R&R RETREATS WEBSITE DESIGN
PERFECTING THE FLOW FOR ALL USERS
In 2021, R&R Retreats began as a female-owned start-up in the wellness retreat industry. They cater to two distinctly different clientele: personal-growth-seeking women and high-performance lawyers who are mostly male. This unique pairing presented a design challenge: how to speak to both demographics with one site.
I was hired by R&R to create a seamless end-to-end experience for all users.
DESIGN BY AFTERTHOUGHT
The owners of R&R Retreats created their own website using a template. As their target market expanded, they added new information to the website that degraded the user flow. The designs did not follow industry conventions or meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Before the Redesign
The design problem was to create one accessible site that speaks to their two distinct target markets, guiding each unique user to the content they most need to see.
I served as the sole designer for this project between December 2021 and April 2022.
My responsibilities included conducting user and competitive research, wireframing, prototyping, and designing the site through the company’s preferred website design software, Squarespace.
The refreshed website launched on April 15, 2022.
The UX Strategy for this project was developed using the double diamond design process.
Interviews: Interviewed users in the target market to uncover motivations for using the site and to learn about their personalities.
User Pre-Testing: Watched users try and navigate the site; asked them to complete tasks.
Personas: Developed four personas based on common users of site.
I analyzed four of the top competitor sites to understand industry trends and where the client's site could benefit from adopting trends.
I evaluated the site based on Nielsen's Heuristics and created a report for the business owners with my findings. The site failed six of Nielsen's Heuristics.
I reviewed each piece of content on the site, tracked its location, and evaluated the effectiveness of all design elements for:
Contrast (meeting WCAG guidelines)
Effectiveness of Photography Chosen
Audience vs. Content Mis-Match
I created a formula to assess how well the content met the above criteria and determined a score for each section. The average rating for the site was a 3.99 out of 5, with the homepage scoring only a 3.2.
Use Case Scenarios
After interviewing potential clients, the below use case scenarios were identified:
I am a lawyer looking to get more information about a retreat for the lawyers at my firm to complete their CLE hours while learning self-care tools to manage stress and mental health. I want to know about the CLE offerings and how to schedule the retreat.
I am a high-income earner who is looking to find a community in which to dedicate time to my personal growth while practicing yoga and meditation.
I am a low-income earner who is looking to have time and space for personal growth while nourishing my mind, body, and spirit. I have limited funds and cannot afford the retreat without some sort of scholarship.
I am a yoga teacher looking for a retreat company with which to partner to offer my services to practitioners of yoga. I want the opportunity to network with potential new clients.
Customer Journey Maps
I translated the above user research and use case scenarios into customer journey maps to identify pain points and potential solutions.
After analyzing the information uncovered in the research phase, I identified four major insights for improving the site.
Confusing User Flows
The first paragraph on the homepage spoke individually to three different user groups. The jumble of information made it difficult for each user to know what information applied to their situation.
The combination of text and background images used throughout the site did not provide enough contrast to meet WCAG guidelines.
Gaps in Architecture
Critical pages were buried in the sitemap structure, making them difficult to find.
Unclear Naming Conventions
The names of menus and sub-menus did not match industry norms or have a real-world association; they only meant something to the business owners. New users did not know what they meant.
I reviewed the results of the user research and site UX audit with the business owners, and together we developed the below goals.
Create clear flows for each user persona.
Update the design to meet WCAG standards and industry conventions.
Ensure all pages are easily accessible from the main menu.
Create a match between system and real-world for menus and sub-menus.
I began the design process with rough, hand-drawn sketches to narrow down what worked best for both the business owners and users.
Using the chosen sketches, I developed comprehensive desktop and mobile wireframes using Figma. I reviewed the designs with potential users and conducted tree testing to get qualitative feedback about the designs.
I transformed the user and owner-approved wireframes into high-resolution prototypes using Figma.
At each design phase, I checked in with users about the designs to gauge what was working and what needed iterating. The designs were updated with user feedback.
After iterating the designs, I scheduled a final walkthrough of the design with the business owners. I took their final notes, incorporated them into the design, and began to build the updated site within their chosen software, Squarespace.
The site went live on April 15, 2022. I tested the site to ensure all links and buttons worked correctly and that designs were properly rendered.