise online. At this time Anna is currently busy running the shop and does not have the time or personnel to fully implement e-commerce.