User experience case study: Project X

Note: This project is subject to a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Some details have been omitted.



The client wanted to refresh several successful e-commerce website sites. When evaluating existing sites, it became clear that more than a fresh coat of paint may be needed.


User personas

Customer supplied images and interviews with staff were used to understand users. Evidence from support channels and independent feedback sites was used to complete the picture. The result was the creation of user personas.

Competitors and existing website

Competitors were evaluated with respect to:

  • Product features
  • Customer benefits
  • Usability
  • Information architecture
  • Brand and copy style

As a comparison, the client’s existing site was also reviewed using these criteria. It was also with respect to the underlying technology constraints and implementation consistency.

Improvement opportunities

The research was summarised and presented to get the client’s approval to proceed with a proposal to improve the user experience, beyond updating the skin.

Need to enhance UX:

  • Modernise style
  • Sell benefits
  • Explain features
  • UI consistency

Why do these problems exist?

There were several factors that explained the site’s shortfalls:

  • Organic development
  • New trends/technologies since introduction
  • Platform constraints

Business impact

Sales with the existing site were strong but competition was increasing. The aim was to broadly work within the existing site technology, increase sales and exert more brand authority. Development was confined to areas of the sites to avoid risking sales throughout. This would also allow for A-B testing before rollout.


Information architecture

Card sorting was used to identify problems with information architecture. Significant issues were uncovered at this stage. Initially these were out of scope, but later small improvements were introduced.

Low-fidelity prototypes

Initial wireframes were developed using pencil sketches and Balsamiq. These were iteratively reviewed and refined before proceeding to visual design.

High fidelity prototypes

Visual design was completed using Photoshop and Sketch. The initial results of these were shared using InVision until the interaction design required the more advanced capabilities offered by Axure RP. Prototypes were “Expert Assessed” and usability tested with small user bases.


In one deployment, a 20% revenue uplift was achieved in the first month.

Many improvements have been made through this project and the incremental gains are significant. The organisation has been convinced of the value of user-centred design. The project was delivered within technical, budget and time constraints.

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