- UI Design
- Interaction Design
- Service Design
- Figma Design
- T.EF Digital
Crafting a digital solution to increase visibility and customer engagement
T.EF Digital—an award plaque production company based in Delta State, Nigeria—has struggled with expanding its customer base over the last 30 years. According to the business owner, the business has relied solely on family and friends for referrals which results in a limited annual revenue.
In collaboration with a digital marketing expert, we developed a solution that resulted in a 3% increase in customer engagement over 2.5 months. I led the entire design process—from user research to designing and building the solution and aligning it to the marketing strategy. This case study takes you through my journey of crafting the solution.
The problem and goals
Defining the problem
In a chat with the business owner, he shared that expanding the business’s reach has been a challenge. Despite his commitment to top-notch products and stellar customer service, the business has not grown beyond its local environment.
…the main challenge I’ve been having is getting new customers. I’ve mostly relied on referrals by friends, family, and old customers. But it is barely enough.The client (name withheld for privacy)
Identifying inadequate marketing as the core challenge, we engaged the services of a digital marketing expert. The digital marketing expert was responsible for crafting a strategy tailored to the unique needs of the business. Beyond strategy formulation, the aim was to design a solution that improves the overall experience of customers online and offline. Thereby helping the business expand its reach and grow its revenue.
My objectives for this project were to:
- Develop a digital solution to enhance the business’s internal processes
- Work in collaboration with the digital marketing expert to align the marketing strategy with the solution
I took responsibility for the entire process, from user research to shaping the e-commerce solution. Working closely with the digital marketing expert, I harmonized the solution with the marketing strategy. Additionally, I assumed the responsibility of building the solution, covering both backend (WordPress) and frontend development.
To kick off the project, I prepared interview questions. The goal was to understand how customers discover the business and engage with it. Also to uncover their motivations and frustrations while trying to make a decision.
Using these questions, I conducted semi-structured interview sessions with available customers, which enabled me to gather the needed information. The interviews were done over WhatsApp, which was quite challenging. Notwithstanding, I found a way to record our conversations (of course, with the consent of the participant)
Analyzing the data
I employed the trusty Thematic Analysis technique in analyzing the transcripts of the interviews. I found some interesting themes that gave me insights into how customers interact with the business, and their concerns. A statement that stood out and was common among all participants was,
…since I moved out of town, I didn’t think it will be wise to come all the way back to patronize him. I just asked around for someone that can handle the job…Participant 1 (name withheld for privacy)
Highlighting the need for a means of serving customers outside the confines of the business’s local environment. Another interesting statement was
…I tried searching the internet for someone to do the job, but the ones I saw didn’t seem trustworthy…Participant 3 (name withheld for privacy)
After asking for more details about why the participant saw those businesses as untrustworthy, his response was
…it just didn’t feel right. it didn’t look professional. I couldn’t tell if they were real. No prices, the images looked weird. It just didn’t feel right.Participant 3 (name withheld for privacy)
Customer journey map
Taking the insights from the analysis, which showed a common pattern across all participants, I developed a single current-state customer journey map representing their combined experiences. This enabled me to uncover all areas of improvement required for the business to achieve its goals. I shared these insights with the client and discussed the possibilities.
Future-state service blueprint
Based on insights from the current-state customer journey map and my discussions with the client, I crafted two future-state service blueprints.
The first service blueprint takes into consideration the developed marketing strategy and outlines how the business would operate without the e-commerce website.
The second outlines the operations of the business with the website integrated into the system.
This approach aims to gradually introduce the business to modern business operations. Also to get first-hand experience of the benefits of the system.
Designing the website
To kick-start the design phase, I used insights from the research phase to develop a user flow diagram focused on the core interactions of a customer with the website.
Wireframes and layout design
Drawing inspiration from top e-commerce platforms with excellent user experiences, across the world, I defined the base layout of the website pages with mid-fidelity wireframes.
Style guide and component library
Following the technique of design system chronicling, I laid the foundations of the design system and continuously updated them as I progressed on the project. The components were based on an existing component library. However, I made some tweaks to the styles and interactions of some components to align them with the website’s design direction.
Visual composition and interactive prototype
After some design iterations of the home page, I finally settled on a visual approach the client was happy with. I applied the established design language from the home page design to the remaining pages of the website.
Learnings and conclusion
At the time of writing this case study, we had implemented the first future state service blueprint, which resulted in a 3% increase in customer engagement between October and mid-December, 2023. While the e-commerce website is still being built, we’re hoping for better results.
I learned the importance of taking into consideration unforeseen circumstances while planning a project’s timeline. The project was slightly delayed due to some internal issues, which resulted in a compromise that meant usability testing would not be done before commencing development.
I can say that so far, the project has been a success. I learned a great deal from it and hope to see it fulfill its purpose. In addition, I want to acknowledge and appreciate Debbie Levitt for her support during the early stages of the project.
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