Project: Help customers understand how their choices affect their price
Product: Custom Ink Design Lab
Role: Lead Experience Architect
Year: 2020-2021 (ongoing)

Case
The Custom Ink Design Lab is used by customers (who are typically not designers) to create custom designed shirts and apparel for their group or event. As a part of the design process, the Lab is also the first place where a customer would be exposed to a quote for their design.

Problem
We had found over the years that our customers were unusually sensitive to any changes to the Lab that would influence any factor that could increase their quote (which is primarily affected by the number of colors used, the number of sides printed on, and what product they chose); even clearly beneficial features would often cause a decrease in overall conversion during A/B tests. This led to years of stagnation as any product area related to any of these price-affecting features were avoided out of fear of failed conversion tests. 

Approach
Instead of looking from a feature-by-feature perspective, we shifted to viewing the customers’ total understanding of how our pricing model works. Fundamentally, we believed that customers may not know what affects their price, so when they saw a higher-than-expected quote, they didn’t know how to effectively reduce it to meet their budget. We would launch a discovery process to evaluate the customer’s total experience with getting a quote, understanding how they got to that price, and what they could do to effectively reduce it.

Insights
The overwhelming discovery was that our customers didn’t understand what factors in their design affected the price. This had a domino effect of frustration because customers would struggle to make changes to their designs, taking stabs in the dark hoping that the price would come down. Custom Ink had a legacy of essentially hiding the price from the customer until late in their process, aiming to give the customer the freedom to “fall in love with their design” before turning to a more price-centered point of view. However, because we failed to effectively communicate what decisions had affected their price, customers were left with sticker shock and no recourse.
Solution
The solution to this newly-understood problem was broad, but essentially boiled down to 3 parts. First was adjusting the quote screen itself to better connect the specific factors that affect price (color count, side count, product choice) to the presentation of the price itself. Second, we created a system of “price tips” that would directly suggest specific changes the customer could make to reduce a quote (eg: “reduce from 6 colors to 4 to save 14%”). Lastly, we aimed to provide tools and features to directly assist the customer to reduce their price by changing their design, such as one-click methods to reduce color count or to remove a back design.

Evaluation
This project was a smashing success that has seen multiple double-digit increases to conversion through the Design Lab. 
Pricing Guidance
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Pricing Guidance

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Creative Fields