UX and Me
User experience design is essential to help understand the user’s behaviour. In addition, the user experience allows us to create products more accessible. According to Don Norman, in the article on the definition of user experience, the author highlight that the first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the customer’s exact needs without fuss or bother. Therefore, the UX design process consists of five main steps: Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. Each of these steps has different exercises that we will develop to integrate a positive user experience.
One bullet point was that UX is not designed for us. Instead, we are designed for the users, and first, we need to understand the problem we want to solve. So first, we must understand our customer’s needs in the small website project. One of the phrases highlighted during the meeting with the client was that We sell local products for local people. We need to accentuate that this bakery is located in a small town in England where the buyers are regular customers who have known the bakery for years.
Another critical point is that the owner requires targeting a new audience to be more open to young people. That’s why the website needs to reach more people and be more accessible and easy to use for older customers.
The answer is how we can reach the different goals and make things clear using research experience design.
One of the first steps in design thinking is to empathise. How can we do this? We need to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes. We can do this through interviews, surveys, group activities. This is the first step in our project. After figuring out customers needs, we define the problem. Then, we ideate an idea, prototype it, test it out, and collect all the feedback. Empathise and define.
The first step to UX research is observation, understanding and analysis. In the image that we have beloved created by Christian Rohrer, he explains the different types of research, from resource-intensive usability lab studies to email surveys. The author divided by attitudinal and behavioural the difference between these two terms is what people say versus what people do. Therefore, we can define attitudinal research as understanding people’s beliefs. The article of MBA school explains Attitudinal Research is a user-experience research method used to realise a respondent’s opinions, beliefs, feelings or thoughts.
On the other hand, behavioural research understands what people do with a particular product or service. According to the user testing website, behavioural research will tell you what’s happening, while attitudinal research helps explain why it’s happening. Always keep in mind that what users say and what users do are often different.Qualitative methods are more suitable for answering questions about the why and the how-to-fix a problem, and quantitative research methods have a better performance in answering how many and how much. First, we need to understand the different methods of analysis we have in the UX research process.
Refining the goals for the website project will help clarify what we intend to achieve during this process and understand what the user needs are through research. Therefore, a questionnaire for setting research objectives was one of the exercises that helped refine the goals we wanted to develop. In addition, the questionnaire will allow us to navigate the different steps we need to go through to establish a good research process. The scenario we have is the information we have through the interviews with the client for the small website project. With the information we have and research, we can reply to these questions below.
Why are we doing this? What impact do we hope to achieve?
We are doing this to gain more visibility and impact our customers. One of the main aims is to discover if building a website will positively impact the bakery business. The users will easily navigate the website and reach new people through this system.
What do we want to learn?
We want to learn about our user’s needs and offer a solution for the users’ demands. For example, we can create a website to find the shop’s opening times and more information.
What do we think we know?
The information that we have before starting our UX research is the information that the owner of the shop gives to us at the beginning of the project.
They have local customers who are already going to shop for our fresh products every day. One of the main reasons for creating the website is to attract more people, a younger audience, and gain visibility in front of the competitive supermarkets. After the pandemic, many businesses started building websites to sell their services online. We know that creating a website for a small business will help reach more audiences and promote the service.
What do we think will happen?
The hypothesis is that building the website will help the business gain an audience, such as tourists visiting the small town. A younger audience who reach everything online, or maybe a more extensive business as an example a food catering that they can order our delicious cakes.
How will we know when it’s proven?
We will know when it is demonstrated an increase in our sales and the number of visits on our website if we gain more new customers than our loyal customers and have positive feedback from our loyal customers about the website.
Who is our target audience for this research?
The target audience for our research can be divided. For example, we want to attract younger people through the website while giving a. better services for our loyal customers to have direct access to our products and information.
What current research exists? E.g. analytics, market research, past insights.
This is the first time we are doing a website for the bakery business. The only information that we have are the sales of the store, perhaps we can research as a reference another small business that has a website, and we can study if the sales are higher or have any benefit.
Mike Kappel wrote an article about a small business strategy to increase sales. He explains the benefits of creating a website for a small business. He said that Traditional sales methods could help you generate sales. But don’t forget to take advantage of modern-day technology in your efforts. One of the most apparent benefits of having a small business website is that it enables people to find you online and quickly get in touch with you. The Internet helps you reach a more extensive customer base and communicate uniquely. He clarifies that you can build customer relationships by creating an easy-to-use website, presenting clear contact information, and providing excellent customer service.
According to the article written for Susan ward, 88.5% of people are internet users. All of this means that there are a whole lot of eyeballs that could be visiting and interacting with your small business’s website – if you had one. We know that having a website will improve people’s knowledge about the bakery business and reach a younger audience. We know that the new generation is more connected to sites and social media every day. Our challenge is getting them interested in the traditional bakery shop and catching their attention.
