Pieces of There Redesign: Concept, user testing, wireframes, design, copywriting
Pieces of There billed itself as selling “homesick cures from around the world,” distributing gift baskets designed to comfort people who are missing their home cities. Our task was not just to beautify the existing website, but to determine the best marketing strategy for the business.
We followed the Google Design Sprint process, a fast-paced, intense method devised by Google Ventures to dive into a design problem, research and quickly develop solutions, iterate on those solutions with input from the team, prototype the surviving ideas, and polish a successful product.
We started with competitive analysis and paper sketches. We created a sort of analog heat map, attaching dots to the parts of each sketch that we thought were the most successful. By identifying our most useful ideas as a group, we were better able to eliminate any elements that were extraneous or just decorative. Anything that wasn’t pulling its weight had to go.
Next, each of us took on a design concept to wireframe, own, and develop. My idea was to move the focus from gift baskets to individual items and the artists who make them, adding a sense of connectedness to the products on the site.
We also worked on a city-focused, hyperlocal concept, as well as building a more aesthetically-pleasing version of the original site concept and layout. This was necessary for us to get feedback on the concepts behind the redesign without our testers getting distracted by the execution.
I decided to stick to a simple wordmark for my artist-focused design, but I created a new logo to complement the original homesickness idea, as well as a logo for the hyperlocal concept.
Throughout this process, we used the Agile system to keep the team on track and accountable.
With our initial pages designed, we began recruiting users to test our concepts. We used VerifyApp to collect a large number of first impressions of the concepts, and followed up with in-person user interviews using SnapZ Pro to drill down into more detailed reactions.
In the end, the client chose to pursue the city-focused concept for her site. We all worked together to make that concept pixel-perfect, and delivered it to the client, who thought it was great.