Skinit is the global leader in consumer electronic device personalization. In 2007 Skinit was preparing to enhance the previously successful Photo Uploader, a web-based application that allows consumers to upload their own photos and manipulate designs for their personal electronic devices. Darryl Kuhn, Skinit CTO, reached out to me to help with the redesign (I was a consultant at this time in my career). The objective was to enhance the features of the new solution and provide an intuitive and flexible interface with a rich user experience that increased conversion.
When I first meet with clients, the first thing I do is an assessment of their needs and ensure that I understand their objectives and I am the right person to help and who else we may need to bring in to help. I also get an assessment of the client’s resources that we can involve in the process. This helps plant the “UX seed” and get “buy-in.”
As a part of this assessment, I work with the client on how much UX is needed for this particular project (depending on time, resources, business objectives, market, etc.). Darryl wanted to do it all! I explained to him that no one does ever activity in the UX design process but Darryl insisted that we did. So we did a variety of user experience methods and techniques including: Competitive Heuristic Analysis, Contextual Inquiry, User and Task Analysis, Information Architecture, and Usability Evaluation.
Based on Skinit’s goals and requirements, and through heuristic evaluation of the existing application, we identified principle areas in need of improvement that included system navigation, content presentation, and visual design. Outlining these core areas of focus provided the tangible objectives through each phase of the design process and facilitate recommendations specific to feature enhancements, user experience, and system functionality. By studying the actual work process, and analyzing the goals of the target customer, we facilitated the design and development of a more effective, efficient and richer user experience to replace the current application.
We finished the project early, under budget and increased conversion by 350%. When you follow these industry standard best practices in UX design, you get more clarity about what you are designing and developing earlier in the product lifecycle that results in shorter “discovery” time in each development phase, more concise designs, a better product, and happier customers. And happier customers tend to be more loyal, spend more money with you (rather than your competitors), and tell everyone how great you are.
For more, please read the Skinit case study.