Website Redesign

Books & Books: An E-Commerce Bookstore

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Books & BooksAssignmentUX Designer1.5 Weeks


This project was a redesign pitch completed as part of the User Experience Design Immersive (UXDI) course at General Assembly. We were tasked with choosing a local retailer and streamlining their current e-commerce site, keeping in mind their current brand image and ‘small shop’ appeal.

I chose Books & Books, one of the leading independent booksellers in America. Founded by in 1982, it has since expanded to eight locations, concentrated in the Miami area and also with branches in Grand Cayman and Westhampton Beach on Long Island, and now Key West.

In this scenario, some prioritization work had already been done with the client.

Project Focus

For the redesign I had four major objectives to hit

  1. Have multiple clear ways of locating specific products
  2. Select products must have a product description page
  3. Have an efficient way of purchasing one or more products
  4. Steer customers toward popular products

First Impressions

I began by informally exploring the site to see what I was working with and immediately noticed some interesting design choices.

I initially didn’t understand the motivation behind some choices, such as using cover images for the menu as opposed to a more standard header, but it made more sense once I tested the mobile version of the site

Cover images fit better on mobile
Sidebar collapses into hamburger menu, explaining the plethora of options
Global nav bar that looked good on desktop on other pages not optimized for mobile

It’s clear that mobile is important for our client, so I wanted to keep that in mind moving forward with the design.

Beginning with the User

Before diving further into the website I wanted to get a pulse on what a potential customer would need and want from the website, so Iconducted 6 User Interviews with book buyers who shop online and frequent indie bookstores

I wanted to learn…

  • How do they normally buy books?
  • How do they decide what books to buy?
  • Why would they visit a local bookstore’s Website?
  • Why pick an independent bookstore over a retail chain?