Worked with a local start-up to make recommendations on search and cart functionality in order to increase conversion

Project duration: 3 weeks

Project team: 2 designers

Project scope:  User interviews, affinity mapping, user testing on existing site, heuristic evaluation, redesigning screens for search, details, checkout

Tools used:  Affinity mapping, Sketch, InVision, Keynote

My role:  Interviewing, affinity mapping, site analysis, heuristic evaluation, user testing, redesigning screens for search, results, and details.



Interviews and User Research

CampChamp shared transcripts and videos of their user interviews.  Additional user interviews were conducted on qualified users to eliminate any bias and to get real-life information.  After the interviews, we used an affinity map to better understand the results.

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Heuristic Evaluation

A long and detailed examination of the existing website revealed quite a lot of usability concerns and functional errors.  Findings and suggestions were compiled into a heuristic evaluation.

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Below is a sample of some of the observations and suggestions.

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User Testing


User testing was performed on the existing site to better understand where the pain points actually were, and to help figure out how best to correct the usability issues.



Redesigned screens

After the user testing, screens were re-designed to help the users better accomplish the task of finding and registering for a camp that fit all of their needs.


This is the current home screen, with a wide open search field that most often did not return relevant results.



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This is the re-designed home screen with the most important considerations, location and date, featured in the search bar.  Moving the View All Camps button to the search bar made sense because where it was originally looked more like a tab, and many users did not recognize it as a main gateway to viewing all the camps.


This is the current results screen, with 3 results across and the filters on the left hand side going down to the third row.




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This redesigned results screen has all of the filtering options on the top which informs the user of all the available choices while making room for 4 across results display.  Initial view of this page only shows one row of filters, but in order for all the existing filters to be available, the Add Filters buttons brings up the additional selections to be able to choose from any or all.





Currently if a choice of search criteria or filters yields zero results (which happened quite frequently in testing) the results screen is simply blank, as shown to the right. The proposed re-design is to have an error message pop up with an apology (shown below), with a link to a form (shown below right) to receive some hand selected recommendations.  Completely re-doing the entire search function would be cost prohibitive to the clients.


Lessons Learned

From the user interviews we learned that for many working parents, camps are a necessary daycare alternative during school breaks. The most important things that parents look for are location, dates, and type of camp.  Also of high priority is having friends attend the same camp for social interaction and carpooling.  For that reason, word of mouth and personal recommendations are the primary way most parents find camps for their children.

From the user testing we learned that the CampChamp website was a desirable idea, but the execution of the idea was actually very frustrating and most users tested left without ever finding what they really wanted.

Our clients are a self funded start-up, and the cost for developers to fix the errors uncovered was not in their budget.  We were conscious of that as we made suggestions to make the website appear more professional and eliminate some of the unnecessary features while keeping much of the existing functionality for now.

Next Steps

CampChamp needs to improve their search functionality to better represent the camps that they are advertising.  Right now they are trying to be the of the summer camp booking experience in Colorado, which includes advertising camps that may or may not be their partners.  I believe they either need to narrow their scope and only work with partner camps so that they can deliver on their promise of finding and booking in one place.  Or they need to change their scope to be a camp finder, and not  promote the booking that actually does need to be accomplished on the individual camp websites.  A mobile app that functioned purely as a results generator might be a possibility for the database of camps that they have already created.