WooCommerce merchants looking for extensions to add functionality to their store needed an improved experience inside their WordPress dashboard. As the design lead on this project, my responsibilities included research, design, prototyping, usability testing, and collaborating across disciplines to plan and scope.
Defining the problem
Through a combination of talking with business leads and user research we identified opportunities to improve the existing experience. I developed and ran in-depth interviews with merchants of all backgrounds to learn about their habits and understand the current interactions with the marketplace.
We identified three main goals for the project:
- Bring more personalization to the marketplace results to surface the right extensions at the right time.
- Create a stronger hierarchy of the content presented to help merchants browse extensions more easily.
- Clean up the visual UI to make the experience more modern, while at the same time remaining consistent with the rest of WooCommerce/WordPress design language, and overall more pleasant to use.
Equipped with a more detailed understanding of the project goals, constraints, and insights from the interviews, I began sketching out different approaches. I went through multiple quick rounds of feedback and iterating, zooming in to details as well as zooming out to look holistically at how this flow fits into the entire customer journey.
Within a couple weeks I had a design and flow that was good enough to prototype and start usability testing. I led the efforts to interview seven participants over the span of a week and synthesized the results.
Using the data and insights we learned from the usability testing, I iterated further to make sure the design and flow could best meet users’ expectations and needs.
New filters give merchants more control over what results are shown. Featured extensions appear at the top to give our team an opportunity to highlight certain products.
We learned from usability testing that merchants expected to view full product details on WooCommerce.com. They can easily return to the marketplace inside their site admin to continue browsing.
This project is still under active development and will be implemented in Q3 2021.
In the end, we landed on a much improved in-app marketplace that not only felt native to WordPress, but also uniquely WooCommerce. By bringing smart personalized recommendations and showing the product information users need to make informed decisions, we hope to see an increase in engagement and conversion rate.