Agile Design Methodology
Enormous efforts are expended on fascias, floor plans, promotional materials, and visual merchandising for High Street stores. It is equally as important that your online presence has the same detail of thought put into it. Your online store design is the face of your business to your online customers, so it important to give the right impression of your brand’s identity. Of equal as importance is to convert those customers’ visits into sales.
A good online store design can be the difference between being a rock star or just a club singer. There’s a lot more to designing an ecommerce store than simply picking out colour schemes and pictures. Our professional designers will work with you to get the most out of your online channel.
This page illustrates some of the ways we help you to get the best out of your ecommerce website.
The first step in the agile design process is the discovery stage (also known as the research stage). The objective of this stage is to identify and understand your needs and requirements for your online store.
Some of the key activities are:
- Stakeholder Interviews
- Conversations with key persons on what they want to achieve from the ecommerce project, such as sales targets, time scales, and marketing messages.
- Competitor Analysis
- We examine what aspects of existing sites you like, so we can better understand your requirements and personal tastes. Utilising our many years of experience in the food & drink industry, we can assist your understanding of current ecommerce best practices.
- Current Site Analysis
- If you have an existing online presence, we will undertake a current site consultation. This will shed a light on your company’s personality, ethos, the sales messages you want to get across, and identify specific areas that you need to improve.
- Data Analysis
- We work with you to see the current state of your product data. Do you have images for all your products? Are product descriptions missing? Do you need additional attributes for filtering etc.? The answers are usually No, Yes, and Yes!
We use a number of exercises in workshops to understand your requirements
A good method to try to understand your key requirements is the lo-fi sketching exercise we perform in the design workshop. Sketching is the most efficient way of communication when it comes to User Experience (UX) design. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be good at art to sketch, you can leave that to our designers! As sketches tend to be messy, we as humans feel far less inhibited in changing them. This continual flux allows sketches to evolve from an initial seed idea to fully-fledged screens
Some of the benefits of sketching are:
- quick, so you can create lots of ideas quickly
- are a focal point that can simulate group discussion
- are not constrained by your technical knowledge
- are disposable, so rely on usefulness and not production cost
Sketching is great for generating ideas
Wireframes are designed to give you an idea of how a particular page will be laid out. They are usually presented without creative touches such as imagery and fonts. This allows you, the customer, to focus on the functionality of the page rather than what it looks like.
The wireframes we produce will allow you to:
- Follow the different flows a customer can take through the site
- See the range of functions available on the page
- See the priority of the functionality on the screen
- Visualise how information will be presented on the page
We will then go through an iterative process, building on the feedback we receive from you as the client. Each iteration will get us closer to aligning your expectations and our understanding, until we are both happy with the result.
Wireframes allow you to focus on the user experience
Iterate & Validate
When we completely understand your requirements and you believe that our understanding and your expectations are in alignment, we will begin agile implementation of your design.
Firstly, we break up the design tasks into small discrete increments called cases. We then put a number of these cases into a short time-frame (typically 2 weeks) called a sprint. During the sprint we will deliver a number of incremental builds. You can review these builds on a staging platform, and give feedback.
At the end of each iteration, you can review progress made during that sprint, and give feedback. Having these very short feedback loops allows us to catch any misunderstanding or changes in scope early, thus minimizing the design time-frame and preventing any budget overruns.
Short feedback loops reduce costs and timeframes