Online Sports Store That Moves The Community
This concept project was based on MOVE, a local sports store in London, with a dynamic, young, and buzzing community. The brief of this project was to design MOVE’s website and to translate the vibrancy that their customers experience in their physical store into their online shop.
To understand the industry and market and to see how MOVE could set themselves apart, I undertook research of both large-scale and local online competitors, conducting both feature and task analyses. Many useful insights arose, as well questions consider myself throughout the design process.
Feature Analysis — Large Online Stores
- Each seemed to follow a similar navigation layout and categorisation
- Aesthetics are very important
- Large stores generally do not specialise
- Some websites felt overwhelming
- How could you make it easier to find items?
- Do deals help?
- Do users like specialist shops?
- Do they offer anything different?
Feature Analysis — Local Online Sport Stores
- How aesthetics can really put a user off a website
- If the navigation goes over 2 lines it looks messy
- Smaller stores often specialise
- They tend to only offer a small range
- Why would one shop at a local store rather than larger ones?
- Do local stores offer more personal options?
- Do users go for specialty?
I conducted a task analysis of both a large sports store, Sports Direct and a small local sports store, Alton Sports. The journey highlighted key frustrations such as the overall busyness of a website, how products are categorised and how products can be filtered.
I produced a screener/survey to find interviewees in MOVE’s target audience as well as to gain some statistical information and have a better understanding of the ways people generally buy sportswear and equipment.
Insights from Screener
- Majority of people shopped at Amazon or large sports stores rather than local
Questions to ask?
- Why do people prefer to shop with Amazon?
- Why would people choose to shop locally?
After conducting 5 user interviews, I affinity mapped the responses to identify the key insights:
- Organisation is key
- Next day delivery is expected
- Photography is important
- Sizing is an issue in sportswear
- Local = community and ask HMW we achieve this online?
- Like recommendations/reviews
After compiling all my research insights, I shaped the persona ‘Anya Smith’ to represent the overall user wants, needs and pain points to help create the best website for MOVE.
The research and creating Anya gave rise to the following problem statement:
With Anya in mind, I generated an in-depth user journey to pinpoint the highs and lows that Anya might face as she goes through any sportswear site.
I considered ‘how might we’ statements for each action and feeling and this led to the following key HMW statements:
To begin the development, I had to bear in mind the following summarised insights found during the discover and defining stage:
With these in mind, it led to the development of the information architecture of the website. I received the MOVE inventory list and, using Trello, I organised a Card sorting with 6 people to identify possible categories.
This was a useful task as it revealed that I needed to have women, men, and accessories categories and also to arrange products into types of sports. This led to the flowing site map and user flow:
I began sketching variations of the home page, the dropdown of the global navigations and the product listing page to make sure I explored all the possible options that would improve Anya’s experience.
After approving the best sketches and using the site map and user flow, I created a user flow with the final sketches. These were tested with 4 users to identify improvements.
This then developed into the following wireframes which were tested a further 4 times to verify if the flow made sense and to see if it met Anya’s needs. The testing of this prototype resulted in the following insights:
Once these insights were added to the wireframe, I then began to visualise the branding of the MOVE website. The characteristics I chose were bold, artistic, sporty and vibrant, and the following two mood boards were produced as inspiration.
I trialled a variation of colour schemes and design aesthetics, focusing on powerful photography and ultimately merged the tone of the 2 mood boards. The visual design progression of the homepage is shown below:
After the research, defining, developing and testing stages, I produced the following high-fidelity prototype and presented it to my cohort.
- Further usability testing with potential MOVE customers to observe their reaction and make improvements
- Really focus on community aspect of the persona
- Make a Fit Finder (Where the user can add Height/weight and sizes from other brands to suggest the size)
- Make it less busy
- Make it more friendly and local as it felt somewhat intimidating similar to a large online store
- Ensure that the square photos look clickable
To summarise this project, my brief was to design a website for a local sports store called MOVE. Through research, I discovered I had to design a vibrant website and that there was a real need to facilitate a community aspect. I achieved this by having a ‘Community’ feature in the navigation. The dropdown menu to expand on the Community feature showed upcoming events, ways to get involved with the community, sports clubs in the area and encouragement to shop local. The overall flow of the website was thoroughly tested to create the easiest route for my persona ,Anya, to buy trainers. I believe I achieved a dynamic website that fulfilled the brief and helped Anya to have the option to get involved with her community.
Key Learnings and Takeaways
I need to recognise what can be achieved during a small timeframe. Even though the research suggested a focus on sizing and the community, the brief was to create a functioning website and that needed to be my priority during the 2-week sprint. I found that it is ok when there is such a short time frame to have hints of where these features will be placed and for these features to be investigated in the next sprint.
I really enjoyed the interview process for this project as it was interesting to understand why the majority of people shop with Amazon rather than locally, and the interviews helped raise my awareness of the benefits to shopping locally.
Furthermore, I was inspired by this project as I love sports and a sportswear and one day, I would like to peruse a UX Design career in this industry.