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The Problem (Configurator)

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3 MINUTE READ TIME

We started our design Sprint by interviewing Knotty Tie employees from all departments, evaluating what they would need from our tool, and what they thought our users would need. Particularly helpful were our interviews with the other members of our design team, who interact one-on-one with users on a daily basis. Our designers had intimate knowledge of the things our users liked and the places where they struggled in our previous design process. Here is a list of the main problems we hoped to tackle:

 

1) Finalizing details/check out -

Our old system of finalizing details was unfamiliar to users and relied on designers sending a long-winded email. Users frequently dropped off after receiving that email, because they were deterred from reading so much text and didn’t understand how to purchase.

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2) Conveying complicated printing issues -

The old system relied on designers to find potential print issues and communicate them to our users. Some common issues include low contrast between colors and variation of color between screen and print. We needed to find a way for the new system to catch these issues so we could fix them before the user checked out. The old system relied on designers emailing this info to users, who sometimes skimmed over our warnings and ended up unhappy with the color on their final product.

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3) Provide style guidance -

Our old system started with a style quiz that recommended patterns to users, mitigating the paralysis that can come with having too many options. However, the algorithm was poor at matching descriptors to patterns. We found that many users relied on their designer to provide style guidance. The style quiz was successful at capturing leads, but did not provide the reassurance users needed to make decisions.  

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4) Response time -

Under our old system we had such a high volume of users that the average response time was 1-2 business days. Users were frustrated by our slow response time, because it has become normal to get instant customer service online. Because of our slow response time we were unable to accommodate very quick turnarounds, and we lost users who continued shopping with our competitors after they submitted an inquiry.


5) Poor use of design talent -

Under the old system designers were constantly buried in repetitive and basic design work. Designers could not devote time to projects that would improve the brand and increase sales, because we were consumed by the production design queue. Because of this, we never made any headway on social media, on improving our website, or creating fresh new pattern designs.