Hello. I'm Laurel Natale.

I'm a UX Designer living in Philadelphia, PA.
I design human experiences on digital devices.

Take a look:

RovR Products

A need fullfilled by a man who envisioned it while camping with his family, this cooler holds its weight with its big brand competitors such as YETI. Its original website was done with time constrained project goals more than customer intentions. Since then, this little startup success has been growing and people have been noticing and RovR needs a new website to let those people know but with lots of data on the product but little data on who the product is for how do you design a website with their intentions in mind?

Here's what happened.

When I came aboard the Interactive Team at Red Tettemer, one of the projects underway was a website revamp for a company who was rapidly growing with a product that served the glamping community. RovR makes $500 coolers that are competing with the big brand names already on the market such as YETI coolers. Their original website is a reflection of their rapid growth the company is experiencing. There is lots of data on the cooler as the team is dedicated to making one of the best coolers on the market but while there is a ton of research being conducted on the product there was little to show for who they were actually designing for.

The original homepage demonstrated a wonderful product but made it hard on the customer with confusing naming conventions, pricing structure and a story that was told in scattered pieces.

With little time and even less user research, the designers had a big task ahead of them. How were they supposed to redesign a website for the RovR customers when they didn't even know who they were?

As the current and only UX designer on the team I had to come up with some data in a short time and with a $0 budget. To do this I made use of Google and discovered  a place where the research was already being done and nicely presented for me. Kickstarter.

Turns out the guys at RovR weren't the only ones trying to get a piece of the luxury cooler action. There was another product, The Coolest Cooler, was also in the game and the Coolest Cooler people were not playing by the rules. They started what is currently known as the worst Kickstarter campaign in history. Their campaign raised thousands of dollars from thousands of excited amateur investors all waiting to get their hands on their own Coolest Cooler, but to this day, they are still waiting empty handed. The Coolest Cooler was produced, and it went to market, and you can now even find it on Amazon.com for cheaper than what the original investors were promised.

The Coolest Cooler on Amazon... not cool for Kickstarter investors.

This epic failure to provide as promised to the Kickstarter crowd left them very, very angry and they sure did comment about it. This wake of angry comments created a massive database of people who like to buy expensive coolers, just like the RovR coolers. Even better, Kickstarter creates mini profiles of its members that are for public view so anyone can see what else that member invested in and even a little profile picture that the members can upload.

A sample profile of a Kickstarter member.

It didn't take too many clicks to start seeing a pattern in the people who were investing in the Coolest Cooler. I was able to see common investments in things such as liquor, cooking, and smartphone accessories. I even noticed a large majority uploaded pictures that had kids or pets in them.

Revealing Profile Pictures from Kickstarter members.

I took all this data that was freely given from Kickstarter and created a Persona. I crafted the persona on his interests in the form of personal objects that he has bought for himself to demonstrate to the design team that this person is not only interested in these certain hobbies or activities, but that his personality is a reflection of these things. He invests in them heavily because he believes he is investing in himself. He is improving his life with the addition of these things.

Meet Jake! He considers himself a true lover of locally made liquors and craft beers. He loves to take his family camping and to match his urban lifestyle while he gets away from it all, he brings his waxed-canvas laptop bag for his laptop, extra charging equipment for his phone and his diver's watch which syncs to his phone with an app.

Now that the Interactive Team had a face to design for, it was time for them to participate in understanding this person. I walked them through an Empathy Map exercise, teaching them about the process of the method as well as facilitated the exercise so the method, in turn, taught them about the person they were going to be designing for.

Whiteboard Empathy Map

Now it was time to take the next step with the Interactive Team. I led them through a "Crazy 8's" exercise where I gave them 5 minutes to come up with 8 website design ideas with Jake in mind (and all over the whiteboards and TV screens).

Ideas from the Interactive Team

I used Sketch to take the raw ideas from the session and transform them into workable wireframes for the Interactive Team to design from.

The design team was then able to not just start designing, but to begin purpose-filled design based off user research that the Internet freely provided. Various modifications and versions were created as ideas and designs were put in front of stakeholders as well as the personas created. The final designs are ones that are shaping up to be a delight for the RovR customer and for the stakeholders as they get to show off their products in new ways with intentions provided by data.

Newly designed mockup.

Actual quote from the client:

"Thanks! Very excited about the new look. Or as Trump would tweet, #Tremendous PUTIN wet his shorts over RTOP's fantastic new site."

Conclusion

A little out of the box thinking helped the team take this website to the next level and provided design evidence that will continue to shape their design decisions as well as the company's perspective of their customer, reminding everyone to design for humans is to design for good.