UX | Unlikely Problem Discovery
My team was entrusted with meeting with the owner and operator of Open Fire Jewellery to help her improve her business. We conducted two intensive user interviews, one of which we recorded and transcribed. The success of Open Fire relies heavily on Etsy, and it's already strong brand and Instagram following. Therefore, we went into the project expecting to have to help her improve her website.
However, after conducting the interviews, getting to know the owner, undergoing an endless amount of design thinking activities and strategies, and intense team discussions, we eventually came to the realization that her main problem was her own confidence in her already thriving business. This lack of confidence stemmed into her insecurities surrounding her perceived professional appearance, the undesirable boundaries she sets with clients, and pricing.
Therefore, we found a solution that would prove the legitimacy of her business to her by increasing personal, emotion connections with her clients so that she could see first-hand the effect her jewellery has on her followers. The solution was to create a #openfirestories where customers who purchased her jewellery could share their stories of what their purchase means to them. As a result, the owner is continuously reminded of the legitimacy of her business, while also increasing her followers and thus her business.
The most exciting part of this project was the main problem itself. No one from our team could have ever anticipated confidence was the root of the problem. But, as a result of intensive exploration, it became abundantly clear that that was in fact the issue backing all other concerns. It just shows how important it is to continue exploring a problem in order to fully set aside your predispositions and expectations to make room for the unexpected, true root of the problem we're looking to solve as designers.