PARTY DELIGHTS

UK's largest online retailer of party supplies - balloons, fancy dress, and personalised cards. 

THE BRIEF

Party Delights has decided to expand its services to include additional planning and buying options for its customers. To build a mini-site that will help people plan and manage their parties online.

METHODOLOGY & TOOLS

User interviews, market-study, card-sorting, site-map, information design, usability testing, wireframing (using Sketch)

PROCESS HIGHLIGHTS

The project was part of training at GA. It was completed in two weeks with key learnings being market study (by visiting various stores selling similar products), card-sorting and information architecture. 

The Solution

  •  Website that offers party supplies which are categorised according to different themes and checklists

  • Inspiration on the home page under three heads of - latest, deals and user generated pages

  • Events page that allows the user to share information and manage burden with co-hosts


DISCOVERY & RESEARCH

Started my process by understanding the market and users. Visited stores in London that sell similar items. Conducted interviews with 8 people who regularly organise parties. This helped build understanding of people and their behaviour. 

KEY FINDINGS

People organising parties are: design conscious but on a budget, would spend a little extra for a better service, love interacting with people and making them comfortable, fascinated by new ideas & like to innovate, have other passions or hobbies, multi-taskers & pressed for time. 

This led to understanding users tasks through a task analysis and user flow. To understand their process, their journey was broken in-to different steps and pain points.

Key findings

The user's journey is divided into three phases: 

  1. Drafting - “I usually look for ideas at Pinterest or Instagram and then I have to search for products that go with it on other websites”
  2. Management - “I use Splashthat / Eventkingdom to send out invitations. / For family I would even send hand-made cards. I usually share updates over email and manage information in excel files or share spreadsheets
  3. Execution - “I love buying products and doing something new with them on my own.  / Sharing expenses is a real pain, most likely the euporia of the party makes people forget who owed what to whom.”
Task Analysis

Task Analysis

User Flow

User Flow

Then moved on to analyse competition and other companies that are offering a comparative service, in the area that Party Delights wants to enter through their mini-site. 

CARd sorting

All the supplies that go into organising a party were put down on cards and they were then sorted with 10 people to understand how they organised information. 

Card sorting helped in making the site-map for the new mini-site.

SKETCHING & IDEATION 

The design process began with Design Studio. It helped brainstorm further and understand what were the different paths to structure the same information.

First ITERATION

  • E-invites added into the category section at the top of the home page
  • A home page that offered inspiration as it was the first key step (highlighted by the interviews) that the user undertook and spent a considerable amount of time on
  • Included the plan-event section into the accounts page which allowed the user to create an event, add a theme idea to it and share it with co-hosts along with the information on products to be bought and the budget for the event

USABILITY TEST FINDINGS

  • Since the events section was a very important step of the process, why not add it to the home page instead of being in the accounts page?
  • Why not allow the themes to be shared through social media and saved to Wishlist?

Second Iteration

Further refined the events section and included it as a category on the home page along with invites and checklists, to make it easier for the user to locate these important items. Also included the share buttons, so that users can share themes and save them to wishlist. 

Further user testing Revealed

  • Need to refine sign-up forms & make buttons more visible
  • Fonts needed to be bigger in primary navigation 

Outcome

One-stop party planning and management mini-site

  • Party supplies categorised according to different themes and checklists
  • Three different categories of theme inspirations on the home page
  • The events page offers planning and management of parties, co-hosting and sending reminders 
  • Invitations page also allows to manage invitations
  • The accounts page saves wish lists and orders along with more information

NEXT steps

  • Present theme ideas as gifs as this would entertain and generate more interest
  • Allow user to upload content through my account