Over the next several weeks I will be researching and analyzing user experience, or UX, as it pertains to a web design. I will to develop a new web design and deploy tests and surveys throughout the process. By the end of the next seven weeks I’ll have learned all about user-centered design and have re-designed a website in the process! I’m beginning this process by choosing a website, discussing its current issues and doing a comparative analysis.
What website is getting overhauled?
The site I’ve chosen to re-design over the next seven weeks is …drum roll please… https://www.daylilygarden.com/.
This place (the physical location) is near and dear to me, as I had worked there a few summers ago and have become good friends with the owner. Not to mention, Daylilies are my favorite flower.
Olallie Daylily Gardens is a six-acre, organic daylily farm. As growers of over 2500 cultivars of daylilies, they have a wide variety of unique hybrids that can’t be found anywhere else. The farmers plant, grow, and dig every daylily by hand. If customers want to purchase any lilies, famers can dig them out right from the ground and package them up with re-planting instructions.
Perennials, annuals and vegetables are also grown here. As a local family farm, customers are encouraged to visit, stroll through the flower beds and even stay for a picnic. From July through August, there are over four hundred delicious pick-your-own organic blueberry bushes.
In addition to the walk-in farm, there is an online shop where people can order an annual catalog or order lilies to be shipped right to their homes. The farm ships weekly (in season) throughout the US. and internationally. Education and information on hybridizing, cooking, planting and propagating daylilies can also be found on the website.
Current Site Design
The Olallie Daylily Gardens website could benefit from an overhaul. Looking briefly, there is an abundance of information on each webpage. There is a plethora of various information on ordering, hybridizing, planting, etc. This is a text-heavy and photo-heavy website and can be confusing or overwhelming. There doesn’t seem to be a clear information architecture or order of information on each page. Generally, less text and more organization could benefit the whole website.
From the legal department, to marketing, to the end-user, there are a variety of different requirements that factor into web design. Since this website hosts online sales, marketing and sales requirements are necessary. Marketing and sales want to ensure the product sells quickly and easily and users want websites that are accessible and easy to navigate.
Business requirements here are:
- Shopping cart
- Purchasing suggestions
- Gift cards
- Name a daylily button
- Links that lead to sales
- Contact information
End-user requirements here are:
- Simple navigation
- Find information quickly
- Easy online ordering
- Pleasing to look at
- Accessible on phone, computer, and tablet
Below is a comparative analysis of Olallie’s website vs. 3 local “competitors”. Walker Farm, Maple Hill Nursery and Morning Star Nursery are all located in Vermont or New Hampshire and sell produce or plants. Each company has their own specialty, like a CSA or a landscaping service. After browsing and testing their websites, it was clear what their unique features were, along with their strengths and weaknesses. Some were designed with ascetics in mind and were simple to browse. Most, if not all, had issues with their catalogs.
|Features & Design||Daylilygarden.com||Walkerfarm.com||Maplehillnursery.com||Morningstarflowers.com|
|Unique Features||Pick-your-own blueberries|
|CSA available||Full service landscaping company||Tree nursery, honey, and stonework available|
|Gift Certificate Button|
Social Media presence
|Easy to navigate|
|Easy to navigate|
Not easy to order online
|Requires Acrobat Reader for catalog||Catalog missing information||Catalogs are Word documents|
Core features within the websites were also analyzed. All websites had an online catalog to see what they had to offer, but only Olallie has online ordering available. Results vary within other services available, sales specials, and education. While Olallie doesn’t offer services like landscaping or CSAs, it does have every other core feature.
In my next blog I’ll be going over some concepts of user-centered design. Then I’ll be conducting user studies and providing personas and scenarios that are relevant to the website. Stay tuned!