The research methods or methodology that I will use are desk research, competitive analysis and interviews. These are the methods I will use to conduct the bakery website project.
Desk research is a method with two areas: primary research and secondary research. Primary research is when you conduct the research yourself, for example, observation, surveys, interviews. Secondary research is the research that someone else has done before, for example, news articles, videos. The primary goal of the secondary research is to collect the data to understand the problem. What are we trying to solve?
In agreement with David Travis in the article for the website user focus, he explains that Desk research is not about collecting data. Instead, your role as a user researcher carrying out desk research is to review previous research findings to gain a broad understanding of the field.
- Small business on the website
- how to reach a younger audience
- How to save the planet with your bakery business
Aurelia Lambrecht’s explains in her blog that whenever someone is looking for something, they will Google the answer. Whenever someone comes across a new business, they will Google it for more information. If someone is looking for a baker in your area, you want someone to find you first when they Google it. We have clarified that the bakery needs a website, but we need to research how it is accessible and functional.
We know that our target audience can reach different generations, the website needs to be user friendly. The article written by Lexie Lu explains eight ways to make your website more user friendly. We can use these tricks to reach our goal of creating a user-friendly website.
- Listen to Your Users. The first trick is to listen to your regular customers on what their needs are missing from the bakery. For example, allergy guidance, opening timetables and more. If we want to reach a young audience, we can ask some local students how can we get that goal, maybe creating discounts on the website or easy recipes.
- Speed It Up. The bakery website is attached with many images about our seasonal products and can make the website very slow. One of the pieces of advice is to optimise the images to speed your site.
- Provide In-Depth Information. All the information about the bakery and the products should be easy to find. Otherwise, the users will get frustrated for not finding the information.
- Make Navigation Intuitive. The advice that Lexie Lu explains in the article is that the navigation bar is essential because it follows the site visitor throughout their journey on your site and serves as a tool to go back to the landing page.
- Choose Colour Carefully. Colour is fundamental for design to find the perfect balance for the traditional bakery business. The owner has a predominant colour that represents her brand. Dark red
- Improve Your Site Layout. About 80% of internet users own a smartphone, and they are spending more and more time accessing the Internet via their phones. That is why having a layout that can work on any device similar to laptops or tablets is necessary.
- Pay Attention to CTAs. In fact, for the bakery website, it should be a button highlighting the subscription to the news of the bakery or any subscription to weekly delivery. It is essential that the user can reach the button on the first layout of the page.
- Beef Up Your Contact Pag. The traditional bakery should have a contact page with the email and a phone number to be easy to reach from your customers via phone or WhatsApp.
All these ways are helpful for the site and the UI design of the website, but we are thinking at the same time about users. That is why I find it necessary to explain the different ways that can help us to create a user-friendly site.
We know that our loyal customers care about the environment. We do as well. That’s why in the traditional bakery, we are looking for solutions to reduce plastic one of the solutions that we will promote on the website is the use of ethical products. For example, our packing is 100% recyclable. That’s why we give a discount if you bring your bread bag. Reusing your packing when you shop is easy to reduce your environmental impact. One of the eco-friendly products that you can use is the Reusable Bread Bag, made from up to 10x recycled plastic drink bottles and designed to replace single-use paper or plastic bread bags, plastic toggles, and ties. According to an article written by Richard Gray, he explains that Coca-Cola, for example, produces 38,250 tonnes of plastic packaging in the UK each year, and estimates indicate it sells more than 110 billion single-use plastic bottles globally. So one of the bullets points for the site is to promote a way to reduce the plastic impact on the environment.
Following the article Benchmarking: A Tool for Sharing and Cooperation. Benchmarking is defined as the process of measuring products, services, and strategies against those of organisations known to be leaders in one or more aspects of their operations. In other words, benchmarking is the cation of research about other competitors websites to figure out what are they doing well and their marketing strategies.
After researching different websites about bakery companies and sustainability sites, I found three websites that are the inspiration for this project LOAF, Days bakery and Paul Rhodes bakery for the traditional bakery. The reasons for choosing this website are that there are easy to navigate through the site, the information is clear and easy to reach the contact details. As a user of these three websites, I can review them well. The experience of navigating the sites is user friendly and smooth.
On their website, you can access recipes, voucher discounts, and all the information about the bakery the last news. The website is simple but works very well with the business. All the data is gathered in a way that is easy to find. You can create an account with them and purchase your products.
The Days Bakery is a brand of gourmet bakery. On their website, you can find different products with their prices displayed as a menu. The brand identity of the bakery is well demonstrated on their site with the correct typography and colours. The bakery’s story is easy to find about sustainability, contact, and location.
Paul Rhodes Bakery
The Paul Rhodes Bakery is a site designed to create an experience. The images on the front page make you buy their products straight away. All the information about the business is easy to find. They respect all the branding on their website. One of the things that I can highlight is that they show you the ingredients that their products are made. You cannot purchase any product online, but you can visit the store. The information about the location and the map is on the site.
