UX Design for Furniture Company
- Web Design
- May - Aug. 2016
- Willing to Refer
"We always knew where we stood with them; they were true to their deadlines and timelines."
- Consumer Products
- Chicago, Illinois
- 201-500 Employees
- Phone Interview
Nelson Cash conducted in-depth consumer research and UX/UI design to support a furnishings rental site update, interviewing internal/external stakeholders and proposing engaging page layouts and flows.
Since launching earlier this year, the revamped site has experienced a significant increase in average visit time and drop in bounce rate. Nelson Cash’s ability to preserve brand integrity while executing a radical platform transformation made them a great fit for this engagement.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
Brook Furniture Rental is a rent-to-rent organization. We have distribution centers and showrooms across the country, and we provide consumers and corporations with temporary furnishings. We have a vast product line ranging from complete home furnishing packages that include every item your home would need; to complete office solutions from the executive office to the lunch room. We service both B2C and B2B clients, working directly with consumers and also other service providers to provide furnishing solutions to folks in a state of temporary transition. Currently, I'm the Vice President of Shared Services, when we started working with Nelson Cash I was the acting Director of Marketing.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What challenge were you trying to address with Nelson Cash?
Our site had last been updated in 2012, and it needed some help. It was very copy-intensive and wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. In the past, there hadn’t been a significant amount of research in terms of what the flow should be, how it should work, what the consumer behavior looks like, how people want to make decisions, etc. We hadn’t done a really deep dive on best practices. We wanted not only to make the site current in terms of its look but also just improve the flow and function and understand the psychology of people coming to the site to transact. We wanted to get a better feel for what might be more effective.
What was the scope of their involvement?
Nelson Cash did really nice, in-depth research. It wasn’t intended to be a research project, but that was their approach, and I concurred it was a good place to start. They interviewed key members of our team—different folks who interact with consumers while working on the site. They were also working with different touch points within the organization in terms of what they thought the site should do, how it should work, and how it should behave. They went out in the field and worked with our sales people and met face-to-face with some of our clients.
They did some significant backend research in terms of monitoring and recording activity on our existing system, and they also proposed flows that they had mapped out for the UX. It was a relatively thorough research process, which was great. It was a well-informed design process. I think that was very important to get us to where we are. We continue to do that now, even internally. We constantly monitor the site looking at consumer behavior, looking for ways to improve the user experience and of course help lift conversions.
We did most of the content. We took a lot of the content that was in the existing program. Although Nelson Cash offered to provide content, we decided to use the content we had because it was very keyword-centric from an SEO perspective. We modified it to fit the nicer templates and information presentation ideas they had. We really didn’t modify a ton of the content. From a page count perspective, our content is predominantly made up by our product catalog. There were other non-catalog pages that were important to us that we restructured to fit into the new template designs.
Nelson Cash really helped us with the imagery, the layout, the thought process of how things should flow, the page structure, the placement, and the momentum we wanted to build with clients emotionally as they go through this process. We found some sticking points in the previous design that were creating a higher drop rate and we were able to address those areas to create a better user experience and in the end, a longer time on site metric.
Nelson Cash offered us other services. They have a full CMS [content management system] service, and they also do the site coding, web services coding, and HTML coding. We didn’t use them for that; we used them predominantly for the research and design aspect of it. We did some of that programming and coding in-house, and we’ve got some legacy processes and systems. It’s easier for us to do it than to give it to someone else.
How did you come to work with Nelson Cash?
They were referred to us by one of our board members. Their owner and principle partner, Uri, came in, and we met with him. He’s a very bright guy, and we loved his approach to business and what he did for other organizations. We found the work to be engaging. We looked at a couple other design groups, but we found Nelson Cash’s approach to be a good fit for the way we were thinking and what we needed. We didn’t want to just do a screen refresh. This was a pretty radical change in terms of what we did.
How much have you invested with Nelson Cash?
This information is confidential.
What is the status of this engagement?
The project with Nelson Cash ran from May to August of 2016. They turned it around relatively fast, which is what we needed.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
Our bounce rate has dropped significantly. If you look year-to-year against Google Analytics, we've dropped our bounce rate by double digits and increased our time on site by double digits.
We’re very happy with details like the font choice, flow, and image location. We are continually monitoring consumer behavior and making modifications. Ever since we took the site live at the end of January, we’re continuing to get information from the field, directly from consumers and our own teams out there. Some changes are minor, and some are relatively significant as we find out how people are behaving, what their frustrations are, and where they might be getting stuck. I wouldn’t think poorly of Nelson Cash because of that; it’s just the nature of this beast. You’ve got to get out there and do it.
How did Nelson Cash perform from a project management standpoint?
I believe they did an excellent job. They provided us with critical deadlines, timetables, a Gantt chart of progress, and an estimated time of completion. We communicated back and forth on where the sticking points were. It was really good to work with them, and they’ve got some very talented people. They’re local in Chicago, so it was easy for me to go down and spend some time with them. We’d do storyboarding, brainstorming, competitive benchmarking, and consumer flow diagramming to be sure we were on the right track. They performed very thoughtful research on our behalf in the area of consumer behavior which led directly to site design modifications. It was really good. We always knew where we stood with them; they were true to their deadlines and timelines. The delivery of the product was timely and thorough.
What did you find most impressive about Nelson Cash?
I don’t have anything to benchmark them against, but I liked their sincere concern about the success of our organization and their intelligent approach to understanding our business. They really dug into what we do and how we do it. One of their team members even rented furniture from us just to see the whole experience. That buy-in, from a concept perspective, is really important. Before you think about design, it’s important to understand not just our business but also the competitive set—what’s happening in the industry, who are the audiences—before getting to know those people and coming up with the design. My experience with these guys was very positive.
Are there any areas Nelson Cash could improve?
No, our experience was very good. I could call them today, and they’d be involved. They’re sincerely concerned about our success. After I get the latest revisions into the system and let them stabilize for a week or two, I think we’ll probably get them involved again to get their feedback and clean up some things. I really respect their opinion.
Service & Deliverables
"They’re on time and accurate."
On time / deadlines
"They kept the whole process moving along. We looked at some different themes and processes around color, font strategy, and the whole layout, which was done very well. We met our deadline in the end, and it was a pretty tight one."
Value / within estimates
"I wish it would have cost less, but that’s just the budget scenario I was in. It wasn’t unfair, and they did a lot of great work."
Willing to Refer5.0
"I would trust them to do good work for other people.