This project was a complete redesign of the HomeHardware.ca website alongside the introduction of the Endeca (now Oracle) search platform and Ingeniux content management system. The site did not have an eCommerce component but was primarily aimed at allowing users to find products and their local Home Hardware dealer. Secondarily there was also a lot of content on the site aimed at giving users project ideas.
This project was conducted primarily in Ottawa, with frequent trips to the client site in Kitchener. This included initial discovery and a presentation to Home dealers at a yearly product launch.
The initial discovery phase kicked-off at Home Hardware with Endeca and 3-day planning session that covered all high-level technical aspects of the project as well as initial UX discovery. During these meetings my partner and I lead a persona creation exercise with stakeholders from across the Home Hardware corporate structure. After initial idea generation and diving in to each persona a prioritization exercise was held to help guide the overall development of the project.
Another aspect of the initial discovery was to review the current site for usability issues and discuss success metrics with the client.
The first task after defining the overall scope, users, and scenarios/use cases for the project was to look at the underlying information architecture of the site and look at how best to refactor it to both support the introduction of Endeca, and meet the expectations of the visitors to the site. The example below shows some of the first of 8 pages of sitemap diagrams ultimately developed for the project: Sections that were driven by Endeca were explicitly called-out.
The example below is of the flow for users finding and choosing the Home Hardware closest to them. This would impact the pricing and product availability shown throughout the site and was a requirement for both. One of the challenges of the implementation of this was that in rural areas, the closest location might be across provincial or territorial boundaries. This was uncovered during initial user acceptance testing by the Home Hardware dealers. A great deal of technical effort was required to wieght the results such that users were presented with the proper default dealer. Another interesting issue came with the Shopping 'Cart', which needed to be clearly not a list for purchasing but for printing and taking to a dealer. Ultimately the phrase Shopping List was chosen.
Although the initial work for this project took place between 2009-10, the website as it stands today (June 2016) is largely the same structure I developed. I was involved with the project until launch, both continuously updating the documentation and being involved in technical and design reviews both internally and with the client.