An academic project, connecting people with brands through social shopping.
I designed a ‘social shopping’ feature for the native iOS Shop App that connects users to more brands and products on the platform through interactions in the Shop community.
UX/UI Design, User Research, Market Research, Persona, Journey Mapping, User Flows, Information Architecture, Wire framing, Prototyping, Usability Testing
Figma, Maze Prototyping
Individual, Academic Project
Shop is Shopify’s iOS and Android shopping assistant app designed to help users: track, pay, and shop better. The app's core features support these main value propositions by allowing users to pay securely and efficiently, track shipments on a consolidated platform, and discover new products with brands they already support.
The app allows users in North America to browse and purchase products from any of the 1M merchants that use Shopify’s e-commerce logistics platform.
Being a regular user, I was pretty familiar with the app. However, I wanted to conduct a more in-depth audit of the app, with the intention of identifying interesting areas of opportunity and pain points in users’ experience with the app.
What I found was:
The shop function within the app only allows users to receive recommendations based on products or brands they already shop with. What’s missing, is the ability to discover new products and brands through others.
With this in mind, I decided to focus on improving the shopping experience for users by increasing the opportunities for discovery of brands and products.
A social shopping feature will combine e-commerce with social media networking to augment users' real-life shopping experiences, by encouraging discourse and shared recommendations amongst users.
Users will be able to discover brands through users in the Shop community and purchase directly from the merchants on the Shop App.
To validate my hypothesis, I conducted a series of user interviews to test my hypothesis and validate whether or not a social shopping feature would aid in driving discovery on the platform and create a better shopping experience.
My target user group was young adults (age 18-30) who have experience shopping online or through mobile apps for e-commerce.
The goals of the interview questions were to:
After the interviews, I synthesized the data to identify common pain points users face and form an understanding of our user group. To do so, I created an affinity map using a Miro board to visualize the themes we heard most often.
The conversations validated the hypothesis that discovery and rediscovery in the shopping process is driven largely by social activity.
In order to ideate potential solutions, I mapped out a core user flow and defined potential features by asking “how might we” questions at each step.
Having defined potential features, I then expanded on these and created a site map and full user flow to show how the features would exist together.
The user flow was key in defining how the actions of a user who wanted to purchase a product they found via their social shopping feed differed from those of a user who wanted to bookmark or continue scrolling on the feed.
I conducted one round of usability testing with 7 participants via the virtual testing platform, Maze. Participants were given 2 task scenarios to complete:
While participants were able to complete both tasks, what I found, was two primary changes that needed to be made to the existing design.
Enter a few details about the brands/products you like, find people you already know in the Shop community, and define your intent with the social feed.
View details of products that users tag in posts, so that you can add directly to your shopping bag and purchase it directly in the Shop App. Even view similar items or similar creators on the app to explore similar alternative products or brands.
Create new collections and save items that you are not quite yet ready to purchase, for later. Based on your bookmark, get more recommendations of products and creators to follow.
In this project, I found that I defined the problem space effectively through secondary research of Shopify’s business and user goals for the app, as well as, user interviews. This helped define the scope of the project in a way that benefitted users and aligned with business goals.
I’m looking forward to learning new ways to conduct usability tests and increasing the frequency with which I am testing. In this project, I saw the value in finding hotspots and drop-off points amongst testers, and recognize the importance in multiple iterations based on user tests in the future.
A challenge I faced was not exploring enough design iterations of how the Explore and Community tab would coexist. It would have been helpful to conduct additional user tests with a redesigned Explore tab, to find additional ways that the social shopping feature could have existed in the Shop ecosystem.