The following steps are the interviews typically done one by one between the researcher and the user. In this case, it will be beneficial for the bakery business to ask one of the local customers around the area. With this exercise, we are looking to find what is working or what is not working for the user. We can classify interviews into three different types, Direct Interviews, non-direct interviews and contextual.
Because the bakery business is from a small place, the perfect interview will be the direct interview, one to one. In the workshop, they advise us that the best number to do a direct interview are five because, with five interviews, you can have most of the problems that you can find as a user experience. So we will interview five different people from different generations to cover the gap age. Because the interview is one to one, I would like to have open questions to see the different answers that I can have from the user and not give them to choose an option. If it is a survey for more people, I will put four options to choose between them.
The Interview Script
- How often do you go to a bakery store?
- What do you consider when purchasing bread, cakes or pastries?
- When was the last time you researched a small business on the Internet?
- The website of any small business can influence you to visit the place?
- Do you shop in places that care about the environment?
- Would you pay more for a better product or service?
- Do you use plastic bags in your daily shopping?
- Would you prefer fresh products or frozen products?
- Do you shop handmade products?
- Do you consult the allergies guidances of a business on their website?
- Do you read the reviews that are on the Internet about a company?
- Would you buy a cake in a bakery or the supermarket?
- Would you give as a present seasonal product, for example, Christmas cookies?
- Do you purchase food products online?
The next step in our UX research is defining the problem. In this step, we collect the data we have been researching during the process, and we create a good problem statement that should be human-centred. This is the main reason for creating personas to cover their needs.
Defining the problem
- How do we get more audience on the bakery website?
- How do we get our customers to cake about the environment?
- How can we attract more customers than the local supermarket?
To reply to the questions, the next step that we need to do is finish the interviews and create an affinity diagram with all the answers from our participants and the research that we have been gathering. After we had everything on the wall, we started grouping them as we did in the workshop. The most probable thing that will happen is finding a repetitive pattern. We will use one different colour for each person that we will interview.
A persona is a standard tool used in UX design. Creating using profiles with different needs, understanding in which different scenarios our customers need our service, we created three profiles capturing the user needs to gain knowledge in other cases.
Based on our information about the bakery business in a small town in England, our target audience is local customers. Still, we can create diverse scenarios to create a better website for different people. Our three profiles are loyal customers who have been shopping for many years, a young adult living in a small town and the last one a tourist person who travels around England.
Why are we doing this exercise?
The main reason is capturing the user needs in different situations. Creating other profiles can help us understand how to make a website more accessible and cover the needs of our users. We can realise about doing this exercise that our needs can be different depending on each user.
Sarah Gibbons defines A journey map as a visualisation of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal in the article Journey mapping 101. After creating the journey map, we will have a clear vision of how a user interacts with our product, in this case, the bakery website. We have different journey maps, but we will focus on the customer journey to see the interaction between the user and the product for this project. We will use the three personas we created before in this journey map.
Ideate and Prototype
You can use different techniques to develop your ideas, brainstorm, mind mapping, and more.Ideation is the third step in the design thinking process. We needed to define the problem when we had the meeting with the owner. He exposes his issues and how we can fix them through the website. The previous exercise that we did there developed the solutions for these issues.
The Bakery Business issues.
- Reach younger audience
- Be more environment friendly
- How can we reach more people to buy fresh products? Instead of going to the supermarket.
- Emphasises that we sell products for local people
Once we find the solutions for the problems, we need to start the website’s structure—this is a general idea, not a final proposal. Define navigation and create site maps. Once we have all the content for the website, we can create a navigation map of how the user will interact with the site. The idea is to break down how the website will work.
Define the content
- Food allergy
- Preservation tips
- Profile Information
- Contact and services
Group and label the content
- Profile information
- Add products
- Contact form
- Work with us
Prototyping with pen and paper is the first step I will follow for the bakery website. After that, We can create a prototype of the information architecture in Adobe XD. Before starting the website is recommended, this exercise is organised and make clear site flows and site maps. Navigation is one of the keys to web design. Once the website prototype is created, it is time for the people to test it. It is essential to have feedback from the users to see if the site works. And if we solve the problem that we have at the beginning. The last step is to do the user test. We have three elements in the user test.
- Facilitator, in this case, we will guide the participant through the test process. We will show the user how the bakery website works. We will answer the questions that they have about the site.
- Participant, the user will run the website, and we will ask if he can think loudly about the site. The participant can narrate their action through the process. We can give them a different task to see how they interact with the website.
- Task, Using task, in this case, will be to find the allergy guidance for the chocolate croissant. We would write down their time to find the answer and ask them if it was difficult or easy.
For this website project, we will use the three elements to see which one is more suitable for creating a good user experience and obtaining the feedback we need from the users. First, it will be essential to use the empathy mapping we used during the workshop. This map will help us define the user experience.