Case Study: Well + Good

The objective seemed simple enough: identify a real-world problem and develop a product to solve for it.

I started with the premise that “consumers would like to limit the amount of single-use plastic in their everyday purchases but find it inconvenient and/or inaccessible.”As it turns out, this is a true statement, however, the users I interviewed want the ability to make better purchasing decisions for their health and the environment more broadly. Fixating on single-use plastic, as I found, was too narrow and needed to be expanded to include a myriad of factors. Thus, Well + Good was born.

Problem Statement

Conscientious consumers need a way to have more information about the products they purchase so they can make decisions that lead to better health outcomes and lessen environmental degradation.

I think people want to do the right thing, it’s overwhelming. You feel like you can’t make a difference so you just don’t try.

User Interviews: Key Findings

Interview Notes Takeaways

No one respondent focused just on plastic packaging as their main challenge with making eco-conscious choices.

Product solution needs to address sustainability issues more broadly.

Areas of effort by the consumer to be more eco-conscious include: reducing packaging by buying in bulk, buying local from farmer’s markets, doing individual research to find the most sustainably sourced option.

Product solution needs to identify and classify different value systems into the decision making process.

Green labeling is not necessarily trusted but widely used to navigate decisions.

Data source must not be influenced by individual companies and their marketing.

Convenience is a top priority.

Product must be accessible to everyone, easy-to-use anywhere, and quick to provide reliable information.

Price is not as important, within reason, if there is evidence the product and company are making healthy, sustainable products.

Reliable product rating information more valuable than price.

Interview Note: No one respondent focused just on plastic packaging as their main challenge with making eco-conscious choices.

Takeaway: Product solution needs to address sustainability issues more broadly.

Interview Note: Areas of effort by the consumer to be more eco-conscious include: reducing packaging by buying in bulk, buying local from farmer’s markets, doing individual research to find the most sustainably sourced option.

Takeaway: Product solution needs to identify and classify different value systems into the decision making process.

Interview Note: Green labeling is not necessarily trusted but widely used to navigate decisions.

Takeaway: Data source must not be influenced by individual companies and their marketing.

Interview Note: Convenience is a top priority.

Takeaway: Product must be accessible to everyone, easy-to-use anywhere, and quick to provide reliable information.

Interview Note: Price is not as important, within reason, if there is evidence the product and company are making healthy, sustainable products.

Takeaway: Reliable product rating information more valuable than price.

User Goals

Make better choices overall as a consumer for the environment.

Get quality, healthy products they need in a way that is convenient.

Gain a better understanding of “green” or “eco-friendly” branded products.

Get more information about the products they are purchasing to make better decisions.

Competitive Analysis

Once I was able to establish what my user’s goals truly were, I performed a competitive analysis of three products that aimed to solve similar concerns. Of the three, there was only one whose data was comprehensive enough. However, they couldn’t be considered a competitor as their information is not intended to be consumer-facing and, therefore, is expensive to access. The other two were either too limited in their scope or were too time consuming on the part of the user. One had an easy-to-navigate interface while the others were too complex and/or poorly designed. I chose to run a feature comparison against one as it had strong filtering capabilities and straightforward product information. This proved to be useful as I narrowed down feature requirements.

User Personas + Flow

After taking a look at what products are currently available, I began building user personas from both quantitative and qualitative data in order to humanize my target audience. From there, I constructed user flows that reflected the main objectives of my personas. One such flow, stemming from the goals of my main persona, is mapped here:

Feature Prioritization

As the scope of the product grew so did the request for features. Working with a limited timeline to design the interface, I chose to prioritize my desired features by level of effort/expense and priority. With a background in web development, I was uniquely positioned to understand the heavy lift that would be required by some of the more complex features which would require an API integration with a third-party database. This helped me determine a baseline of offerings for the MVP rollout of Well + Good.

Virtual Card Sorting

Due to the pandemic, multiple, virtual, open card sorts were then conducted to aid in intuitively organizing the products of the app.

Card Sort #1

Card Sort #2

Card Sort #3 (Final)

Prototyping + Usability Testing

After multiple iterations of wireframing and sketching, a visual design direction was established and high fidelity prototypes were developed. Usability tests were conducted to find gaps in the design and the prototypes were modified to address these initial shortcomings.

Click on the tooltips on the images to see some of the changes that were made along the way.

The rating system was found to be confusing for new users. Adding “out of 100” underneath the score helped provide context.
Initially, this element only used an icon to symbolize more info. It became apparent during testing that it wasn’t immediately clear to all users what the icon represented. “Ratings Breakdown” was added for clarity.
This ‘Understanding Our Ratings’ page wasn’t added until after usability tests were performed; it was determined more context was needed around the rating system. A link to this page can be found under the ratings breakdown of each product.