Farmhouse Paint & Sip Marketing Website and User Research

Introduction

The Client

Farmhouse Paint & Sip

Farmhouse Paint & Sip (or FPS) is a woman owned, small business in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The business is a studio space where people can participate in a painting lesson or create an independent project. 

The space is also rented out for events where painting is typically a voluntary activity. FPS has a cafe and liquor license, so they can sell alcohol to adults who are on the premises.

Problem statement

The current website for FPS has provided some concern to the effectiveness. The owners have asked our group to investigate the possibility of improving what the site offers potential customers to improve their early experience with the business.

Goals and Objectives

Research and redesigning the Farmhouse Paint & Sip website will improve the customer’s understanding of the services offered, the physical space and ways to attend events and classes at the Farmhouse. The main objectives of the usability research and redesign include: 

  • Define services clearly and succinctly
  • Encourage sign-ups 
  • Promote Event reservations

Users and Audience

The existing customer base is predominantly female, between 21 and 78 years old. 

Most customers visit in groups or parties. The size of a party is a good indication for the demographic. 

Small groups of less than 4 typically consist of male and female couples or female friends within the same age range.

Larger groups of 4 or more customers are consistently groups of females, between 30 and 60 and often familial in relation.

Roles and Responsibilities

My participation in the project consisted in both research and design. 

Research

The research I conducted was both formative and summative, which will be explained in greater detail throughout the case study.

Design

All wires and mockups were physically created by me with a great deal of help from the other group members by way of concept and critique. 

Scope and Constraints

Full website redesign. 

This project was limited to discovery and recommended solution for the features of their website. We did not deliver a finished website or spend any time considering branding. Nor did we make any suggestions for a social media campaign

The purpose of this project was to redesign the company website, www.farmhousepaintandsip.com

Process and What Happened

Project Method

The redesign of the Farmhouse Paint & Sip website platform involved an iterative approach with three rounds of user testing and 3 design iterations.

Farmhouse Paint & Sip Current design
Farmhouse Paint & Sip Current design

User Testing - Round 1

The first round of user testing involved an exploratory task based usability study of the current website. This round of testing identified pain points and sections that could be improved upon in the current website.

Round 1 Results and Findings

During the first round of user testing, participants explored the website platform for the Farmhouse Paint & Sip and completing tasks involving learning about and booking services. Pain points and opportunities to improve the experience were identified in the content organization, descriptions of services and visual appeal of the site.

Qualitative data was collected and summarized in these conclusions.

Content organization trends

Participants found the content organization to be confusing and more complicated than necessary.

Description trends

Many participants expressed confusion when reading the navigation and home page descriptions of services offered at the Farmhouse Paint & Sip.

Visual appeal trends
Most participants expressed they would like to see more images of the business and activities offered. Some of the visuals including icons and color scheme were also identified as unexpected, confusing or unfavorable by participants.
Usability ratings

In order to help the participants give useful feedback, the team asked a series of questions to get more information. The questions and results are as follows:

Question 1: Thinking about this first page as a whole, do you feel like you have enough information to understand what the Farmhouse Paint and Sip offers, from 1 not at all to 5 I completely understand all the options offered at the Farmhouse

Average rating: 3.1/5

Question 2: On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘Very Difficult’ and 5 is ‘Very Easy,’ how would you rate the ease of planning your visit to the Farmhouse based on this website?

Average rating: 3.66/5

Question 3: On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘Very Difficult’ and 5 is ‘Very Easy,’ how would you rate the ease of understanding your options for your private event at the Farmhouse based on this website?

Average rating: 4.6/5

Question 4: On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘Very Difficult’ and 5 is ‘Very Easy,’ how would you rate the ease of planning your visit to the Farmhouse for your May 12 th visit?

Average rating: 4.6/5

Question 5: Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘Very Difficult’ and 5 is ‘Very Easy,’ how would you rate the ease navigating and completing tasks on the Farmhouse website?

