Slavi Kaloferov

eCommerce Expansion of a Website

Task

Create a proof of concept for the eCommerce expansion of the website of Acorn and the Vine Christian Bookshop.

I followed the Lean approach to develop the project.

Freelance Project

Duration

Duration: 4 Months | Oct 2021 – Jan 2022

Role

UX Researcher / Designer

Goals for the Project

  • Test if the expansion is worth the effort to be implemented
  • Identify the key competitive offerings of the bookshop
  • Prove if it can contribute towards strengthening the community of believers in Portsmouth

Development

Understanding the Current State

Stakeholder Interview

I spoke with the bookshop owner, website manager and main salesperson.

Topics covered: 

  • history of the shop and website
  • unique offerings
  • the target audience
  • future plans for the bookshop.

Understanding the target audience

Questionnaire

13 participants (random sample) from the social media channel of the church directly linked to the bookshop.

Participants expressed high receptiveness to the eCommerce idea.

Weakness

Introduced bias due to involving individuals from a single church.

The research design did not account for exploring connections with other churches.

Contextual Inquiry

I spent one day at the shop observing the customers in the shop. Applied think-aloud protocol and follow-up questions based on my observations.

Findings

  • The majority of the customers are female students about to graduate (ages between 22 – 25) shopping for loved ones
  • They are particularly interested in an illustrative style of objects

Weakness – just a day

Refinement of the Target Persona

The initial proto-personas created with stakeholders’ input did not accurately reflect the observed customer base.

Competitive Analysis

Research focus: How do competitor websites display their offerings?

I used the insights to create a tentative information architecture.

Remote Mobile Prototype A/B Usability Testing

The most used device by our audience to shop was the smartphone.

I approached the website design on a mobile-first so that I can focus only on the most important information.

7 participants tested mobile version of the website.

Weakness

Due to the convenience sampling approach, 3 of the participants had partial matches with the user persona, Angela.

Option B demonstrated higher engagement and success during the tests, despite having a higher dropout rate compared to Option A.

Card Sorting

Recruited 3 participants based on the persona profile.

Participants had to group 30 cards with user goals as they see fit. Examples: “” and “”

Finding

The information architecture created by me was very close to the one created by the participants of this exercise.

Weakness

I should have conducted:

  • follow-up interviews with the participants to understand the logic behind the sortings
  • reverse card sorting with other target audience participants to ensure robust findings.

Research through Design

Having a bird’s eye view by printing my various layout designs allowed me to do quick iterations and test more options.

In-person Usability Testing

Recruited different 3 participants matching the user persona profile. On testing they:

  • did a successful item-purchase journey
  • expressed and showcased liking for my proposed design.

Reflection

I realise that working solo introduces biases towards the gathered data. I should have approached my research by attempting to disprove my hypothesis so that I avoid biasing the results.

I missed the goal of connecting communities by not including members of other churches in my research. So, it was not reflected in the final design.

See my Other Projects

Exhibition UX

Improving the User Experience of a Braille exhibition in Aspex gallery, Portsmouth.

Helping People to Live Sustainably

Minimum viable product (app) result of a week-long design sprint.

Self-led Research

Researching the impact of Generative Artificial Intelligence on Art and Design Higher Education.