Usability tests on a beauty ecommerce website

Context

A beauty tech startup called Luckyface Beauty had chosen to go towards KBeauty subscription sheet masks. It had created a prototype of the website. It wanted to know what their target audience thought about the brand so far.

Design challenge

Luckyface Beauty wanted to find out what users thought about the website, where they got confused and ran into issues. It wanted to redesign the website to optimise the user experience so that users could clearly understand the website quickly and easily perform simple tasks.

Research Process

Participant recruitment

I found 5 women who were friends and colleagues that were the target demographic for Luckyface Beauty.

I showed them a prototype of the website, set them 2 tasks and timed how long it took to complete them.

  • The first task was to figure out what the website was.
  • The second was to add a product to the checkout and reach payments page
  • We interviewed them shortly after.

Findings

1) Time taken to figure out what the website is

  • It took an average of 20 seconds to figure out that it was an ecommerce website selling beauty.
  • But it took about 40 seconds to figure out that it was KBeauty subscription boxes.
  • There was also confusion around what’s in the subscription, the price of it and how many boxes it included.

‘It’s a bit confusing. It says ‘Choose your monthly, 3 months, 6 months’. It says monthly plan. But plan of what?’ — Janet

2) Time taken to reach payment page

From the homepage, it took an average of 1 minute and 30 seconds to find the ‘add to cart’ button, add the product to the basket, fill in their name, address and reach payments page.

‘It was quite easy to just add to the cart. But it was a bit slow when a new page had to load.’ — Janet

3) Website lacked important information

They mentioned that they needed to know more about the brand and the products sold. This would inform their purchasing decision.

‘Imagery is lacking. You should list all the brands that you sell too. you’re missing a home page, contact us and social media pages. ‘ — Charlotte

‘I’d like to know more about the company and who’s running it. Are they ethical?’ — Danielle

4) Website lacked a strong value proposition

They wanted to know what was unique about KBeauty and why it was better

‘I don’t know anything about Korean Beauty. I want to know more about why it’s a big deal and why I should try it.’ — Marianne

‘I want to know more about why KBeauty is good and why it is unique from Western beauty brands.’ — Janet

‘How are the sheet masks from your company different to the ones in the West’ — Charlotte

5) Website lacked social validation

They talked about how they like seeing social media accounts linked to the website because it shows the product being used by others and it gives them helpful tips to get more out of their product.

‘I’d like to see the Instagram of Twitter feeds to see how the product is being used.’ — Jane

‘Social media pages are missing from the website. It makes the business look more credible. ‘ — Charlotte

6) The logo was not prominent enough

Users found it hard to see the logo. They struggled to find it and wanted it to be bigger.

Actions

1) Add a snappy intro

This helps users understand the website in as short time as possible

2) Add a clear value proposition

This helps users find out what makes KBeauty unique.

3) Provide more brand and product information

This helps users understand more about the ingredients, benefits and why they should subscribe.

4) Add more information about the company

This helps the user understand what the company’s aims are and builds a relationship with the user.

5) Add social media feed to the website

6) Make the logo more prominent

By increasing the size of the logo and adding a rectangle around it, users could see it more clearly. This helps users go back to the homepage and with brand recognition.

Results of the second usability test

After the redesign of the website, I invited 5 new users who had never seen the website to do the same usability tests. There was a good improvement in how fast it took to complete the tasks.

  • Users took 8 seconds to figure out that they were on a beauty ecommerce website. This was 60% faster than before.
  • Users took 25 seconds to figure out that it was a KBeauty subscription service. This was 38% faster than before.
  • Users took 63 seconds to add a product to the shopping cart and reaching the payment page. This was 65% faster than before.

Conclusion

The usability tests made a huge difference in the UX of the website.

Before the redesign, users had many confusions and issues:

  • they didn’t understand what website was immediately
  • they didn’t have a clear understanding of the value proposition
  • they wanted to know more about the products and brands that were being sold on the website
  • they took a long time to add a product to the shopping cart and reach the checkout page
  • they wanted to see more credibility
  • they wanted to see more social validation

The redesign involved five main changes:

  • adding a snappy intro which describes what the website is selling in a prominent position on the homepage
  • adding a clear value proposition
  • provide more brand and product information
  • add more information about the company
  • add social media feed to the website

After the redesign, users had a better experience moving through the website:

  • they understood very quickly that they were on a beauty ecommerce website
  • they understood that it was selling KBeauty subscriptions and the benefits
  • they could easily add products from the homepage and reach the checkout

Here to share my UX Diary with you. I’m a UX Researcher based in London with a love for beautiful user-centred designs. I’m also a Psychology Postgrad from UCL.