Problem: Flea markets were once synonymous with the purchase and discovery of antiques, vintage clothing, and local crafts. In recent years, they have enjoyed a renaissance as cultural attractions thanks to an expanding & eclectic mix of vendors offering everything from artisanal foods to repurposed furniture. However, flea markets face stiff competition from local stores and online marketplaces for the attention of shoppers. Unlike their competitors, flea markets are often seasonal, weekend events with inconsistent schedules and vendor participation. In addition, their popularity can cause long lines and frustration for shoppers, making it easier- and often cheaper- to visit thrift stores or browse goods online at their leisure.
Idea: A multi-platform online system that facilitates communication amongst flea market coordinators, vendors, and shoppers
Goal: Design a digital product to improve the flea market experience.
A Structure Diagram laying out features and hierarchy.
To appease our clients goals we had to look at the bigger picture. In order to make vendor's happy, increase sales, and have the data to support the back end of the site, we needed to increase usage of the website before, during, and after a shopper visited the flea. Because of this we thought it was most important to initially address the shopper's needs/ wants/ pain points. If we could engage those that did not attend flea markets, either on a regular basis or at all, by letting them know the vibe of the flea, extending the browse experience, and help them treasure the hunt- we could set the ground work for the later stages of the project.
Our approach was a three part concept that would feed back into each other step and encourage return visitation to the website and the in-person flea. We felt these areas needed the most improvement in order to facilitate a great flea experience from every user and ensure return visitors.
First we wanted to INSPIRE the shopper by allowing them to discover what was new at the flea, and let them know it isn't the same old stuff. Our clients wanted to be the go to spot for artisanal fleas and the way to do this is to keep the selection at the flea fresh. One way to do this is for Vendor's to have a voice in how they were promoted. Vendor's would be able to fill out their profile page and upload images.
In the PLAN phase there were two pain points- we heard that shoppers who don't visit the flea don't really know what the flea is all about, or which vendors will be there. Coordinators need to find that right mix of vendors in order to keep the flea productive and busy.
When users VISIT the flea they can have a mobile experience that carries over the intent of the desktop and enhances the in-flea experience. The analytics gathered from favorites and the in-flea experience could be used by the coordinator to better choose the optimum vendor mix. These new/featured vendors would then populate the site, re-energizing the discovery process. Each part would feed the other and encourage return visitation to the website and the in-person flea.
Taking on the PLAN phase I was looking to analyze what the user needs from a vendor list. The ultimate goal of the page is to allow users to easily find vendors by category (in order to favorite them or visit individual vendor profile) I was asking myself questions like: how will they search/sort/filter? How does the layout represent this? What content is shown when landing on the page before any filters have been selected?
The final wireframes for the All Vendors search.
I was looking for ways to 'extend the browse' and 'capture the vibe' from the in-flea experience. This is accomplished by the user initially seeing a brief view of all the vendors by category when landing on the page. On the vendor card is picture representative of their work, the ability to favorite them without leaving the page and the vendor's next appearance is listed (not all vendors are at the flea every week.) From here they are able to drill deeper by visiting the vendor's profile page or filter down by category. Unlike similar category searches on other sites, several categories can be chosen at once. Often shoppers may go to a flea for one thing, but purchase something else.
Once the user selects a category, the page is repopulated with the results. The user can then sort by Upcoming, Category (if more than one is selected), Newest, Popular, and Featured. The frequent shopper can just see what's new, while the skeptical shopper can bring the most popular to the top.
Roles + Responsibilities:
- Stake Holder Kick Off
- User Interviews and Onsite Research
- Persona and Site Map Creation