VISUAL DESIGN | USER RESEARCH
I’m a user experience and visual designer (and accidental stock photography model). As a visual storyteller and relentless problem-solver, I focus on visual design, user research, content strategy, and usability testing to create the best user experience possible. Through testing and an analytical approach to fixing problems, I seek to vanquish ambiguity wherever I find it in order to efficiently achieve business and development goals.
design and usability focused
Case Study: Chelsea Wine Vault
Email marketing design and & strategy overhaul
Open rates and click-through rates were well below industry standard and not improving. Email subscription rates were also stagnating. Email templates were not responsive and optimized for the 50% of subscribers who use mobile devises to view emails.
First, using the latest HTML and CSS standards for responsive mobile templates I hand coded from scratch a template that had the most cross-platform compatibility possible while refreshing the design and incorporating email design best practices. These new email templates were then tested and rolled out.
Personas were created using Google Analytics and interviews with senior sales staff and managers. Extensive subject line A/B testing, Google Analytics research, and personas were then used to hone the marketing message and maximize open and click-through rates.
Fully responsive custom built email template optimized for mobile devices improved the user experience for the 55% of subscribers that use mobile devises to view emails, helping to increase click-through rate by 14%.
Persona creation, although potentially limiting, helped in honing marketing messages and increased effectiveness of marketing, raising open rate by 22% in the 3 month period after implementation.
Also, during my tenure and through the duration of this case study, the email subscription list was nearly doubled from roughly 11,000 to over 20,000.
click-through rate increased by
lifetime email subscriptions up by
On Reflection and Afterwards:
Ongoing A/B testing continues with testing of subject lines, offers, and email design refinements. What I would have done differently or will do differently next time before a major email template redesign is employ more customer surveys. Particularly online surveys but potentially also some phone interviews with key customers.
New technology and CSS refinement for cross-platform compatibility is also continuously incorporated.
Case Study: Cure & Morcilla
responsive web design
38% of site visitors viewed the Cure website on a mobile device but Cure’s website was not responsive, leading to a frustrating user experience for a large group of visitors. For a restaurant where the chef, Justin Severino, was the winner of the People’s Best New Chef Mid-Atlantic 2014 and 2015 and multiple-time James Beard Award nominations, this was detrimental to the brand image and made the reservations procedure much more complicated and frustrating than it should have been. Also, menus were posted as PDF files, not only impacting SEO but also adding to the frustrations of using the site on a mobile device.
Based on user behavior analytics and stakeholder interviews it was determined that a fully responsive site with HTML food menus and an integrated Opentable reservations widget would best serve Cure’s (and later, Morcilla’s) customers. Wireframes were used to test and iterate before interface was designed and the site coded, which made the process much more efficient. The same process was later also applied to Severino’s next restaurant, Morcilla.
Both the Cure and Morcilla websites were built in Squarespace, which satisfied the requirement that the sites be fully responsive, have HTML food menus, and be able to integrate with the Opentable reservations system, but also delivered to the client a site that could be easily updated by the restaurants’ current staff.
Online restaurant reservations increased dramatically (up roughly 30% one month later) after the launch of the new Cure site and bookings overall increased as well. Anecdotally, walk-ins from customers viewing the menu on their phones first increased also. Thanks to improved SEO, Cure now appears in the top 10 results when “restaurant pittsburgh” is searched in Google.
Morcilla went on to place #4 in Bon Appétit’s America’s Best New Restaurants 2016 and was ready to provide online visitors with the best possible user experience, thanks to the work that was done on Cure’s site.
On Reflection and Afterwards:
Although the client is content with the current iteration of the site and does not want to pay for further testing, I would like to conduct A/B testing with the site as well as conduct heat map and/or eyeball tracking tests in order to further refine the user experience and ensure that users are getting the most out of the site and that they are being converted at the highest possible rate.