FCMB new mobile
A B2C ecommerce solution to cater for Nigeria’s teeming population.
Kwic Kwic Nigeria LTD (A business conglomerate) hired me to design their new e-commerce store where users could browse and shop for day to day items. The aim was to stay ahead of competition by delivering a quick, modern and easy to use platform where customers can enjoy a seamless shopping experience.

Team structure

I worked alongside 3 software developers and a project manager.

Role

I designed the web, mobile experience (mobile app included) and vendor dashboard.

Tools

Figma, Maze, Miro

Duration

The project spanned 6 weeks.

overview

The entire project lasted a period of about 6 weeks and is broken down into 5 phases (Discovery, Problem Definition, Design, Testing & Iteration, Handoff).

In this project we (myself and relevant stakeholders) were focused on delivering an excellent experience for our potential users. Because ecommerce is an industry that is quite nascent in the country, at the early stages of this project we were majorly committed to research to get a sense of what shoppers truly want and how to properly address the frustrations that most users encounter.

Problem Statement

With a population of 200million+ people, estimated to reach about 400million by 2050, the penetration of local ecommerce solutions judging from the number of existing ecommerce platform available in Nigeria is quite low. From a business perspective there lies an opportunity to truly delight potential customers by introducing a platform that solves many customer frustrations that arises from a nascent industry. From informal observations, a lot of people still prefer to buy from physical stores rather than buy online due to a number of factors including trust, time of delivery, price and availability of items.

The implications of this is a large population of people who have more or less developed an apathy for online shopping. Thus, the problem statement: How might we design a seamless shopping experience for both potential and existing ecommerce shoppers.

1. Discover

Guerrilla Research

Earlier on in the project, I faced some pushback from stakeholders regarding the cost of user research and the benefits of user-centered design rather than just jumping to the design head on (since time was limited), so to quickly validate the problem statement and prove the value of user research particularly to this project, I opted for a guerrilla research.

First, to ensure I was talking with the right people, I created a discussion guide and screener questions, this allowed me weed down to the right audience.

Below is an excerpt of some of my screener questions:

Once I established the right people to interview, I set out to fully investigate the problem space of online shopping and accurately establish our hypotheses, my aim was to interact with people using different medium, this way I could recruit a sizeable number of people. The substantial data gathered was key in getting a comprehensive understanding of potential users, what their motivation was, how they use existing solutions. I asked them a range of questions with regards to ecommerce and what their take on the problem statement was because I wanted to be sure what problem we were solving and what the best approach to it was.

These interviews gave us four main pain points that users frequently encountered in the process of completing an end to end product purchase, they were:
1. Lack of clarity on the delivery options and fees
2. Cart items disappear after exiting some websites
3. Check-out process is too complicated.
4. Unintuitive UI elements.

The medium used in this phase included: survey forms, phone calls, zoom calls, one-on-one interviews with audio recording devices, etc.

A brief excerpt from one of the interviews:

Competitive Analysis

To have a proper handshake between what users were saying and what is obtainable industry-wide, we had to analyze our competitors. The aim of introducing a competitive analysis at this stage was to provide us strategic insights into the features, functions, flows, and feelings evoked by the design solutions of competitors. By understanding these facets of competitors’ products, we hoped to synthesize data gathered from our user research and results from the competitor analysis to strategically design our solution with the goal of making a superior product and experience.

I conducted a competitive analysis on two major competitors in the industry (Konga and Jumia) to methodically identify redundancies + opportunities.

Find link to the low level SWOT analysis of competitors and strategies to maximize opportunities and mitigate threats here:
https://miro.com/app/embed/o9J_lTV6d04=/?pres=1&frameId=3074457354794937973

Heuristic Evaluation

Heuristic evaluation is a thorough assessment of a product’s user interface, and its purpose is to detect usability issues that may occur when users interact with a product, and identify ways to resolve them. Once I had establish who the competitors were, their strengths and weaknesses, I conducted a wholistic assessment on their websites to identify key usability issues and evaluate UI patterns to see which solution can be adopted to ours.

These were the main issues I discovered:
1. Slow loading and sometimes login fails;
2. Coupons not applying to orders;
3. Navigation inconsistencies throughout the apps;
4. Long checkout time;
5. Difficult to find filters;
6. Out of stock items still present in searches.

