I started my career in graphic design working for a local sports company. During my time there, I saw a lot of great things and worked with many awesome people. However, I also noticed that their use of technology, or lack thereof, is making them fall behind with regards to gaining more business.

You can’t order online. Everyone wants to order online. This was beginning to cause problems with long-standing businesses.

Started in 1988, it has grown from a volleyball retail store to a custom clothing apparel, team uniform, and sporting equipment distributor. 

The store provides many different services to schools and teams throughout Canada. They sell retail goods for volleyball but also provide screen printing, embroidery services, and sell equipment to schools and teams. 

The company does currently have an e-commerce site, but it does not function as well as it could. There are many gaps.

Stakeholder goals

Stakeholders should be able to order their equipment and customize and preview their garments as well as set up online shops for their students in an efficient manner. Having prices for screen printing and embroidery, previewing the designs, and being able to put in your custom orders online are missing from the current website. Having these elements would drive up business.

UX Problems 

There are a few main challenges foreseen in implementing these changes. The first is that the owner is technology averse and does not see the need to change what she’s been doing for the past 25+ years. Paper-based orders and invoices are still being used, so the margin for error increases, the time spent filling out orders increases, and the ability for a customer to have the ordering in his/her own hands is not present at all. 

Customers are not getting the level of service that they want.

A customer should be able to choose between ordering online, ordering with help from a staff member online, ordering on the phone, or in-person. Implementing changes would decrease the degree of difficulty, and much time would be saved for everyone. Switching to online ordering would improve the business flow and would garner more business from users who are used to doing everything online.

The second challenge is to create a user interface that is accessible and easy to use. If it is user-friendly, it would be no better than placing your order with someone in person.


  • Workplace: Personal Project
  • Services: UX
  • Year: 2018
  • Role: Research
  • Duration: 3 months
  • Environment: Solo

UX Research

User Persona

Name Mark Spectra
  • 42 years old
    Masters degree in education
    High school head of the physical education department
Home & Family Life
  • Married
  • 3 teenagers
  • Coaches competitive basketball in his spare time
  • Has a single-family home and 2 cars
Proficiency and Comfort Level
  • Comfortable with online ordering
    Coaches using his iPad 

I want to get equipment and athletic apparel for my school and club programs at competitive prices from a trusted online retailer.

Short Scenario
Mark Spectre is the head of the physical education department for his high school and is a competitive basketball coach in his spare time. For both of these jobs, Mark requires not only athletic equipment, but athletic apparel that is branded. 
Mark would start his search for an equipment and custom apparel provider by asking some colleagues/friends if they have gotten any custom apparel or equipment from any local companies. this sports store would certainly be part of the conversation. Alternatively, Mark could do a Google search for the same criteria and see this store as one of the top local businesses. 
Mark would want to order some equipment for his high school physical education department. Everything and anything from balls to rackets and even nets and weights. He would also order some equipment for his club that could include cones, basketballs, and pinnies. Next, Mark would want to see what custom apparel he could get, such as gym uniforms for his school, to warm up tracksuits and jerseys for his club. 
To do these things currently, Mark would be able to search for a limited amount of products on the website and order some equipment online, but not everything that he would need. For the clothing, he would only be able to browse catalogs of what would be available, but see no pricing or customization options. Mark would have to call the store or send an email to get a quote. This would likely lead to Mark looking elsewhere because it is far less convenient and the wait time could be significant.


Customer Journey – Emotional Experience Map

Using this type of experience map shows all aspects of the journey. It shows actions, thoughts, and feelings as well as experience ratings and opportunities.

By providing the whole picture, the company will be able to properly understand their pain points and improve the online ordering system.

UX Solutions

Building an interface that will allow a customer to order their custom apparel. This should include the following functionality:

  • Choosing their garments;
  • Uploading their logos;
  • Adjusting pricing accordingly;
  • Previewing their designs; and
  • Choosing sizes for all garments selected.

Adding this functionality will reduce the margin for error and speed up the process for all involved.

The interface will also need to include delivery to the customer’s location.

Order in which these activities should take place

The activity that should take place, first and foremost, would be the integration of a custom apparel builder and an on-line ordering system. This is due to the business case being the most important and necessary for the business to succeed. The next activity should be the ability for the user to set up a shop for their school or team. This way, anyone associated with them can order their garments online. This would good hand in hand with ordering custom apparel. Finally, the ability to order equipment online would be last. Equipment is the smallest money maker for the company. 



Business value: Necessary

The customizable garment builder will allow users to select their garments, upload designs, select quantities and sizes and order their apparel for shipment. This is a necessary feature for the company, as it will allow users to order everything on their own, visualize their orders and ensure that there is less room for error. This feature should be available on both desktop and mobile and be responsive for the user no matter what device they are using. This feature is important to almost all users of the company’s website.

A priority value of 5 was used due to the high demand for customizable clothing for the company. It is the most used and wanted feature for the business and will have a very high ROI for the business. It is also a time consuming, however, the component can be reused for recommendation 3.0, which gives it an even higher business value.


Business value: Necessary

The equipment selector will allow the user to choose any equipment that they offer. It will also allow the school or club to receive shipments of their equipment so there is no pick up necessary. This is deemed necessary for them, as the current e-commerce site has a very small list of equipment available online. Schools/club want the ease that comes with online ordering. This feature is important to almost all users of the website.

A priority value of 5 was given to this feature due to the frequency at which users purchase equipment from the company. It is lower on time consumption because the tool is already built, the rest of the available equipment needs to be added to make it a complete feature.

Recommendation 3.0: ONLINE SCHOOL/CLUB SHOPS

Business value: Important

This feature will allow a user to build an online shop for their school/club garments so that students and parents can easily purchase them online. The company could use the component from the customizable garment builder, and allow the user to set up a shop with those garments. This is deemed important as this is a feature that not all users will want. It is important for key clientele, but not for the broader audience.

A priority value of 3 was given to this feature due to the number of users that this will target. It will be less time consuming because of the component already built for recommendation 1.0 and will be important for future but not immediate clientele.

Recommendation 4.0: USER ACCOUNTS

Business value: Important

This feature will allow a user to set up an account for their school or club. With their account, the user will be able to save their school/club information, payment options and save and continue their progress in either customizing their garments or building their online shop. This is deemed important as it is something that most clientele would want, but it is not necessary to make an order.

A priority value of 2 was given to this feature due to the infrequency at which users will need this. While it will take time to build, it will be a nice feature enhancement of the garment builder. 

Recommendation 5.0: SPLIT ORDERS

Business value: Nice to Have

This feature will allow a user to bill the school or club directly, split payments between different locations, and split orders between different locations. This feature is only marked as nice to have because a user could use the school or club’s credit card, or make separate orders for each. Having this feature would improve the usability but is not deemed necessary, as the same things can be achieved in only a minimally less usable way.

A priority value of 1 was given to this feature due to the infrequency at which users will need to split payments and orders. It will not happen often, but allowing users to perform this task may garner a few more clients.


Here are a few wireframes taken from the project. These depict the solutions for the checkout process.