Overview

In recent years the New York Times, Forbes, and Time have all reported on the declined marriage rates in America. Headlines such as “ Marriages between men and women hit lowest rate on record “ and “The Marriage Crisis” are everywhere. But what effect does this change have on the wedding industry and its planners?

In this group project, my team was tasked by the stakeholders of Oh So Simple Weddings (OSSW) to create a MVP web-based platform for wedding planners to manage clients and offer on-demand online coaching sessions.

My Role

Lead: Project manager, IA, Usability Testing, Presentation

Contributed: research, sketching, wireframing, prototyping

Duration: 3 Weeks

Tools: Sketch, Invision, Adobe

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Research

Problem

Persona

Design

Testing

Conclusion

In 2008, 47% of couples used a traditional planner while 27% completed a DIY (do it yourself) wedding. Flash forward to 2018, the number of DIY Weddings increased to 73%.

Increase in DIY Weddings

According to Wedding Wire Annual Report for 2019, 80% of all weddings are planned online through apps and websites.

- 67% of couples use Pinterest

- 58% using Instagram

- 74% used wedding websites

Most planning done online

To our surprise, there was actually an increase in the number of people getting married per year, for 2018 the number increased from 2 million to about 2.2 million. Coupled are getting married later in life than the previous generation.

Marriage rate actually rising

Research

Even though our stakeholders presented us with research they have completed, I felt that it was important for us to conduct our own research enable to truly understand our users and the "why" behind what we were asked to build. Below are the major findings:

2.2 Million

Weddings Per year

10-18 Months

Planning timeline

$38,700

Average Cost

Industry Averages

I also did a competitive analysis of some of the top online wedding planning platforms. In addition to being able to manage their clients, offering on-demand online coaching sessions would be the main factor that sets OSSW apart from its competitors.

Competitive Analysis

The Problem

Problem Statement

With the increasing popularity of DIY weddings, couples are searching for affordable options when planning their big day. Wedding planners need a way to connect with these couples in order to offer their services, prove their value and assist them in any stage of planning.

Hypothesis Statement

We believe that by creating a web-based platform which allows wedding planners to create a profile to market their services, manage clients, and focuses on providing on-demand live coaching sessions, we will achieve a way to help planners provide support for the DIY/ online market.

Persona

To get a better sense of our users, I conducted additional research on wedding planners. Here are the main findings:

48% of wedding planners work in full-time roles while 52% work part-time.

Planners work part-time

Junior planners usually earn $13 an hour. As they gain more experience and build their clientele, they can charge more for their work. This takes years to build.

More experience, more pay

Currently there are 116,700 in the United States. By the year 2026 there is an expected 10.9% market job increase.

Over 116,700 planners

97% Females

Predominantly women working

37 Years Old

Average age of planners

$44,000

Average Salary per year

Wedding Planner averages

Meet Stacey: The Wedding Planner

With this knowledge, we built a proto-persona to represent our users.

Customer Journey Map

The next step was to create a Customer Journey Map. I created this map to be a visual that would be easy to talk through and show our stakeholders the importance of the customer's experience.  As designers this allows us to see where our persona had been and what are the goals that she is trying to achieve through using our product.

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Task Scenarios & User Flow

We created user task scenarios and I made a user flows to map out the possibilities that users might encounter while using our product. There were separate flows for the different actions that could be taken on the platform but mainly focusing on the planner to client coaching call aspect.

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Accepting a new request for online coaching call

Completing the online coaching call with client

You’re a wedding planner and you’ve just heard of this new platform that allows planners to manage their online coaching services. You’re curious to learn more, go to the website and create an account with all required information to make your site viewable.

After signing up for the platform, you log-in because you received an email stating that you have a request for a coaching appointment. Sign in to view and accept this new request.

A couple of days later you’ve received a reminder email for your upcoming coaching call. Log into the platform and complete the call.

Creating a new profile as a wedding planner

Design

Before we began to sketch the screens for the platform, as Information Architect lead I created the site map for the website to show the structure of the website.

P5 OSSW Sitemap

Sketching

Upon completing the IA, it was time to ideate! As the project manager, I led 3 design studios so we could talk and work through our ideas for this website as a team.

Wireframes

We used Sketch to create our wireframes. I was in charge of creating wireframes for the storefront. This included all pages that were related to a planner inputting information for their business/services to be visible by couples: Business info, description of services, photos, pricing, and availability.

Testing

Once wireframing was complete, Invision was used to create a low-fidelity prototype which was used to conduct some user testing to get feedback on our design.

Finding Participants

The team found it very difficult to find industry professionals to complete usability testing due to being in the middle of wedding season. In efforts to find users/ participants, we tried several types of outreach.

We asked people we knew who recently got married for their planners’ contact information.

Emailed planners that were friends of our stakeholders and cold-called several wedding planner offices

We walked to 10 different hotels and asked to speak with their in-house event/ wedding planner- most successful

Round 2

4 users with wedding and event planning as an occupation 

Round 1

3 users who have had general event planning experience

Once we found testing participants, we completed 2 rounds of testing.

Iterations

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Added a "Create Account" call to action button at top of the page

Added a "Create Account" button under different platform options

Version 1

Version 2

Version 1

Version 2

Removed the phone number and business address field from the create account page

Version 1: setting up account pt. 1

ossw dashboard
ossw avail
ossw pricing
ossw new client
ossw description

Version 2: account setup now included in on-boarding in the initial account creation flow

Option to skip ahead to standard profile editing page (some people like to look around before committing)

Added option for planners to list there wedding specialities

Separated pricing and availability pages

Version 2

Version 2

Version 2

Version 1:setting up account pt. 2

Added pop-up notifications for upcoming calls and new client request

Included a week view of calendar to dash board and clients page

Added additional notifications to allows planner to see new communications on each clients page

Cleared up verbiage and included more details about client for new requests

Removed additional tabs to focus only on online coaching

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Results

In the second round of testing we were also able to confirm that the changes we made were effective. The color map below shows that all the problems from version 1 were solved for in version 2.

Mock-up

Conclusion

Next Steps

Develop  the depth of control from the calendar events list

Design tasks and day of management pages for testing

Further exploration of notification options

Work to build a community for planners on this platform

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Stakeholders

The stakeholders are moving forward with our design and on-boarding developers to build the product.

Collaborating

Collaborating taught me a lot about my abilities to lead a team as a designer. It was very important to me that everyone on the team felt comfortable sharing their ideas. I achieved this by starting and ending each day with a team meeting to cover concerns and ideas, keeping us organized and creating a timeline to hold us accountable for completing delegated tasks. I truly believe developing a good team relationship helped push us to think outside the box and develop a great product for our stakeholders.  

Overall, I learned so much from this project as a designer and I was thankful for the opportunity. 

Reflection