Here's a quick overview of what major competitors offered in terms of functionality:

2. Define

Affinity Mapping

The result of the initial discovery phase allowed us to define the problem statement even further. It was important to organize the findings into groups in an Affinity Map. Using this map it was easy to  identify common habits, problems, and pain points.

Feature Matrix

Following the affinity mapping, we approached our platform features from the business perspective and organized them according to users’ and businesses’ needs. This helped to define the fundamental features, including optimizing result page, improve search prompts, creating live chat, prioritizing product gallery, simplifying filters, etc.

High level summary of users’ feedback:
1. Filter nomenclature such as "price $-$$" "sort by a - z" could be confusing
2. All product details next to photo should be easier to read.
3. Shipping details on product page
4. Make review shorter, simpler and Customer wants to see pictures in review.
5. Want to see estimated delivery fee and time.
6. Can move item from wishlist to cart and vice versa.

User Personas & Customer Journey Mapping

Based on the patterns identified and data gathered so far, I came up with 2 personas most likely to use our platform - an existing ecommerce shopper, and the "uninitiated" - a potential ecommerce shopper. These personas describe a typical user/potential user, their habits, problems, pain points, and other details about them.

Persona 1 - Existing Ecommerce Shopper

Customer Journey Map for Persona 1

Debare prefers to shop online and is an existing ecommerce shopper. He wants quick access to all the discounts and finds it difficult to find the size and availability of the items he wants. While he is familiar and comfortable using ecommerce solutions, he hopes he can get a better user experience using alternative platforms.

Persona 2 - Potential Ecommerce Shopper

User Flows

After gathering all the data I needed, it was time to plan what user flows would be and the structure of the platform in terms of information architecture.

End to end purchase flow

Order flow

Information Architecture

3. Design

With the problem statement properly defined, data gathered and all the artifacts created thus far, I leveraged on thematic analysis to identify key design requirements and potential features to base my design on, they are:

1.Clear product organization for a seamless shopping experience
2.Product search to easily find products
3.Personalized Product Suggestions based on user past shopping activities and behavior
4.Detailed product information to ensure proper product selection
5.Product reviews to help make informed buying decisions and allow for user input
6.Efficient checkout process to save users time and allow for easy purchase of products
7. Steer customers towards popular products
8. Have an efficient means of pointing users to discounts and emphasizing on refund policy.

Wireframing

Here's a link to the wireframes designed based on key requirements identified earlier.
https://www.figma.com/embed embed_host=notion&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.figma.com%2Ffile%2FWJydLISa4HI0vf8rRGTDMN%2FKwic-Kwic%3Fnode-id%3D1639%253A0

Hi-Fi Design

Ecommerce Platform Design

Once I managed to come up with working solutions for the identified problems, I started designing the final user interface. I followed a mobile-first approach. Designing pages for smaller screens first (focusing on the really important features and simple solutions) usually comes easier, and then one can create them for the bigger ones as well. Also, most of our target audience consumes content mainly on mobile devices. While creating the user interface, I paid special attention to the brand characteristics (astute, mature, high-end, minimalistic, helpful) and the personas’ needs (easy to use and unique). I enjoyed creating these pages, especially for mobile, since I found it more challenging (mainly because of the small screen size) – some of the final screens follow below:

Vendor Dashboard Design

In addition to the ecommerce platform itself, since it was a B2C platform it was important to design a dashboard where vendors who have listed their products on the platform can monitor the performance of their products and have an overview of information on transactions, sales volume, orders and also key functionalities such as ability to add a product to their catalogue.

Design System & Component Library

Key Takeaways

I really enjoyed the chance to work on Kwic Kwic website as I learned a lot about shopping behaviors and e-commerce UX. I learnt a lot about various research methods and how to properly leverage them in sourcing for solutions.

Here are some spectacular insights I gained from this project:
1. People have trust issues regarding payment and would often prefer to pay on delivery.
2. Getting discounts and special offers from time to time is an important factor in retaining customers and 60% of people I interviewed affirmed that they usually wait for discount offers and special offers to motivate them buying non essential items.
3. About 40% of people I interviewed affirmed that bold call to actions spurred them to make on the spot purchases
4. 80% reported that positive reviews from other customers on an item was an important decider in whether they buy an item or not.
5. 20% reported that a personalized shopping experience that individualized their needs was responsible for buy backs.