Startup Website Design
Party Parent is an emerging Atlanta startup that wants to take party planning into the digital age through an all-in-one management tool that connects casual party planners with party vendors.
Party Parent approached myself and my team with the concept and business model, but not much more than that. Our objective was to create the core planning experience for users, the vendor directory, and the initial onboarding experience.
My role was focused on product strategy and interaction design - prioritizing what the user’s problems were and how they interacted with the platform.
We conducted 7 in-depth interviews with moms who had recently planned a party for one their kids (our primary target audience for our MVP). We focused on their most recent party planning experience and 4 key areas of study:
Who were these moms? What did they look like? How many kids did they have?
How did they start planning a party for their kids? What steps did they take? How did they find everything?
What all was involved in their parties? What types of supplies, venues, food did they choose?
What issues did they have? What would they change about the process?
We used affinity mapping to analyze the results from our interviews. This helped us to prioritize features within the experience we were designing and build our personas, as well as inform some of the content and visual elements.
Key findings included:
The theme drives the party
Most users were big picture focused
They trust other people's recommendations
They hate not knowing where to look
They need to keep track of all details
With our user research and affinity mapping results,
we were able to focus on the main user problem...
Casual party planners are having to manage multiple resources to plan their party, making the process stressful and time-consuming when it should be fun.
With our core problem identified and having a better understanding of our users, we developed two in-depth personas for different aspects of our target audience:
Kelly, an older mom who likes things managed for her and wants to easily and simply put together a great party.
Sarah, a newer mom who is a self-described Pinterest queen and wants to create a unique party.
We then mapped out how our personas would navigate the site. As the interaction designer, I focused heavily on the main planning tool and how users would experience it that was simple, yet enjoyable. Throughout the design process our user flow adjusted slightly based on user tests.
User Flow & Site Map
For example, our initial research showed that Theme was the main driver of the party, so we designed "Picking a Theme" be very early on in the planning process. However, during user testing we learned that this was confusing to users as they began associate the Theme with being a "party package" they could purchase (which wasn't possible in this MVP). For our final flow, we moved theme to after setting up the party details, but prioritized it.
Iterative Design & User Testing
Throughout our design process, we were continuously iterating on our designs based on real user feedback - from sketches to wireframes to our higher fidelity mockups. During the 3 week sprint, we conducted 3 stages of user testing, each time expanding on what we were trying to learn.
Stage One we focused on the general navigation and layout using some low-fidelity wireframes. We learned that displaying a user's "party checklist" and their "party details" on the same page was overwhelming to users.
Stage Two we conducted an A/B test among a group of users to determine whether users preferred the "party checklist" organized based on party sections like theme or supplies or just all based on priority.
Stage Three we focused again on navigation and layout except with higher fidelity mockups that included our new branding exploration.
Because of concerns with the original logo's scalability and the color palettes accessibility, we wanted to explore the original branding of Party Parent. Our visual designer led this effort, though our entire team contributed to the strategy of the new reasoning. We wanted to capture the party spirit, so what better way than using a ballon as our primary motif?
As interaction designer, I created a full interaction guide detailing how buttons and tasks within the "party checklist" would react to user input, such hover states and expanded views for more detail.
Using Principle, I also animated a few examples of how a user would expand the view on a task and how they would complete a task.