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R&R Retreats Website Redesign

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). 

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Before the Redesign

The Challenge

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. 

My Role

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.

UX Strategy

The UX Strategy for this project was developed using the double diamond design process.

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Discover

User Research

  • 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.

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Competitor Research
I analyzed four of the top competitor sites to understand industry trends and where the client's site could benefit from adopting trends. 

UX Audit

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. 

Content Audit
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)

  • Content Length

  • Effectiveness of Photography Chosen

  • Tone/Voice

  • 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.

Define

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. 

 

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Insight Synthesis 

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. ​

  • Inaccessible Designs 

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. 

 

Goals 

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. 

Develop

Sketches

I began the design process with rough, hand-drawn sketches to narrow down what worked best for both the business owners and users. 

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Wireframes

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. 

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Prototypes

I transformed the user and owner-approved wireframes into high-resolution prototypes using Figma.

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User Testing

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.

 

Deliver

Final Approval 

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.

 

Production Launch

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. 

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Challenges

Service Deposits

Squarespace wasn’t designed to take deposits for a service. This issue wasn’t discovered until real-world testing of the checkout process after the designs were complete. I reached out to support at Squarespace to uncover what the options are and how people have solved this problem in the past. I presented the business owners with three potential solutions and the pros and cons of each. Once they determined the path forward, I updated the designs based on their preferences. 

Summary

The redesign of R&R Retreats' website was challenging due to the seemingly disparate nature of the two target markets. This project provided a fun UX design challenge that was solved through strategic thinking, thorough user research, and iterating designs all while checking in with users along the way.