As you may know, we at Slingshot love to take on new adventures. With our latest project, we encountered things we’ve never done before.
Electro-Harmonix, known as EHX, is the most badass provider of musical effects equipment, most notably known for their innovative and uniquely named guitar pedals. They’ve been around since 1968, and they know that “anything worth doing is worth overdoing”. Whether you’re looking for distortion, modulation, or synthesis, there’s an EHX Big Muff, Blurst!, or Attack Decay pedal with your name on it.
Read how the EHX project was unlike any of our other projects, how we tackled those differences, and the final product of our efforts.
Dream – The Remix
Historically, we don’t often take on a website project that doesn’t have software as the main component of its creation. However, we were fascinated by the power of Electro-Harmonix as a brand and their commitment to quality, innovation, and funk.
Even with all their wicked history and talent, EHX had one problem: it was pretty difficult to buy their stuff since there was no official EHX online store. They wanted a way to sell directly to consumers, while also staying connected to their dealer network. The solution: a brand new ecommerce website where orders are filtered on the back end to dealers who can select to fulfill the order and get the sale.
Since this project would be a WordPress based website, we did something a bit different with the build. While we were still leading the project, we partnered with a firm with expertise in ecommerce and WordPress development.
First things first: We needed to conduct the UX interviews. We created user interview guides that aligned with the two types of clients: musicians, and EHX dealers. Since the EHX dealers have their own wholesale site, our main focus was to get input from musicians. We did, however, want to get buy-in from dealers and hear the issues they saw customers experience repeatedly, as well as the main reasons for returns.
The musicians we interviewed were from a variety of musical backgrounds, genres, and ages. These conversations informed the bulk of UX handling, and we noted all the ideas they had about pedal shopping pain points, the functionality they enjoyed on other e-commerce websites, and their personal processes for researching new pedals and gear. All were incredibly excited to be interviewed, since EHX had been a part of their musical journeys since they began playing.
Due to social distancing and coronavirus protocols, we haven’t been working in the office for several months so we created our usual post-it-note wall virtually with Whimsical. We placed all the interview notes on the digital sticky note board, where we were able to discern trends in the data. This led us to possible features we could include in the design phase, and helped inform our UX development.
A critical constraint of this project was the timeline. To ensure EHX customers had a transition, we needed to make sure we launched the new site ASAP. We turned this problem into a positive: we ensured that the scope of the project was always focused on the minimal viable product (MVP). What were consumers most interested in? What would make the project successful? How could we balance personality with simplicity, all the while staying within our deadline?
We need to take a minute to shout out the amazing team at EHX. Whatever we needed, they delivered quickly. They created new photos we needed for product listings, recorded sample audio files for over a hundred pedals, and developed detailed instructions for each knob on almost every single pedal so we could surface this information to the user. We love working with clients who are just as passionate about their project as we are!
Based on our research findings and EHX committing to a list of assets we needed to make things pop, we began designing wireframes for the product detail pages. These pages hold a lot of importance: they must give detailed information about the product, be easy for a user to find that information, and offer a way for customers to quickly make their purchase.
From our investigation, we found that many competing sites skimped on data points that users needed quick access too. These included images of all the inputs and outputs, sounds the pedals could make, and access to the full technical specifications.
The next wireframes we built were for product filtering and navigation. While thorough product information is front-of-mind for customers, it should be easy to find the specific products you’re after and also easy to browse for new products. For this site we included an exhaustive but simple to use product search in the header and a simple product filtering system based on feedback we received during our consumer interviews.
The most important thing about this project was collaboration. Everyone involved needed to be on the same page. With every step of our process, we ensured that everything made sense to all user perspectives and was illustrative of the EHX brand.
As EHX likes to say, 2020 wasn’t all bad. We are able to work with an amazing client, and had a blast doing so. This project has got us excited to try new adventures and ways of development. If you’re interested in learning more about EHX, visit their new and improved website. Thanks for letting us amp up your digital presence. ????