Spouse-ly (Vendor View)
Spouse-ly is a multi-vendor platform that supports the military community through providing a space for veterans and military families to sell their products and offer services online.
Spouse-ly's goal is to become a household name, much like Angie's List or Etsy, for the military community.
Through my four week internship with Spouse-ly, I collaborated with the CEO and founder (Monica Fullerton) and three other UX designers. Our main priorities were to identify improvements for customer and vendor journeys.
Our UX design intern team of four split the design and research responsibilities into two teams: customer and vendor. I mainly worked with one other designer to research and design the vendor journey.
CEO and founder
UX Design intern team
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Our first step when tackling the vendor journey on Spouse-ly was to evaluate what was currently working and what needed improvement. Before talking to actual users, we did this through conducting a Heuristic Analysis to assess the functionality and design.
Based on a Heuristic Evaluation, what are some possible improvements for Spouse-ly's vendor experience?
1. Consolidate and de-clutter screens and screen features/elements in terms of organization and hierarchy
2. Eliminate redundancies in information (sometimes information/features are communicated by icons, widgets, and text at the same time)
3. Vendor dashboard should be fully customizable (organizing widgets based on vendor’s preferences, most used, importance of tasks; widgets should also be re-sizable)
4. Onboarding is needed for first time vendors/users, specifically orienting the user to how to user each of the screens
5. Search function
6. Language throughout the vendor view screens is very technical for a first time user - should be conversational and easy for a first time user or vendor to understand
7. Consistency in language/naming
To get a better understanding of what actual Spouse-ly vendors had to say about their experience on the platform, our first step was to send out some preliminary user surveys. We mainly asked questions to gauge how often they use Spouse-ly, their experiences as a part of a military household and small business owner, their interactions with clients, and overall experience of the Spouse-ly vendor back end.
But, what do actual people have to say about their beauty journeys?
After gathering these preliminary insights, we proceeded to reach out to vendors and speak with the directly about their experience on the platform
But, what do actual vendors have to say about their experience?
I am passionate about Spouse-ly's mission to support the military community.
I'm interested in engaging with customers more than I already am.
I am interested sharing my experiences as a member of the military community and promoting my story on Spouse-ly.
I have difficulty navigating the vendor dashboard and feel overwhelmed.
I struggle with uploading photos to my online store.
I am passionate about Spouse-ly's mission to support the military community - but I also understand that it a new service that needs work.
90% of my online revenue comes from my business's site or Etsy.
The overall layout and design of the vendor view is jumbled and hard to read - I don't know what each feature does.
I am unclear about how to log my orders and if my orders have been shipped to the customers.
Taking all these insights we gathered from the Heuristic Evaluation, user surveys, and user interviews, we moved forward with finding opportunities for design solutions.
How might we?
How might we make the vendor dashboard easy and efficient to use?
How might we increase engagement between vendors and customers on the vendor back end?
How might we clarify how to use Spouse-ly's features on the vendor back end?
Because of the four-week time constraint of this project, I immediately dove into designing wireframes after conducting user interviews. I worked on creating key high-fidelity wireframes for the Vendor Dashboard, the Onboarding flow, Profile Manager, Store Manager, and Knowledgebase.
I re-designed the vendor dashboard so that the vendor's pending items front and center and have the widgets be totally customizable based on the vendor's priorities.
I included an onboarding walkthrough tutorial feature which will increase the learnability and ease of use, particularly with the most used features on the dashboard.
I improved the organization and hierarchy of the Profile Manager, so vendors could more easily input their information, keep track of their progress, and select specific sections they want to edit.
One major point of confusion in the Profile Manager was how to review and update their vendor subscription. In order to solve this, I added methods to view plan details, upgrade, and cancellation.
Store Manager: Storefront
In order to encourage vendors to promote and share their story, I added in a Storefront feature in which they could add any media or text that tells their story.
Store Manager: Store Settings
I also added a connection between the "Storefront and "Settings" feature. This adds clarity to the fact that "Settings" feature is connected to the vendor's store and not their profile.
Taking inspiration from Etsy's Community platform, I designed the potential Spouse-ly Knowledgebase. This where vendors can find articles for industry best practices, tutorials about vendor back end features, and FAQs.
In The Future...
Since this was only a four week project, I would definitely have loved the opportunity to conduct more extensive user interview, develop the UI, create a functional prototype, and conduct usability tests. My immediate next steps would be to translate the Spouse-ly aesthetic to these wireframes and create prototypes for the key vendor journeys. In terms of seeing how these concepts would be implemented, I am continuing my working relationship with Monica (CEO of Spouse-ly) and will check-in periodically to see how developers might make these changes.