Company- 1stdibs (E-commerce website for Antiques and luxury goods)
Role- Research Lead
Skills Used- Research Plan Proposal, Discussion Guide, Contextual Inquiry, Interview, Card Sorting, Diary Study, Work Models, Affinity Diagram, Competitive Analysis, Visioning Workshop
1stdibs came up with a new strategy where in addition to targeting individual buyers, they also wanted to target interior designers. Services being considered included special discounts, tools and other useful benefits. I was asked to lead the research efforts to find out about designer’s work process, motivations, relationships with dealers and clients, and business model. This was the first generative research project at the company and I was given 7 weeks to complete this project. It culminated into a findings presentation for the product team and the CEO which was much appreciated.
I started with a research proposal to educate the stakeholders about the research processes and get their approval. I suggested-
Contextual interviews, week long diary studies, and card sorting with local designers – for work process, work environment, priorities, motivations
Phone interviews, remote card sorting with designers in other cities – for work process, priorities, motivations
Phone interviews with dealers and clients – for their experience dealing with the designers.
Affinity diagram, work models and competitive analysis – for consolidation, analysis and recommendations
Online designer communities – for follow up questions
After approval, I made a gantt chart of the timeline for our stakeholders along with a list of the deliverables at various stages and a list of tools needed.
I prepared a discussion guide for the interviews and tried to get a wide range of designers from different geographical locations as well as different organization sizes. Contextual inquiries gave me a good understanding of a designer’s physical environment and how they collaborated with other designers.
After finishing the interviews, I consolidated all the data (~1450 data points) using an affinity diagram and made a journey map about a designer’s project flow (confidential). I then analyzed all the data to distill information and insights about-
Designer Profiles – their view on antiques, what they love about their job
Business Model – organization size, projects, billing models, client relationships
Workflow – sourcing differences between new items and antiques, time consuming parts, breakdowns
Finding items – sourcing preferences, authenticity, discount
Managing items – tools, shipping
Relationships – preferred channel of communication, building trust
Competitive Analysis of Trade Programs – channel of communication, target, qualification process
To learn about the insights, please refer to the Findings presentation (Confidential and Password Protected)
FACILITATE VISIONING WORKSHOP
I finished this project by conducting a visioning workshop with stakeholders which included exercises such as walking the wall, hot ideas, and execution plan.