Apex Stitching

Custom Marine Canvas

My Role and tasks: 

UX Designer and Lead Designer

  • User journeys, stories und flows
  • Personas
  • Presentations
  • Wireframes
  • Defining Design Principles
  • Design and Style Guide
  • Branding
  • Evaluation of user feedback

Timeline:

8 – 9 weeks

Design Toolkit: 

Paper, Pencil, Adobe XD, WordPress, User Ratings, User Interviews

 

Overview

Dan Wickersham is the owner and creator of Apex Stitching. Apex Stitching is a small one-man business with all of the customer care and services is managed by the owner. He started this business in 2010 when he decided to create a company for himself instead of working for others. Since then, he has built over 500+ boat canvas, covers, windows and much more for PNW locals.

The Design Process

Research – Empathize – Create – Test

Research 

The Challenge

  • The company is run by one person which is the client. The client was getting an overwhelming amount of the same customer questions via voice messages and emails.
 
  •  The photos displayed on the website were not organized into specific categories.
 
  • The website was not getting any organic search and direct traffic. 
 
  • The website had a black background with grey typography.

The Goal

The main goal for this project is to create a responsive website where potential and returning customers will be able to easily contact Dan for inquiries by only a few clicks, to create a page where you can easily choose specific sorted previous work photos, to add a testimonial section on the front page along with recreating a more elegant look to the website to appeal to its target audience.

How might we?

  • How might we make it easier for the users to call or send an email to the client without using a contact form?
  • How might we reduce incoming calls and messages to the client?
  • How might we logically and efficiently organize all of the previous project photos?

The Solution

  •  Created clickable links for company’s phone number and email address so that user will be able to contact the business in one click.
 
  • Created a Frequently Asked Questions page to help lessen the company’s email and telephone call load.
 
  • Added Customer Reviews for users to see the company’s reviews and credibility.
 
  • Ensured that the address on the website for the company was clearly stated as an mail only address.
 
  • Added SEO components to the website.
 
 

Empathize

Empathy Map

Persona

User Interviews

Using Google Forms, I created a survey and posted it on various boat and yacht forums. I received 12 responses within a two week span. Below are the responses that boat owners would like to see on this website.

 


 

If you needed canvas work done on your boat or yacht and where to go to a marine canvas website, what kind of information would you be looking for or what kind of question would you have for the company?

  • I would want to see a gallery of the work that has been completed, both large and small projects, new projects and repair projects.

  • Experience, references and look at some of their work. Basic stuff.

  • I’d be looking for pricing estimates, if there were pre-made options, time estimates, and reviews

  • I’d be looking for different options & pros and cons of each. (I’m pretty new to boating), the importance of canvassing a boat. If there are multiple varieties being sold, I’d appreciate a filter option of sorts

  • References, photos, rough pricing, timeframe.

  • Photos and prices

  • How long they have been in business. Example of their work.

  • What materials they have available. Are they mobile? Examples of their work

  • Customer references

  • I would call the dealership and manufacturer directly or look online for local businesses with good reviews.

  • Experience and cost

  • Price and type of fabric and fasteners

  • I would like to get a few references.

Affinity Map

From the information I gathered from the survey, I was able to logically group the answers into six group first and then cutting it down into three logical groups.

Create

Prototypes

Usability Testing

The  usability test was performed a month after the launch date so the participants were testing the actual website and not just a prototype. The website has a responsive design which is friendly for desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

A list of questions were created that could be used after each test. Some of those question include:

 

  • How do participants respond to the organization of the home screen UI?

  • Can the participants easily find the photo of specific previous work?

  • Is it easy to find contact information for this company?

  • Does the website content answer most of the general questions you would need before calling/ emailing the company?

Test Results

Five unmoderated user tests were performed via UserBob. Each session lasted around 5 minutes each.

The five unmoderated usability tests were performed on the desktop design of the website. All participants were boat owners seeking potential marine canvas work done on their boats. The first comments were compliments on how most information you needed on this website can be located on the homepage. All the participants were able to perform all tasks assign to them which are the following below:

  1. Locate the contact information and explain how you would proceed with contacting the business.

  2. Find answers to simple questions they would have for the company on the FAQ page before they will call the business for inquiries.

  3. Find previous work photo examples of the work you would potentially get done on your boat.