In the world of e-commerce, very few names ring louder for clients than Shopify, a platform devoted to ease of use for its customers and simplicity of theme creation for its developer base. Last year, the Shopify team released Slate, an open-source developer toolkit designed to improve the experience of creating custom themes.
Despite initial release issues, Slate provided developers with a CLI in which to efficiently build on today’s fastest growing e-commerce platform. After a year of listening intently to the development community, Shopify has released Slate v1, a newly redesigned toolkit that helps reduce coding errors and improve the developer experience.
When we’re starting an e-commerce project at FortyFour, clients often mention the importance of SEO for their business, usually in regards to maintaining traffic after a redesign or a re-platforming. What’s not often discussed, however, is how SEO is a part of the shopping journey — or how content can be optimized for organic search growth and deliver long-term impact.
In retail, the display or kiosk can make a difference in whether a product sells. Even where the product is placed in relation to other brands, or how close the product is to the ground, can drastically impact sales. Consider a busy afternoon in SoHo or 5th Avenue in New York—the window display is meant to draw your attention and ultimately make you shop for the exact item or other items in the store. Let’s just say there are a lot of variables for why something may catch a shopper’s eye.
While e-commerce marketers tend to focus on conversion metrics, standardized functionality, and templated (or repeatable) design, the most natural function of a shopping experience is often the most ignored—window shopping or browsing. Shoppers are not always looking for an exact solution. Sometimes they’re just looking for inspiration.
FortyFour has been growing quickly, and this past year, we officially added business analysis to our competencies. But you might be wondering: what is a business analyst, and why did we need one here?
Business Analysis Defined
The business analyst (BA) acts as a bridge between the cultural and technological sides of a digital agency. From the UX designers to content strategists to technology directors, various agency teams have a difficult time integrating the myriad projects and platforms in which they’re working. That’s where the BA comes in.
At the beginning of any project, the BA gathers all the requirements and develops a game plan. Through consumer research, design thinking, customer journey mapping, user flows, prototypes, and user stories, BAs are able to round-up all the requirements a new project will bring with it. Their goal is to ensure a consistent product vision, from the initial client discovery phase to the product release and through ongoing maintenance.
Was Thomas Jefferson a prototypical UX designer? According to Paul Landon, a user experience principal here at FortyFour, the answer is yes. Read on to learn about his interesting theory–and what else he loves about UX, life at FortyFour, and Atlanta in general.
Where are you from?
What brought you to FortyFour?
Before becoming a user experience designer, I worked in architecture for several years. But I’d had a longtime interest in digital, so it seemed like the right trajectory to move out of architecture and into UX. I started working at an agency. One of FortyFour’s managing partners had worked at the same agency, and our networks overlapped. I could see that FortyFour had a great creative team, plus more structure and leadership, which was important to me. So I joined the team, and now I’ve been here two and a half years–Taylor and I started the same day, actually.
What’s been your favorite client project so far and why?
On my first day, we kicked off Exide’s website redesign project. It was a great opportunity to impact their brand globally and tackle a very complex set of website challenges. The architecture had to provide a more organized framework for very diverse business units, appease internal stakeholders, and speak across industries. We created a strong, scalable solution. It was the largest website I’d worked on at that point, too, so it was cool to work on every stage of the process. I learned a lot.