For my final project at General Assembly for a UX Design certification, I decided to do vinyl figurine toy collecting.
As the lead designer on this project, I was in charge of the user research, strategy, UX design, high fidelity versions and presentation.
Learn about how collectors buy, sell and trade collectibles and find areas to improve.
The User Base
Toy collectors, ranging from casuals to hardcore.
The Problem & Hypothesis
Like everyone, people buy and sell things for a variety of reasons; the collectors I interviewed stated it was either due to a loss of interest, the toy doesn’t match their collection, impulse purchase and/or need the money to buy other figurines or for personal expenses.
Another constant issue were the run-ins with bad deals and scammers on both the buying and selling end. As a result of those experiences, created a lot of trust issues with online transactions.
We believe by providing a trusted and secure platform for people who are trying to buy and sell collectibles, we will help build a solid foundation of confidence and trust between buyers and sellers.
After this process, the answer became clear: there needs to be a secure platform where both the buyers and sellers. This not only will rebuild trust in each other, but further strengthen the already tight-knit community. If Chase Collectibles is to be a success, the foundation has to be solid.
Research Goal & Highlights
Out of the 15 people interviewed, 95% joined Facebook groups to buy and sell toys and share photos of their collections.
I found out majority of the collectors would cross-post sales in different Facebook groups to see who would message them for a potential sale or trade, not knowing whether or not the buyer is a scammer. Roughly 2% made their purchases or sales at comic/toy conventions, in-store and/or on other websites like KidRobot. About 1% of interviewees went through different channels to post up a sale, such as eBay.
While the community is tight-knit and the Facebook groups do have assigned moderators, there’s only so much they could police within their power to warn people of possible scammers. Reporting systems on sites like eBay can take a long time to dispute. And scamming can go both ways, where the buyer can claim they never got the item.
It was necessary to break this down into two personas to represent both sides.
Combing through my research and retracing the steps of several e-commerce sites, the user flow map came to fruition.
The Framework: Priority Features
There were several features I put on the forefront to make the site more accommodating, like a search bar and seller ranking. Everything was a little rough, but very minimal things changed during the sketch to the wireframe and prototype process.
The Search Bar
During the testing phase, one user pointed out the popular keywords below the search bar worked for those who don’t know what to search, thus igniting those who impulse buy toys. What didn’t work was the headline.
When another user tested it, he didn’t realize the site allowed you to sell your items until he clicked on the menu. That prompted the change you see to the right.
Buyer & Seller Reassurance
To really play up the reassurance angle, I researched how pages like these were formatted, specifically from Etsy and Grailed. Every little detail is transparent for the potential users and this will help put their worries at ease.
Continuing on the trust thing, a summary of the seller’s bio can be seen with their ranking, reviews, how many items they have on sale and an option to favorite them. The confusing thing here was the ranking name (1/36). I was trying to be cheeky with a probability number in relation to a vinyl toy series, but it didn’t work out. So I swapped it for a more traditional naming convention and changed the peace sign to a shield instead to better show they’re “trusted.”
Item Details, tags and verified reviews
This was the only section that had the least amount of changes. Testers really liked how everything was easy to read and how things were ordered.
Further Develop User UI
I’ll return to the drawing board and user interviews to create the optimal user page for Chasers to manage their account in regards to transactions, profiles and possibly blogs.
I’d also like the flesh out the ranking system for the site. I already know “Vinyl Boss” is going to be the top tier rank.
Create an app for both android and iPhone devices.
Will function like Amazon’s app with one-click purchases if the user gains the “trusted” status.