Average rating: 4.1/5

Low-fidelity Redesign

From the first round of user research, a low fidelity prototype redesign website was created. The main focus of this redesign included:

  • Content organization
  • Clarity of services provided
Farmhouse Paint & Sip project wireframe
Farmhouse Paint & Sip project wireframe

User Testing - Round 2

The second round of user testing asses the redesign low-fidelity prototype of the Farmhouse website. User feedback informed additional improvements made to the prototype design for the high fidelity iteration.

Round 2 Results and Findings

During the second round of usability testing, the research team conducted one on one sessions with users to gather feedback on the low-fidelity redesign of Sip & Paint. During this round, potential improvements for the low-fidelity design were gathered in order to design the high -fidelity redesign of the website platform. Improvements from the original site including the visual layout, distinct sections were identified. Further opportunities to improve the prototype were also identified including; further, call to actions and clearer breakdown of which option is best for the user’s needs.

The ratings for ease of use were lower than the previous round of testing. One reason for this may have been because of the prototype nature of the site including a lack of pictures and fully built out pages. Qualitative feedback pertaining to these ratings were collected to further improve the next design of the prototype website.

Improvements

Some pain points discovered in the first round of testing the existing site were improved upon in the low-fidelity redesign, with an opportunity to further improve these aspects:

  • Most users clearly understood the different ways they could visit and partake in an event at the Paint & Sip Farmhouse including; classes, walk-ins, private events.
    • The biggest improvement from the first round of testing was the concept of a walk-in. Meaning customers could come into the studio without making an apt and paint what they wanted.
    • “It looks like I can just go in and paint one of the paintings at various sizing with an instructor available if needed”
  • Many users said they liked the layout and potential for imagery to show them what the setting and events would look like.
Content Organization Trends

Overall, the different ways customers can visit the Paint & Sip were understood, but the amount of content and where it is presented can make the information more clear. 

  • Some users did not like that some sections had more content than others, wanting brief information to understand which section met their needs and further information when they chose to learn more
  • Information on the main page was informative, but lacking in some sections like the book a class option and overwhelming in the book and event section 
    • “Paint class is very straightforward, and I understand the event would be more complicated but so much text.”
    • “Event section is super overwhelming space.”
  • Participants wanted more call to actions and ways to interact with each section in order to get more information and see more options
    • “I want a link to a schedule to see how to book a class and when it is available”
  • Some participants expected general information about the Farmhouse to be first and then specific ways to visit after the general concept is understood
Additional Trends
  • Pricing and specifics of each section difficult to understand in the current content.
  • The static heading is helpful, but some users wanted the navigation to take them to separate pages and not jump to sections
    • “I would like the fixed header with separate page. The page isn’t that long that I need a fixed header and jump”
    • “Separate pages is needed because I want to see more”
  • Potential imagery seen as a positive aspect of the design
    • “The images will be good. I’d want to see the space. Paintings are less important because I think I can go to a gallery. Gives me an idea of what to imagine when I go”
Usability Ratings

Questions 1: Thinking about this first page as a whole, do you feel like you have enough information to understand what the Farmhouse Paint and Sip offers, from 1 not at all to 5 I completely understand all the options offered at the Farmhouse

Average rating: 4.5/5

Question 2: On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘Very Difficult’ and 5 is ‘Very Easy,’ how would you rate the ease of planning your visit to the Farmhouse based on this website?

Average rating: 3.67/5

Question 3: On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘Very Difficult’ and 5 is ‘Very Easy,’ how would you rate the ease of understanding your options for your private event at the Farmhouse based on this website?

Average rating: 3.67/5

Question 4: On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘Very Difficult’ and 5 is ‘Very Easy,’ how would you rate the ease of planning your visit to the Farmhouse for your May 12th visit?

Average rating: 3.5/5

Question 5: Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘Very Difficult’ and 5 is ‘Very Easy,’ how would you rate the ease navigating and completing tasks on the Farmhouse website?

Average rating: 3.67/5

High-fidelity Prototype

The high-fidelity design iteration included improvements from round 2 of user testing and incorporated imagery, type and graphical elements.

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Round 3 Usability testing

The last round of user testing involved user participants as well as usability experts who performed an expert evaluation on the high-fidelity prototype. These insights helped to further refine the final design of the Farmhouse website.

Round 3 Results and Findings

Round 2 of the user testing served as a validation test of the website design to establish if design iterations were effective. During this round, average users of the site as well as usability experts evaluated the current design.

