I redesigned the e-commerce experience for Espacio 1839, a small Latinx apparel brand trying to maintain operations during the pandemic
COVID-19 has taught many small businesses like Espacio 1839 how vital it is to offer a strong e-commerce experience in order to retain customers and continue business. As a way to give back, I conducted a redesign of Espacio 1839’s existing e-commerce website. 

Through research and collaboration with customers that met key demographics, I redesigned a solution catered to the needs within a niche cultural context while expanding on potential business opportunities.
My Role
UX/UI Designer
UX Researcher
Google Suite
4 week sprint in April 2021
Espacio 1839 struggled to attract online customers when in-store shopping was restricted due to COVID-19
After store hours were severely cut due to COVID-19 restrictions, customers were not significantly engaging with Espacio 1839’s online store. This low engagement threatened to wipe out their business since online sales accounted for less than 5% of the revenue that in-store shopping produced.
How might we help customers feel more engaged when shopping online in order to expand customer base and boost sales revenue?
An online shop where customers can explore Latinx cultural meaning in Espacio 1839's brand and products
Shop Curated Collections
The homepage offers curated product collections for shoppers who want to browse signature apparel that tie into important identity themes.
Discover Brand
Shoppers can build a deeper connection with Espacio 1839's brand identity by accessing key information about their mission, history and ways to give back.
Learn Cultural
The product page provides opportunities for shoppers to become familiar with Latinx terms shown in the brand's apparel.
Market Research
User Interviews
Competitive Analysis
Target Users
Problem Statements
User Flow
Design Principles
User Testing Results
Next Steps
Nearly 40% of consumers make in-store purchases once a week compared to just 27% who do the same online
Even though online shopping may be easier than going to a store, many different factors are driving shoppers' decisions to make the trek out to a store such as avoiding delivery fees and accessing products instantly.

Most importantly, however, consumers are seeking memorable retail experiences' over simple purchase transactions.
I uncovered 3 major pain points shoppers experienced on Espacio 1839's existing online store while conducting user testing interviews
These user interviews were conducted via Zoom with a panel of participants that identified as Latino.

Topics included the significance of identity driven apparel brands Like Espacio 1839 and existing barriers towards their online shopping goals.
1. Lack of brand information
2. Limited product description
3. Poor browsing methods
"I wish I news more about this brand to get excited about supporting their business."
"I'd like to learn more about the cultural meaning behind all of these products."
"I'm overwhelmed that I can't find specific products that I'm looking for or might be interested in."
Other online retailers only addressed some of the pain points that our shoppers needed solved
I catered a solution towards existing customers (millennial shoppers) while also tapping into a newer customer base (gen-z shoppers).
Using insights gathered from user pain points, I solidified a few guiding questions to focus my design process
I began to explore target screen solutions by conducting a series of quick design studio sessions
Using my established design principles as a guide, I sketched out the initial concepts for several key screens including an about us, shop by collection and product page.
The insights that I gathered from testing my prototype on users led to several important design iterations
V1 - Shop by Collection
V2 - Shop by Collection
Final - Shop by Collection
Used placeholder for shop by collection banner and existing product photos for new arrivals
Moved shop by collection banner above new arrivals based on user testing feedback
Made shop collections full page with description, progress bar, and shop by category section below
V1 - About Us
V2 - About Us
Final - About Us
Used imagery found during research phase to highlight the brand in about us section
Used imagery found during research phase to highlight the brand in about us section
Streamlined text in the about us section to reduce cognitive load observed during user testing
V1 - Product Page
V2 - Product Page
Final - Product Page
Used placeholder text for the cultural definition within product photos section
Integrated phonological spelling into the cultural term definition image on product detail page
Introduced stronger branding into cultural term definition image and a recommended items section
The final prototype accomplishes two main user goals while shopping: Discover brand identity and learn cultural references.
I evaluated the final prototype with a series of task-based usability studies involving a range of new and returning shoppers
In addition, I surveyed participants to gain qualitative data connected to key performance goals set out at the beginning of this design sprint. All participants were able to accomplish a series of benchmark tasks on their own. Here are a few highlights from the survey results:
agreed this shopping experience promoted cultural engagement
of returning shoppers learned something new about the brand
of shoppers would recommend this online shop to their friends
It was very empowering to design a solution that could help a small business face challenges during a pandemic.
It was very interesting to explore how designing in a Latinx cultural niche could present opportunities for reimagining the way traditional e-commerce experiences are constructed.

Here are a few key takeaways from my experience:
Designing for multiple types of users
Building memorable user experiences
promotes a more accessible solution and facilitates business goals by tapping into a wider market base
through clear story telling is what ultimately drives conversion rates in e-commerce  and beyond
With additional time, I would expand upon usability testing and evaluate the experience on mobile devices.
In the next phase of this project, I would continue to conduct usability studies with a focus on evaluating the performance of my design solution in a mobile context.

I would also build out some additional sections such as a donate page to provide additional ways that shoppers can support this small business during a pandemic.
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