Giving an online visibility to a local music store

The Brief

This week’s project was about creating an e-commerce website for a local store. All groups chose very different topics and my team (Eunate Mayor, yangyang and myself) went to this music store around the corner which just happened to be a great idea for us because we have a lot of musicians in our friends and families (already thinking about the next phase…)

Getting to know our users

Over the weekend we managed to do 8 interviews to get all the qualitative data we needed and then completed that with an online survey for quantitative data. We decided to do this that way this time because we already had a specific panel of musicians that we could contact and they were all semi-professional / professional ones so we wanted to understand their habits and needs first and then confirm tendencies with a more general survey.

Also at that time of the process it was appropriate to get to know the market and competitors, both local and global. Our own research was completed with the survey answers regarding which sites musicians are used to visit when they purchase online.

After downloading all the data we had thanks to an Affinity diagram session we managed to get to our persona:

Nico struggles with the fact that he buys specific music products, looks for the latest keyboard models, and wants to test them before buying them. That explains why he doesn’t buy online that often. But even if the store is close to where he lives, they don’t offer the same choices than online and he doesn’t always have time to go there.

Defining the problem statement

So How Might We help Nico buy the right music product online without feeling frustrated of testing it beforehand?

Coming up with ideas

In the group we all had a lot of ideas that we expressed thanks to Crazy 8’s sessions that we knew from last week but also two more called Worst Possible Idea and Round Robin. All very efficient ways to get ideas out of your brain onto a piece of paper and eventually into solution propositions.

From there we worked on the Site Map and tested it thanks to Card Sorting with 4 users whom helped us confirm some main categories ideas and gave us insights on how to organise subcategories mostly. They helped us also with how to call of each one of them for the navigation to be smooth and consistent for the customer.

Then we spent quite some time on the mapping of the Task analysis and User Flow and thought about all the decisions Nico would have to make during his path through our website.

So we know that the brief was to make the customer go online to purchase a product but musicians especially have a hard time buying things without testing them because it’s all about sensations, touch and sound. Mostly what is a priori difficult to replicate on screen.

So the idea for us was to actually offer an online platform clear enough for Nico to find the right product all along giving him the possibility to buy a Try-At-Home service.

The Try-At-Home service allows customers like Nico to receive the product at his place and to be able to test it during 10 days. After what he can return what he doesn’t want to keep and will only be charged with what he decided to buy. If nothing suited him, he won’t be paying anything.

So this was our main solution but we also thought a lot about what kind of features would be best on a e-commerce platform for Nico to have the best experience possible. From our research we knew that categories and product description would be the main areas to work on because that’s where the buying decision is made. It’s all the more true for musicians who are looking for very precise things. So the least we could offer Nico was a very detailed product page with a lot of HD pictures, 360° view of the product and of course demo videos for them to hear how it sounds like. Ratings play also a great role because they can get customers to buy one product more than the other and it’s something musicians refer to a lot.

Sketching down our ideas on paper and testing our prototype

So enough talking let’s draw a low-fi paper wireframes that we would next get into a paper prototype for our users to test. The brief for the 6 users we met was:

You are a semi-professional keys player and you want to order a new keyboard online with the Try-At-Home option.

What they all told us was of great value because it allowed us to get insights and iterate. Mostly what went well was that they felt the process was fluid, quick and easy to understand but the Try-At-Home service as we displayed it at first was confusing and they felt like they were missing some hidden information. So from there we thought about other ways to display the Try-At-Home service in order to reassure customers and explain them step-by-step how it works.

Conclusion & Next Steps

The project concluded on this iteration but of course others would be needed and we thought of some cool next steps:

  • Getting to know amateur customers to take into account their needs
  • Integrating a chatbot and demo webinars to offer even more support and help to the customers
  • Developing the Who What When feature which consists in indicating on a product description Who is playing this instrument and When for potential customers to be able to go to the event and hear how it sounds and maybe play it live with the other musicians. That would also be of great value for the community.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think :)

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Ella Forté

Ella Forté

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Product Designer based in Paris. Huge fan of Friends. How you doin?