Overall, participants had a very positive experience using the Farmhouse site, with improvements in qualitative feedback and ease of use ratings. The findings from this round of validation testing are as follows:

Improvements
  • Most participants found navigating the site to be very easy and intuitive.
    • “No, I do not see any improvements that are needed. The functionalities and layout are excellent. There is not too much text, but all the information about the service is communicated, so I didn’t see any gaps in information that should be presented.”
  • The one-page layout was favored by almost all participants.
    • “My first impression was that I liked that the website used a one-page layout format, which worked well for the website. Since there is not a lot of text on the website, I was able to quickly get an overview of the website within minutes.”
  • Many participants agreed the imagery was impactful and provided important information about the setting and services offered at the Farmhouse 
    • “I felt the use and placement of imagery was well done in the layout. The photos represented real customers using the service.”
  • Many participants liked that the reserve call to action and phone number was prominently on the top of the page
    • “I like how the “Reserve” button and contact number were prominently placed in the header, which is great for visitors who have already been to the website and are coming back to make a quick reservation.”
Pain points

Some pain points and suggestions for improvements came up during this round of testing. A few suggestions, however, were based on how the services are ran by the business owner and cannot be changed without a change in services. For the improvements suggested related to the site layout and design, these changes are incorporated in the final design.

  • Many participants still did not understand why they would schedule anything for a walk-in. While improvements were made to the language, this is a concept the business owners implemented. Since this is something offered, we will need to include this on the site, but try to be very clear with the concept and language in descriptions and call to actions.
    • “I would go to the “walk-in” menu item and figure it out from there. However, it looks like walking in isn’t actually an option, and you have to make an appointment anyway. That fits the question, but the concept of “walk-in” seems to be lost.”
  • A few participants wanted further clarification on the overall concept of the Farmhouse and wanted the explanation of painting and sipping to be higher up on the page.
    • “Maybe have more of a description in that initial banner that site users see when the page loads.”
  • A few participants felt they had to look further for information about pricing and would like to see all the pricing pertaining to that activity in that specific section.
  • “I didn’t like having to move to the pricing page without guidance”
Usability Ratings

Questions 1: Thinking about this first page as a whole, do you feel like you have enough information to understand what the Farmhouse Paint and Sip offers, from 1 not at all to 5 I completely understand all the options offered at the Farmhouse 

Average rating: 5/5

Question 2: On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘Very Difficult’ and 5 is ‘Very Easy,’ how would you rate the ease of planning your visit to the Farmhouse based on this website?

Average rating: 5/5

Question 3: On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘Very Difficult’ and 5 is ‘Very Easy,’ how would you rate the ease of understanding your options for your private event at the Farmhouse based on this website?

Average rating: 4.4/5

Question 4: On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘Very Difficult’ and 5 is ‘Very Easy,’ how would you rate the ease of planning your visit to the Farmhouse for your May 12 th visit?

Average rating: 3.8/5

Question 5: Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘Very Difficult’ and 5 is ‘Very Easy,’ how would you rate the ease navigating and completing tasks on the Farmhouse website?

Average rating: 4.2/5

Participants

Participants in the three rounds of user testing represent the diverse group of customers that visit the Farmhouse Paint & Sip. Customers range in age, ethnicity, occupation and interest, but are more female than male.

The user’s tested for each round of user testing include:

A further breakdown of the male to female ratio of participantes.

All participants partake in social gatherings or events anywhere from multiple times a week to once a month. Participants reported often planning social events with friends or family which included researching options online, making calls or booking reservations.

Common sites used for research and planning included opentable, pinterest, group messaging, facebook, email, etc. 

Conclusion

Outcomes and lessons

Overall, the design iterations of the Farmhouse Paint & Sip website improved user’s experience when navigating and discovering information on the platform. 

Participants experienced many pain points and frustrations with the original design including navigation, confusing labels and unclear ways to visit the Farmhouse. 

While conducting user testing for the redesign, it was found that the single page layout, imagery and content of the website was easy to navigate and understand. 

The ease of use score also improved overall by .48 points from the first round of testing to the last round.