UX Writing

An example of how I approach UX writing and product content strategy projects.

Pretty Nice Flowers Company Design Exercise

By Diana Arteaga

I will go through my design process and finish off with my final solution to the Pretty Nice Flowers company design exercise.

Given Problem

The Pretty Nice Flowers company is receiving complaints from people receiving flower deliveries without knowing who they’re from. We believe the problem stems from step #5 in the following user checkout flow:

  1. Lands on Pretty Nice Flowers website
  2. Browses for product
  3. Adds product to their cart
  4. Proceeds to the checkout
  5. Completes the order flow
  6. Pays for order
  7. Leaves site or continues to browse

The “note” section is not required to place an order on the website. This is the only place in the flow where the content that will appear on the note that gets delivered with the flowers can be entered.

This is how this step in the order flow currently looks like: 

Design a simple solution to the problem.

Process

To come up with a solution to this issue, I decided to use both design thinking and the double diamond model to provide structure to my process. This dual approach allows me to:

  • dive deeper into the problem
  • challenge my assumptions
  • do proper research before diving into a solution
  • know what deliverables will be useful at each stage.

1. Empathize

I started by learning about the groups of people affected by the issue. Based on the given problem, I defined three groups that will be affected by the design solution:

  • The senders (users) of the website
    • Goal: Order quality flowers as smoothly as possible; get them delivered
  • The recipients of the flowers
    • Goal: Know who the flowers are from
  • Flower company employees
    • Goal: Successful delivery

To help both the recipients and company employees reach their goals, I need to learn more about the problem that senders are encountering in the order flow. Only then can I solve for the other user groups. 

Validation

My next step is to learn more about the senders. Due to restricted access to current users of the product, I decided to read internet reviews of different flower companies from various sources. I would have liked to conduct interviews with people who send flowers, but given time constraints, internet reviews were the next best option.

Here are screenshots of some of the reviews I found insightful:

Influenster Teleflora Flower Delivery Review – Sana enjoys being able to write her own message. 
Reddit r/Lifehack for Ordering Flowers – Reddit user husbandbulges lists when they like to send flowers.
Best Company Ava’s Flowers Review – Charlie faces issues with the quality of the product and complains that there was no card.

Key findings

Some patterns I noticed about people who send flowers were:

  • They send flowers for special occasions, ranging from hospital stays, funerals, birthdays, Valentine’s day. These can be highly emotional events so any issues with the delivery can have a very negative emotional impact on the recipients and senders
  • Because receivers want to know who sent them flowers, senders have a vested interest in adding a note to their bouquets
  • Recipients and senders may have conflicting wishes. A recipient may want to know who is sending the flowers while the sender may want to remain anonymous (which has its own ethical implications)

Competitive research

I then conducted competitive research by completing a heuristic evaluation of the following sites as it relates to their order flow:

In my research, I discovered that each site had a different order flow, none of which required the sender to leave a message.

1-800-Flowers

1-800-Flowers asks senders to write a message after they confirm other delivery details. They also include copy that encourages the user to leave a note (“Don’t leave them guessing”) but ultimately make the gift message optional.

ProFlowers

ProFlowers had an impressive progress bar at the top so that users know what stage in the process they are in. They also have the gift message as a separate module for the user to focus on, rather than our current solution which combines it with shipping information. Unlike the two other companies, ProFlowers asks their senders for the message before delivery details.

Bouqs

Bouqs includes the gift message within the delivery information module. It would be interesting to know how many people fill the message section out because in cultures where people read left to right, the right side is the least viewed (F-shaped pattern). Interestingly enough, they require senders to include relationship information. I wonder what for and what are the ethical implications of this.

2. Define

The design principles that will guide my solution will be:

  1. Simple
  2. Friendly
  3. Encouraging

Problems with current flow

As stated before, we believe that the problem stems from step #5 in the order flow. Digging deeper into the design of step #5, I discovered:

  1. It’s not clear what a “note” is because there is no explanation given. Senders may not know what this section is for (UX writing issue)
  2. It’s right after “Shipping information”, which may confuse senders. Senders may come to the conclusion that the note section is for any delivery notes for the carrier instead of a message for the recipient (Gestalt law of proximity)
  3. The note section only asks for “First name” and “Last name” but it’s not clear whose name should be inputted, the sender’s or recipient’s

Because of all of the issues highlighted above, it’s easy for people to skip the note purposefully or miss it accidentally.

Informed assumptions about users

A critical part of the process is to state the assumptions I am making as I design the solution. Thus, based on my research and the possible problems I identified above, I believe that senders:

  • Are skipping the note section unintentionally because it is not visible enough 
  • Find the note section confusing 
  • Want to add a note
  • Are between the ages of 30 and 65 (If I had access to the data, I would validate my user group)                                              

Problem statement

Senders are not filling out the note section because the note section is confusing and optional.

“How might we” statement

How might we encourage users to fill out their informational fully so that their receivers know who the flowers are from?

3. Ideate

In the ideate phase, I diverged and brainstormed many kinds of solutions without limiting myself. 

Brainstorming words associated with flower delivery.

Thinking through the current flow and alternative flows.

Rearranging the current form.

Adding a review page.

Adding a chatbot to guide the user to add a message, either a custom message or a templated one.

Adding custom and templated message options.

4. Prototype

After diverging, it’s time to think through the strengths and weaknesses of each idea, keeping constraints in mind.

Constraints

  • Boss wants a simple (easy to implement) solution 
  • Being that it needs to be easy to implement, I’m limited to only being able to change this specific page and not the entire workflow
  • Because of a lack of time and internal resources, I’m relying heavily on online reviews to inform my decisions

Given my constraints, I chose to redesign the current page and:

  • Change the copy to make it more action-oriented and clarify that this note is for the recipient (not the shipping company)
  • Used traditional card copy (“To” and “From”) which are well known culturally
    • To avoid redundancy, these sections will autofill with info from billing and shipping
  • Added templates for users who need help writing a message (“Need inspiration? Try these.”)

Given my constraints, I chose to redesign the current page and:

  • Change the copy to make it more action-oriented and clarify that this note is for the recipient (not the shipping company)
  • Used traditional card copy (“To” and “From”) which are well known culturally
    • To avoid redundancy, these sections will autofill with info from billing and shipping
  • Added “optional” in the body so people know it’s not required
  • Added templates for users who need help writing a message (“Need inspiration? Try these.”)

Strengths:

  • Minimal development resources
  • Only changing one page vs an entire order flow
  • Clarified the copy
  • Less redundancy 

Weaknesses:

  • No review section before placing an order (which could serve as a last chance call to add a message)
  • No progress bar
  • Introducing a new design pattern to the flow (header, explanation and text box)

5. Test & Iterate

As a next step, I would test and iterate upon the solution. I would conduct an A/B tests (new vs old design), conduct usability tests and talk to actual users. Based on those findings, I would iterate on the solution.

Reflection

Some things that came up for me during the process:

  • As a business, we want to support ethical practices. So, what are the ethical implications of making the note optional? For instance, what if a woman is getting unwanted flowers from an anonymous stalker?
  • What is the nature of the customer complaints, are they curious? Worried? Afraid?
  • If there are development resources, I think it would be worth exploring a complete flow overhaul
  • What does the flow look like for multiple flower purchases to different addresses and recipients?

Thanks for reading! 🙂