Ezetera.com is part of the GEA group and the largest online school supply company in Mexico. Ezetera.com sells school textbooks, uniforms and all types of stationery, backpacks and school items to families throughout Mexico. After several years of partnership with ITG, Ezetera decided to upgrade their system to Magento 2 and take the opportunity to make great scale changes in the platform and the related systems’ communication. As part of this project, most of the customer flows were reimagined to improve customer satisfaction. The Ezetera team took a great deal of time and effort to put these changes through in a professional manner and ITG had the pleasure to assist them.
Ezetera’s online shopping solution is provided by Mexican schools to student families as an easy and comfortable option to get school supply shopping done. As a result the focus group is quite unique and not necessarily made up of people who usually prefer online shopping or who are tech-savvy. Of course all customers are parents of schoolchildren, seeking the same products and solution but their user experience history is often very different.
UX is very exciting as it is basically behavioural psychology and like a logic game where you need to think with the customer’s head and try to figure out what they would do, like to see and not see. Generally, people tend to get frustrated when they face difficult tasks that should be easy (think about doing taxes) or when they just want to finish something but are blocked by ‘patronising’ comments, popups and tooltips. So the aim was simple: provide sufficient help to the least experienced users while limiting ‘help’ features to parents who know their way around webshops.
‘Easier said than done’ as the boundaries functions should be set individually. Some flows are quite complex where everyone must be guided through the flow. Others are simple to many but difficult for inexperienced users. For example, the former Magento 1 version of the site had guide layers showing customers around making the inexperienced user more comfortable But experienced users were frustrated as they were forced into extra steps after hitting the dashboard.
The solution was a detailed and focused UX planning of all main flows based on the following principles:
1. Displayed info must be minimal and flow must be intuitive
In all cases displayed info is strictly limited to what is essential, no distractions allowed. Based on the customer path getting to the given page, their status, whether or not they have made an order or any other options–displayed information is different, but always exclusively relevant. If what you need to do is there, you simply do not need to begin searching.
Important messages are always ‘in your face.’ Customer needs to be fully aware of their choices and confirm it at each important step (i.e.: finalising orders or deleting information).
2. Colours are limited to grayscale, every outstanding colour has indicative values
Colours can be easily used to guide the customer and the key is the same here: keep the distractions limited. Colours are limited to ‘call to actions’ and ‘informative elements’ (highlights, messages, etc.). Other parts of the site are designed per grayscale. However, it is a common technique and the site can be a bit dull as a result. Fortunately, this has also been planned–due to the site catalog’s nature, product pictures’ vivid colours perfectly balance grayscale while remaining non-distractive.
3. Customer service data from previous years is the reference
These posed the biggest difficulties. After all, customers need to be comfortable with the functionality. You can create the best and most straightforward UI, it is only valid if customers feel the same way. Fortunately, Ezetera knows their customers well taking careful note of customer feedback as well as collected data (Google analytics, heatmaps, etc.). As a solution, ITG’s team thought over all possible scenarios per difficult functions and provided a simple solution for them. While this takes much planning and developmental effort, in the end it is worth it as all possible customer paths are prepared for. Here you can find a guide on how to create an ideal customer profile.
In summary, it was a great experience to be part of these plannings, where the customers really were the center of attention. The process was a real teamwork between Ezetera and ITG and those sorts of projects are always a pleasure to work on. The result is a clean, straightforward and customer focused user interface that has already proven its worth during this year’s peak back-to-school season. As any good UX evolves, we continue to improve and tune the interface based on feedback from users.