ia play

the good life in a digital age

charity e-commerce project

This article is part of a series about our e-commerce redesign. The series includes Current state analysis and Business requirements.

When I tell my friends that I’m working on an e-commerce project they look a bit baffled. It isn’t something that people immediately think of in relation to charities.

But we make/publish and sell a lot of stuff: books (braille, large print, audio etc), magazines, watches, telephones, kitchen equipment, mobility aids, remote controls, headphones, clocks, calendars, software, board games, playing cards, lamps, and batteries.

Our resource centres are also shops, and we have a moderately sized warehouse in Peterborough.

I’ve mentioned the bump-ons before, but some other favourite products include:

The first thing you notice when you go to the RNIB shop is that this page talks about two separate “stores”.

“At present our Online Shop and Book site are separate. You will need to register in each store to buy a product or listen to  book.”

Obviously less than ideal.

Once you get into the stores it becomes obvious that the shop doesn’t feel like a normal online shop. There’s some basic patterns and conventions about how online shops look that the site isn’t consistent with. That makes the site a bit confusing, you have to actually read everything properly… you have to think about what you are doing. The product pages themselves are ok but the lack of images in the browse pages means the site doesn’t scream shop at you.

We’re just starting the project to relaunch the shop now, so I’m going to be digging a bit deeper. The goals are roughly to re-brand, improve the user experience and improve the back-end processes. At the moment it is just fun to be designing a shop.

Next: Current state analysis

Written by Karen

June 1st, 2009 at 6:30 am