E-commerce UX Design with CustomInk and ThinkGeek

For Wednesday night’s NoVA UX meetup I moderated a panel discussion about how two local retailers — CustomInk and ThinkGeek — approach user experience design in an e-commerce setting.

April NoVA UX E-commerce Panel

Both companies use comprehensive testing strategies, and multiple analytics tools like Google Analytics, Omniture, and Adobe’s Test and Target, to optimize conversions and revenue. CustomInk shared strategies for refining their unique online + offline ordering process, and ThinkGeek described how they do sophisticated testing with a very small team.

One of the popular quotes of the evening was from ThinkGeek’s Matt Chwat: “Our definition of Lean UX is that we’re lean on UX.”

CustomInk described their experiences developing faceted search for t-shirt ordering, and how its efficacy changes with different audiences and contexts. We also explored how both companies wrap customer service and community management feedback into their design and development processes, keeping the focus ultimately on their customers.

Both companies brought along some fun giveaways; six attendees scored gift bags from ThinkGeek, and one lucky attendee won a $200 gift certificate towards a CustomInk t-shirt order.

April NoVA UX giveaway

As always, we had a lively Q&A throughout the evening with an audience of local designers and developers in the Northern Virginia area.

We’ll look forward to seeing everyone next month, when Andrew Duthie will talk about how Microsoft designs for both mobile and desktop products, and Bill Killam will dive into strategies for usability testing.

If you’re interested in attending these events, join us at the NoVA UX meetup group.