The eCommerce platform had been built seven years prior. It was a custom build an did not not have any of the bells and whistles of a modern platform. The product customizer and checkout process had troublesome work flows with no save options. In short the system was a mess and needed a overhaul.
I got to try something new on this project with content strategy. And you know what? I liked it. I was also in my familiar roles of Architect and Researcher. This was an all hands on deck effort and it took everyone working together to pull it off.
The internal systems were a challenge in themselves. They were a combination of online and offline process that covered the gaps in the current system. In order to make sure the new system would accommodate it was determined a contextual inquiry would need to be performed.
The system not only managed online orders, but was used to manage internal orders, inventory and manufacturing efforts. However given the systems limitations only half of the work flows were automated, the other half involved offline process performed by employees. It took multiple trips to Brunswick’s facilities and a lot of white-boarding to fill the gaps and create workflows for the new system.
I’ve always enjoyed the interview process and this was no exception.Each person had a comprehensive knowledge of the system’s inner workings and how it applied to the business. I had pages and pages of notes from each interview and a strong understanding of what each person would require from the new platform.
As I mentioned content strategy was new to me, but I do enjoy making order out of chaos and the legacy system had plenty of chaos to spare. I had written my own copy from time to time when I was an art director, but this was more methodical, less art and more science. I struggled at first, but quickly got the hang of it.
With the research in place work I began to work on the wire-frames. With this being a templated approach this was probably the easiest task I had to perform. There were some features that did not exist and that was where I focused a majority of my efforts. The product filtering and location finder required the most effort.
As we had created a whole new system with a lot more functionality than the previous I was tasked with yet more writing. I was assigned to create an end user manual that would provide detailed instructions on the use of the new system. As the document would not be practical for day to day use, a short version or “cheat sheet” was also created. The cheat sheet detailed step by step instructions for the most common daily activities.
Revenue Per Order
Bounce Rate Reduction
The new platform was a huge success. The improved workflows and the automation of systems worked like a charm. Content loading was a breeze thanks to the masterful content strategy work. The end user was happy with the instructions and was able to catch on quickly as the orders came piling in.