The Consortium operates several websites aimed at different market sectors, so whatever solution we came up with needed to have a common design language that could be rolled out across all their sites, delivering a unified brand identity. They wanted a complete refresh for their existing desktop sites, and most importantly, a new site designed for mobile users.But first we had to know what The Consortium’s customers needed from an online platform. What would make their life easier, and what would they use? The platform would need to cater to two main customer segments – teachers and education professionals who needed to browse and save products in lists, and procurement staff who would usually make the final transaction. We needed a solution that linked these two parts of the process seamlessly, and we would have to build user experience research into our design process.
We understood early on in this project that a successful redesign was going to be all about understanding some very specific customer needs. So we proposed a different approach to anything The Consortium had done previously, one that relied on an agile design process with prototyping, user testing and close collaboration built in from the start and throughout.
The Consortium were excited by this approach, so we dived in, teaming up with creative branding agency Phoenix Wharf and Magento ecommerce specialists The Pixel to deliver a complete solution. We worked collaboratively, first in a two-week discovery phase to engage senior stakeholders to get a company-wide perspective on the existing website, and then in a series of five two-week sprints, feeding back ongoing user testing into the design process throughout.
This agile design process included several bespoke research tools:
A Feature Definition and Creative workshop to give the design a clear direction and establish which features would have the largest customer and business impact. A segmentation study of the potential audiences to help build resonance through the design process.Telephone interviews and industry-led testing with existing consumers to validate design decisions throughout the development.
At the end of our agile design process we delivered a full 15-page refresh of The Consortium’s e-commerce website on time and on budget, from a revamped homepage to a streamlined checkout,
with a series of complex product pages in-between, all developed through user validation. The results after launch were clear-cut: 700% increase in mobile sales An overall net promoter score to 90 after tracking throughout the project.
A 25% increase in conversion of online sales through the desktop and mobile websites. And as icing on the cake, our website design for The Consortium has been nominated for an eCommerce Award for Excellence in the B2B category.
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