The shop team was looking to increase traffic to the Geocaching Shop, most of which was being generated by sidebar ads around the website. They saw an opportunity in the homepage – which had no ads – to reach a larger audience. My team was asked to add a sidebar ad to the homepage.
I challenged the prescribed solution, and asked questions to understand their goal, then proposed we do some research to best reach that goal.
The product owner and I met with different departments around the company to better understand how a homepage update would affect them, and how their team could benefit from an update. The biggest takeaways were:
- The Geocaching Shop team liked the sidebar ads because they showed pictures of new or featured items, which was a great way to show geocachers what was newly available.
- The marketing team had frequent promotions that often aligned with shop items, but no where on the website to advertise them.
I recruited users of different experience levels, and ran them through a research exercise to try to better understand their needs and expectations of the homepage. I gave them several paper cutout “widgets”, and asked them to use those widgets to design their ideal homepage, then asked them why they organized it in the way they did.
The results proved that users were surprisingly comfortable with advertising on the homepage – especially if it was for items they’re interested in, like new geocaching shop items. It also showed a desire to see “what’s new” type of content, like community events, promotions, and announcements.
PROTOTYPING & TESTING
I created a prototype for a new homepage that I hoped would meet the stakeholder needs as well as the user needs, and ran a few rounds of usability testing.
After discussing ideas with the marketing and shop teams, we decided to build it on a CMS so those teams could update and manage their own content.
I created a style guide and content guide for the marketing and shop teams so homepage styling could stay within brand.
On release of the new homepage, we immediately received a positive reaction from the community, and shop traffic increased.
Logged in homepage
Project goalTo increase traffic to the Geocaching Shop.
Project outcomeIncreased shop traffic, and built a CMS with a style guide so marketing could advertise their promotions inline with the promotional shop items.
My roleI was sole designer on the project, responsible for research, interaction design, user testing, and visual design.
I worked closely with a team of 3 engineers, 1 front end developer, and a product manager to implement the design.