UX Research, Hypotheses, and Interviews
After speaking to Giftly stakeholders about business requirements, I kicked off the project by determining that we'd absolutely needed to do user research. My research involved reading about trends and peers in the space, white papers, and other analytical work.
I gained insights and began creating user hypotheses about the gift card giver and recipient audiences. To test the hypotheses, I led the creative team at Giftly, as we interviewed 10 individuals for 1-1 conversations about traditional gift card giving.
We jotted down interview responses, organized the results, and saw many patterns around behaviors of the two audience types. We heard a lot about guilt, annoyance, and frustration...
GUILT: Guilt from the gift giver that cards feel "generic" (but hey, it was last minute!). Guilt by the recipient for not using the gift card.
ANNOYANCE/FRUSTRATION: Most givers felt that a gift card to a specific store was a better choice than the open ended $100 VISA debit card. That said, choosing the location was seen as still rather generic (Safeway gift card aisle, anyone?).
The general feeling of gift cards (from both of the audience types) was that they are uninspiring, lacking personalization, and that "special" feeling that comes with hand-picked tangible gifts. This was not shocking, but we did learn more about what people did want to give/get- that "special feeling." I began pondering how Giftly could tap into this...
Hypotheses & Interview Questions
We organized all the feedback, and created customer journeys (that detailed the actions, highs, pain points, etc.) across the traditional gift carding flow. (This was part of the sticky note process seen earlier).
5 Archetypes seen in the images below
Following the research, interviews, and customer journeys, I created five archetypes. These archetypes were all part of the current and new Giftly target audience. By creating these archetypes, I was able to align MVP features and functionality based on their habits and motivators.
Developing the New Concept
After gaining so much insight, I felt I was ready to put stakes in the ground. We had developed hypotheses about the concept of gift cards being more about EXPERIENTIAL giving. The feedback was positive. People were intrigued by giving a recipient an experience (for example, "Date Night", or "Spa Day") where there was some direction provided, but remained somewhat flexible to increase the likelihood of it being used and enjoyed. This product concept also allowed for us to continue to tie in to the existing Yelp API categories (restaurants, salons/spas, etc)
EXPERIENCE GIFT CARDS
Now that we knew what we'd be creating, I developed a PRD (Product Requirements Doc) for the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) of the new product. The PRD/MVP aren't pictured b/c they are incredibly dry Excel-sheets-types of docs (though incredibly powerful)!
It was finally (almost) time to start designing. But first, I did some high level architecture and flow diagrams to share my vision to the team.
I led the creative team in sketching and wireframing. Then, the newly established branding was incorporated into the final designs.
Following the wireframes, I played the role of oversight as the Giftly team implemented the visual designs. Shortly after the pivot, Giftly was acquired and the new "experience" gifting concept/design is now under development.