Bringing innovation to an exceptional online bookstore
Martinus is the leading and biggest bookseller in Slovakia founded back in 1990. The reason behind such popularity is a great user experience across all channels, wide product range and superior customer care. The website, however, had been out for 5 years and started to look outdated and inconsistent as many new features were added into the old design.
How to redesign an online bookstore to refresh its design and reproduce the unique customer experience from physical stores under the same brand.
A website that acts like a good librarian – leads customers to what they’re looking for, always advises with empathy and expertise, and helps with any additional requirements.
Increase in mobile conversion rate
Increase in up-sell during checkout
Increase in offline store product reservations
Simple exploration process
We started the whole project by visiting a Martinus physical store where we asked customers about their online and offline experience. The biggest inspiration though was the store itself with its unique atmosphere and enthusiastic staff that is always willing to help customers to discover new reads.
We wanted to translate this experience into the website. For example, we designed thematic collections that are compiled by real librarians; are experts on the given topic. These librarians personally sign under each of the collections and make them more personal. This way, customers are building relationships with librarians similarly like they do in physical stores.
The research showed that in the exploration process people also use catalogue, search, alternative products offering and user reviews. In the buying stage, customers want to pick a book format or send it as a gift. We designed all these features with great attention to detail.
Product detail with recommendations
We designed 120+ screens
Martinus added a lot of new features to the website in past few years, but many customers didn’t even notice them. The key question therefore was – how to make them more visible? It required dozens of experiments and testing sessions to reorganize the components on the website into a coherent system where people can orientate quickly and intuitively.
To prevent such problems in the future, we made the new design flexible thanks to modular components and a living styleguide. With this solution, Martinus can add, remove or customize any feature without worrying about harming the visuality, usability or consistency in the future.
Agile and lean methodology
We designed this project in an agile way using design sprints in 3 stages – UX design, visual design and front-end development. We conducted several usability tests in each sprint using the guerilla method, which basically means we approached strangers directly in the bookstores. With this approach, our designers received feedback very quickly and were able to iterate their designs several times a week. They tested their designs with more than 60 people.
Lean UX + Agile development approach
Thanks to these agile and lean methodologies and very close cooperation with the client, the new website was <strong>released just 7 months after the beginning of the redesign</strong>.