Ahalife Brand Portal

The Ahalife brand portal is a platform that allows sellers to create the storefront, manage orders, update inventory etc.

I redesigned the brand portal in order to enhance the user experience and increase seller engagement.

My Role
UX/UI Design, Market Research, User Research, Usability Testing
Timeline
January - April 2018
website-mockup.jpg
The Problem
The Ahalife brand portal is used by the Ahalife team to approve product submissions and used by the sellers to create storefronts, manage orders, update inventory, reply messages and gain insights into the performance of their stores.
 
Before the redesign, the brand portal design is not very intuitive, the team noticed that many sellers would abandon their stores or having a hard time interacting with the brand portal and often seek support from the Ahalife team. 
Goals
Business Goals
  • Enhance user experience
  • Increase seller engagement
User Goals
  • Do tasks on the brand portal more efficiently
  • Improve the performance of their stores
  • Avoid order errors and delays

Research

Competitive Analysis
I started by doing a competitive analysis and studying how other platforms tackle the problems we are facing. By putting together an excel sheet scoring different platforms based on standards from Heuristic analysis, I also put together a Google doc with examples of how different platforms solve the same usability problems.
Brand Portal - Usability ranking - Sheet

Key Takeaways

  • Among the three Etsy offers the best overall user experience by offering simple to follow instructions and step by step processes for storefront creation.

  • Compared to Etsy, Ebay offers a more efficient product uploading experience by allowing sellers to create single or multiple listings.

  • All three platforms offer built-in analytic tools.

Interview

I conducted internal interviews with the team that interacts with sellers on a daily basis. With the help of the team, I reached out to sellers we are working with, I designed interview questions, conducted the interviews over the phone, and analyzed my research finding using an affinity diagram.

Brand Portal - User research.jpg

Key Takeaways

  • Most sellers experience difficulty using the order feature, mainly due to delays in order information update and accuracy.

  • The onboarding process is difficult for new sellers, many sellers give up due to the complexity.

  • Adding new items is painful because of the amount of information sellers need to add for each item.

  • Many sellers mentioned that they would love to customize the design of their stores and gain insights into store performance.

Define

Personas

From talking to the team and the sellers I realized that there are two main types of sellers, so I created two personas to help define their differences in charectors, goals and needs. I set Carla as the primary persona because she is representative of the beginner sellers who use the brand portal.​

Carla.png
I set Howard as a secondary persona because he is representative of the sellers who are more experienced and are willing to improve the performance of their store with the help of analytics tools and manage their stores more efficiently on the brand portal.​
Howard.png
Need Hierarchy

Because there are two different types of sellers the beginner sellers and more experienced sellers and they both have different needs and goals, we decided to create designs that would serve their specific needs.

 

For beginner sellers, we want to focus on areas that are fundamental for their engagement and improve the user experience of creating storefronts, product upload, order management.

 

For more experienced sellers, we hope to satisfy their growth needs by allowing them to access store analytics and customer support.

 

After evaluation, we decided to save the advanced features for future iterations. 

Needs.png

Design

Knowing the pain points and goals of the sellers, I began ideating possible ways to improve different features by asking myself design questions.

Ideation
Questions
How to streamline product upload and storefront building experience?
How to enable sellers to gain more insights into the performance of their stores?
How to ensure sellers are notified about orders and ensure the accuracy of order details?
Solutions
Simplify the process and reduce the amount of information required and being displayed
 
Improve analytics feature by visualizing the performance over time and prioritizing important information 
Ensure the order information is updated frequently and accurately in the backend and add notification features

After ideated some possible ways to improve each feature, I begin to create sketches to visualize the possible layouts of each feature.

Sketches
After finalizing the layouts on paper, I then showed my designs to the rest of the team and got their feedback, from which I made iterations and turned my designs into hi-fi wireframes. Here are the designs of some key features in comparison to the old brand portal designs. 
Key Features
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Product Upload
1. Created two different ways to upload products - Single Upload & Bulk Upload, to help users streamline the product upload process based on how many items sellers have.
2. Reduced the number of fields sellers need to fill in for product details before it was 8 different fields, now there's only Product Description, Country of Origin, and Materials/Ingredients which is optional. 
3. Simplified the image upload process, instead of uploading images under 3 different sections(main, additional, and lifestyle), sellers can now just upload the main image and several additional images as they wish.
Dashboard
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1. Changed the navigation bar from top to left side navigation because I think by doing this we can add more functionalities that we wish to incorporate, also the menu can slide open to reveal more selections.
2. Added the notification feature because this way sellers can easily see new orders or messages.
3. Added more data sections to analytics and moved the brand store to its own tab because based on my research findings sellers are more concerned about their own store's selling performance than overall status.
Storefront
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1. Streamlined the storefront building process and added a progress bar in order to indicate sellers exactly where they are at in the process.
2. Reduced the amount of copy on the interface design, either show the short versions or hide them under the information icon in case sellers need more guidance. 
3. Added a chat box in case sellers need assistance during the process because based on my research sellers often abandon the storefront at an early stage and don't complete the entire process. 
Other Features
Products
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1. Filter by order status, this allows the seller to check orders by filtering different status
2. Actions, the sellers can use the dropdown to select actions regarding the order 
3. Add notes, I added this feature because some sellers mentioned that they wish to leave notes for themselves regarding the order
Orders
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1. More Actions, this allows the sellers to archive products or check archived products
2. Actions, the sellers can use the dropdown to select actions regarding the product
3. Input fields allow the sellers to easily change quantity or price for the product
Messages
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1. Check different sections, this allows sellers to check messages by filtering different sections
2. Actions, sellers can use the dropdown to select actions regarding the user or message
The prototype is made with InVision, you can click on below link to interact with the prototype:
https://projects.invisionapp.com/share/NPQX7RYTZ2G#/screens/287502006
Prototype
80800f_63f594675ae0453082dd46a55b63018b_
How would I measure the outcome?
Since the goal of the redesign is to enhance user experience and improve seller engagement. I would use web analytics tools to measure metrics like task success rate, task completion time, abandonment rate, retention rate, and conduct usability testing with more sellers to collect their feedback. 
What would I do differently?
Since this was my first job working as a UX/UI designer, I very much relied on the stakeholders for feedback on the design. If I were to work on this today, I would spend more time testing my design solutions with the sellers, and gradually increase the fidelity of the prototypes.
Reflection