Yamada Company is a small, family-owned gardening supplies store in Gardena, CA. For decades, they have relied on word-of-mouth, good customer service, and expertise in orchid care to retain and attract customers. To keep up with the times and be more accessible to their customers, they asked for a website design.
My research goals were to:
So I performed a competitive analysis to understand how other similarly sized gardening stores were doing, what they offered, and what customers were saying about them. I also interviewed two customers and visited the store in-person to talk to the owner and observe.
Customers want good customer service, low prices, and the inventory they're looking for. To convey good customer service, the website should provide easily accessible contact information and exude trustworthiness. Since it may not be possible to display all inventory and prices, it's even more important to make the contact information available so users can easily ask if what they're looking for is in stock and how much it costs.
Yamada specializes in orchid care and sometimes teams up with the Torrance Cymbidium Society to put on workshops. This is something that sets them apart and gets them non-local customers. Orchid growers from northern California have come to the store for specific orchid supplies. This is something that stood out to me as being potentially attracting new customers.
One of the main goals for the website design is to create something that is extremely low-maintenance. The store's staff doesn't necessarily have the time, finances, or the expertise to update a website or online inventory.
I focused on one main persona for a user representative of someone who gardens as a hobby and has a particular interest in orchids.
I created the following low fidelity wireframes in Sketch. Since there wasn't a lot of information and I wanted to keep the design simple, I used a one-page design that a user could easily scroll through and find all the relevant information on Yamada.Click to open image in a new tab
I chose images from Pinterest for the moodboard that reflected the family's Japanese heritage and Yamada's specialization in orchid supplies. I felt these two characteristics of the company were important because the business has been owned by the same Japanese family for decades and they have a very strong network within the Japanese community.
Moodboard of images from Pinterest.
The final style consisted of an orchid logo and the primary color being a calm, classy blue. Many of the websites for other small, local gardening stores used bright and/or clashing colors that sometimes gave a too loud or unprofessional feel so I wanted to steer Yamada in a different direction with the color choices.
*ecause a good number of Yamada's clientele are senior citizens, I focused on making sure text was easy to read by using larger font sizes and high contrast with background colors. I also gravitated away from a completely flat design and used signifiers like underlined text for links and inner and outer shadows to make clear what was a button to be pressed and what was a text box.
For the mobile designs, I used a one-column design for better readability.