In summer 2016, our company got a project from MBW Furniture, USA for redesigning their website experience.
Established in 1998, MBW Furniture is Atlanta’s top authorized online seller of exquisite custom hand-made furniture and fine imported furniture. They work directly with select manufacturers around the world that are known for their commitment to standards above excellence. Dedicated to serving quality customer experiences and prepared for most budgets, they offer wholesale prices to the trade and discount to the public. They guarantee customer satisfaction through various programs like price matching and custom solid wood construction.
Client asked us to provide some mock-ups of the new design. The time frame for the project was very short. Client wanted to have a quick high definition wireframes in 2 days.
MBW Furniture is known for their antique furniture, Solid wood furniture, and Furniture care service. In addition to that, they are also famous for custom furniture feature where users can customize the furniture by selecting wood type, cloth etc. by themselves.
In the Old design, one of the problem was -these features were not prominent and therefore users were not using them and hence revenue got down. Our target was to design the new website in such a way that it allows users to find valuable features easily and use them.
So, a short timeline in mind and geographic constraints, we had to skip processes like client interviews to know more about the company by conducting qualitative and quantitative research, persona creation, and competitive analysis etc.
So, we were left with the thoroughly inspection of their current website to find out the discrepancies and to look at some of his competitions’ website to understand their strengths and incorporate them into our design.
The first thing we did was, completely inspect the MBW website and found out the design problems. Some of them, I mentioned below:
1. E-commerce websites are using full page layout because of the abundance of content they have to show.
2. IA has to be designed properly. Site maps, hierarchies, categorizations, navigation, and metadata have to be structured properly to enable users to search product easily
3. Top Content, specially navigation, are always above the fold and wasting most of the important area of the website
4. There is a visual noise on the entire interface because of the inconsistency in using fonts. To avoid readability issue, try not to use capital letters or use them religiously.
5. Features like Hassle free return, money back guarantee are looked like an a banner for advertisements.
6. Logo and name take the whole attention when user lands on the page who comes to buy products not to see logo or name etc.
7. Product detail page should be crystal clear. Lack of prioritization on the content and no visual hierarchy create visual noise.
8. Poor error handling and broken links
9. Poor copywriting
10. Bad color palette choice and its use which creates distraction and hinders users to perform the actual task.
Once we found out all the discrepancies, we started doing competitive analysis by inspecting some of the competitors’ websites. Some of the websites we looked at were :
Just after documenting every findings from the small research, I directly jumped on to designing wireframes in photoshop. After many iterations, reviews, and refinements the final product came really good.
MBW guys really liked our design but because of the budget constraint, they could not take the project forward and we had to stop it in between.
However, It was a great learning experience for me and for the team. I had to design interface with limited resources and a tight timeline which was little scary initially. I was afraid of the quality and experience I would create from the design in this short span of time. But, with the team’s help and the support from the upper management at every step of the design process, I could complete the task without compromising the quality and the experience.