The Sunday market has become a Sunday traditional for many communities within the UK, many would go to Church on a Sunday, and right after the Sunday Market, it became a way of life for the African, Caribbean and many Asian communities, this dates back to the 1950s.
However, since the 1950s much has changed including technology. The traditional Sunday market is now outdated and many visitors find it a chore to visit the market. Five Yards takes the traditional Sunday market and digitises it, allowing tailors and fabric sellers to sell their product online using the same flow and process used face-to-face. Whilst allowing users to communicate and do business with fabric sellers and tailors online just like they would do at a Sunday Market.
When I first took on this project, the client did not have a clear vision of the projects requirements, the platform functionality or his potential users. I, therefore, had to jump headfirst into carrying out research. I visited a number of Sunday Markets such as Dalton and Walthamstow market, where I interviewed a number of fabric sellers and traditional African & Asian tailors. I also sent out various questionnaires.
By the end of this process, I had a good understanding of the user persona’s, each of their pain points and motivations, some of the high-level findings were:
1. Do not have a good reputation, as the great majority lack basic communication skills 2. Clients were unlikely to get updates through the process meaning the clients would sometimes end up with something completely different to what they initially asked for. Many of the time it was too last to remedy. 3. Tailors are notorious for missing deadlines. 4. Tailors do not provide straight forward quotes. 5. Clients usually pick tailors at random, therefore, not knowing if a tailor is off quality.
1. Clients a lot of the time like fabric, but have no idea what it would look like made into certain garments. So they end up not purchasing the fabric until they are sure.
1.They struggle with time management, as many of them do not use software to help them manage their orders. 2.They usually communicate through WhatsApp, a lot of the time the clients requests get lost in the thread. 3.Tailors struggle to get clients and to advertise their services.
After this first round of exploration and research, we wanted to hone in on a direction to tackle first. We knew the vendors dashboard would require different functionality, therefore, could become complicated and we had so many features we wanted to implement. To help us decide, we asked users and vendors to rank the importance of features, carried out a micro competitors analysis and created very simple persona’s to gain a better understanding of our users.
Here’s a summary of all the feedback:
100% of the vendors also agreed with the above features.
Based on the feedback from round 1, we decided to implement a quote builder for tailors, overall reviews for tailors broken down into subheadings such as communication, end product and customer service, instant messaging which includes video calling so users had a number of different ways to communicate with vendors for meeting and to build trust and an image gallery so users can see the vendors quality of work.
These features were implemented on top of the foundation of the website, which included placing orders(e-commerce), sending enquires to tailors, Customer, Tailor and Fabric seller dashboards, appointment booking (Tailors), order history (vendors + users) and a search facility.
At this point, I was able to start thinking about the user flow and start wireframing.
I will continue to work on Five Yards in the near future as the platform designs as they stand is at the MVP stage.