An "Etsy" for Africa. A hub for Africans to find handmade crafts from accross the continent on a single platform.
Etsy, the online home for handcrafted and custom products, is a great platform for craft lovers and craft makers. The problem, however, is that no such site that exists is tailored for the African context.
Numerous creatives across the African continent are only able to sell to customers within their immediate network due to the low visibility caused by their lack of online presence. Customers who wish to purchase African made products are also only able to do so from sellers within their network or in their local community.
To create an African focused craft platform that promotes the work of craft makers residing in Africa, and allows for fellow Africans to easily purchase products form across the continent.
The project was undertaken in 5 main steps highlighted below:
Research & Personas
Sketches & Wireframes
Hi-Fi Mock-ups and UI Design
Testing & User Feedback
1. Research & Personas
After analyzing existing e-commerce sites and conducting informal interviews with 15+ Africans from 6 different countries, the needs of the 2 main user groups were identified and are reflected in the user personas:
Shop owners - primarily want a way for their products to reach more clients
Customers - want access to a wider range of African product variety
2. Sketches & Wireframes
Initial wireframes were made to reflect key components of that would be incorporated into the site: country selectors, shopping categories, displaying items from different shop owners, and filtering items based on the site visitor’s location.
3. Hi-Fi Mock-ups and UI Design
High fidelity mockups were made to bring the look and feel of the website to life. The initial base and accent colors that were chosen were dark gunmetal and paradise pink.
4. User Feedback & Design Iterations
Before concluding the project, a number of potential users were asked to review the mockups. Design iterations made were focused on the feedback points received from potential users of the site.
Improvement of the brand to add an African touch - the initial UI lacked the “African” look and feel which is key for the purpose of the site.
Including logos of trusted payment options to reassure both sellers and buyers - Potential customers were skeptical about purchasing items from an African site due to the questionable credibility of some African sites.
Adding a “browse products by country” button in cases where shipping might be unrealistic - potential customers are worried about high shipping costs that come with purchasing things from different African countries.