Sheridan were ahead of the curve when they offered an online personalisation product before lots of competitors. Unfortunately, complex options made the experience slow and confusing. The functionality also struggled to scale alongside the growth of users shopping on mobile devices and eventually this feature was hidden for non-desktop users, limiting product exposure to over half of our audience.
I led the redesign of the personalisation offering for Sheridan. All research, sketching, prototyping and usability testing was conducted by myself. In addition, I worked alongside two developers and a data analyst.
• Make a personalisation process as effortless as buying any other online product.
• Make it fast and easy to use for everyone, everywhere, on any device.
• Streamline the journey by limiting complication and clicks
All information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Sheridan.
“How might we recapture the magic behind the personalisation journey?”
Users expected their experience to work without confusing questioning or frustrating device issues. Fundamentally, the usability was challenged and the abundance of steps and options compete for focus. The vast majority of personalised sales are special gifts so it’s vital the functionality is trusted to a wonderful end to end experience.
My goal was to understand the challenges users faced and the workarounds they may utilise. Analytics weren’t tracked when the initial personalisation function was launched so I leveraged 12 months worth of sales data to hypothesise user behaviour and engaged the data analysts team to track current interaction on Google Analytics.
GTM tracking showed that the majority of users clicked the personalisation button but did not add to bag. Running Hot Jar recordings for a number of weeks allowed me to explore some of the reasons for site friction.
Another really important part of the puzzle was interviewing members of staff who speak to customers everyday. I arranged several sessions with the customer service teams to pick up any nuanced problems and validated this alongside the qualitative recordings.
Device issues – I knew users on mobile devices were hidden from the experience all together but recordings show that even some desktop users suffered due to the pop up model. This insight meant personalised product could not be added to the cart for certain devices and browsers.
Limited word casing – Recordings show users running through all fonts to capitalise a second word. Users would often retrofit their wording repeatedly or exit completely.
Reduced signal-to-noise ratio – Duplicate prompts and the ‘Apply to All’ checkbox showed to be problematic on recordings and this was validated when interviewing the customer service team. Just 6% of orders had used the same text for items in the same order rendering some of the actions useless or irrelevant.
Too much choice – The current interface has the option of 14 fonts to choose from. 75% of orders use only 6 fonts. A similar trend appears with thread colour. 50% of users choose only 3 colours out of a possible 18 colour-ways.
After collating valuable insights from the discovery phase, a series of rapid prototyping workshops helped iron out any interface issues. I invited a team of consumers to conduct rapid idea generation (Crazy 8’s). Favourite ideas were voted upon by all members of the workshop which solidified ideas before another stage of rapid prototyping. After refinement, interactive high fidelity prototypes were tested on 7 users on a mobile device. This was also an opportunity to check finger gestures and tap target size.
7 out of 7 users were able to add personalisation easily and without confusion.
User testing also confirmed that 7 out of 7 users recognised that the ‘Added to Bag’ confirmation was clear, understand that certain items on the PDP couldn’t be personalised. and understood the costs per item in order to personalise.
After this refinement stage, some of the earlier insights could be addressed easily:
Device Issue Fix: The functionality is now housed responsively within the PDP
Limited word casing: Users can now add personalisation in any casing they wish.
Reduce choice, reduce cognitive load: Stakeholders wanted to keep all fonts and colours on the table so I hid the majority and showcased the most popular as default.
Reduced signal-to-noise ratio: Testing on users proved that I could simplify the personalisation experience even against a complicated, multi-item add to cart process.
• Increased personalised sales by 94% on LY
• Increased personalised orders by 27% in launch month (8.5% Dec on LY)
• 33% increase of personalisation sales on mobile devices
The redesign of product personalisation has had a positive impact on the experience for our users. The success of this project has secured phase two scoping for a full PDP redesign offering heat transfers in several positions.