SOCIETY6 CASE STUDY

Introduction

This case study focus on the ecommerce site, Society6. Society6 is home to hundreds of thousands of artists from around the globe, who upload and sell their original works as 30+ premium consumer goods from art prints to throw blankets. This case study will show how adding, moving, and cleaning up just a few elements on a couple of pages can increase views/sales on an ecommerce site. Studies have shown if the user has a good shopping experience, they are more likely to purchase the products, because people are able find what they need faster and easier (RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report).

Initial Observations

At a glance, the Society6 website is a simple and modern ecommerce website with a fairly clean flat UI, but of course the site has room for UX improvements. Users landing on this site want an experience that is just as great as the art itself. Having hiccups in the UX/CX can deter users and scare them away from purchasing products. From my initial research, I’ve discovered three major problems that, if fixed, could solve a majority of the pain points a user might have on this site. These include:

A Lack of Community

Artist and buyers need to interact with each other to gain a sense of trust.

Ineffective Buy Page

Without a successful buy page, an ecommerce site will struggle to stay in business and gain revenue.

Weak Search

Users would be able to find what they need much more easier and faster if the search function was improved.

Task Based Questions for Survey

I asked three people, who fit the target demographic of an ecommerce website like Society6, to answer a few simple questions. All fit within the demographic of users who do online shopping (Generation Z, Millennials, and Generation X [ages 18 – 50]). While behavior and tastes vary widely within each demographic group, there are also many constituencies that can be targeted with general best practices. These demographics account for roughly 80 percent of the ecommerce segment. Each user was instructed to visit Society6, browse around, and find a product they’d like to hang on the wall.

QUESTION 1

On a scale of 1-5, 5 being the best, 1 being the worst

How much do you trust buying something off of Society6?

Results 

Alicia H. [User 1]

Barista Generation Z

Internal Comments

I see they accept all major credit cards, even paypal. It would have been nice to have some type of review to see how people liked the art, similar to Amazon where they give a rating of the product.

Steve T. [User 2]

Teacher Millennial

Internal Comments

I saw a few comments in the product detail page, but would have liked to seen some actual testimonials somewhere.

Vickie S. [User 3]

Therapist Generation X

Internal Comments

How do I really know this site is safe? It would been nice to know if they were secured by a company like Norton or McAfee.

Assessment

 

Problem: A Lack of Community

Content wise, all the site offers the user is a variety of products; however, they are so much more than their products. These ‘sellers’ are real people, not just some faceless company out for your money. Society6 is not just a community of artists, but a community for all; it could, and should be, a place where people can interact, share thoughts, ideas, and feedback (not just a comment). This would create a community of collaborators, not just a site for buying. This would also connect the user more to the experience as opposed to the current site that is missing the opportunity to connect with users.

Solution: Building Out a Strong Community

My idea would be to highlight connections on the homepage with a story, review, or testimonial which can bring value and build trust. Another idea to connect with their audience would be to have a featured artist of the month which could link to a section of their blog. They could share the artist’s story with users, further connecting and engaging them with their customers.

Wireframe Solution

QUESTION 2

On a scale of 1-5, 5 being the best, 1 being the worst

How easy was it to find what you were looking for?

Results 

Alicia H. [User 1]

Barista Generation Z

Internal Comments

I wanted to find a Star Trek poster, but could not search ‘Star Trek.’ Results came back with nothing. Had to just type ‘Trek’.

Steve T. [User 2]

Teacher Millennial

Internal Comments

I wish there was a way to compare a poster to a canvas print. I knew what style of print I wanted (Spaceman), just not sure the medium.

Vickie S. [User 3]

Therapist Generation X

Internal Comments

I got frustrated trying to filter down what I really wanted. I finally got to the fifth page and found what I was looking for.

Assessment

Problem: Ineffective Buy Page

On the main buy page, which is the bread and butter, the experience for users to find what they are looking for can be a struggle. The filtering is not as robust as it could be and users cannot muli-filter. For example, you cannot choose both a canvas and a metal print, it has to be one or the other. Other poorly executed UI designs are the ‘sort by’ pattern which looks like a filter and the color filter which can easily be simplified.

Solution: Buy Page Overhaul

My idea would be to overhaul the filtering system by cleaning and simplifying the UI elements and placing them in the correct position. This would enable people to find what they want faster which in turn makes for a better experience.

Wireframe Solution

QUESTION 3

On a scale of 1-5, 5 being the best, 1 being the worst

Was using search helpful in finding what you needed?

Results 

Alicia H. [User 1]

Barista Generation Z

Internal Comments

The search was terrible. There was zero results when I search for ‘Star Trek!’ Very disappointing.

Steve T. [User 2]

Teacher Millennial

Internal Comments

It worked pretty good if you only typed in one word. It gets a little dicey after that.

Vickie S. [User 3]

Therapist Generation X

Internal Comments

I didn’t even realize there was a search until I read this question.

Assessment

Problem: Weak Search

We live in a time that’s heavily dominated by search. By just looking at some of the many Google algorithm updates from the past few years, you can see that people want their information to be easily accessible. The site’s search works, but is not front and center. While the option to browse is nice, it should be secondary to the search.

Solution: Leaning into Search

My idea for the search is that it needs to be front and center especially on the home and buy pages. The search itself also needs to be more robust with a search dialog box that drops down and auto-populates once users start typing, similar to what sites with highly functional search algorithms already have (i.e. Amazon). It is so much easier to type in a term, as compared to struggling to find what you need though navigation.

Wireframe Solution

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