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Little Einstein –
eCommerce for STEAM toys that promises to give the little ones the gift of learning
Services – eCommerce, Web Design, Mobile Design, UI/UX, Branding
My Involvement  – Lead UI Designer, UX Researcher, User Interface Design, Art Director, Lead Visual Designer
Date Completed – Mid 2017

Little Einstein

Little Einstein is a new online retailer of curated and innovative learning kits for kids. It was formerly a beloved shop in Park Slope Brooklyn that sold all types of DIY kits (both analog and digital), but the storefront was too expensive and the shop closed in 2012. The owner wants to convert the store to online only and the owner now wants to focus her inventory on more than just DIY kits and analog toys but include a larger range of technology and electronics products/toys geared towards kids ages 3 – 15.

The Task

We were asked to create an online toy store that will reflect the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) focused philosophy of Little Einstein by featuring new, innovative products, while at the same time maintaining the playful and creative vibe that was found in the store.

“I want the new website to inspire parents to spend money and feel like they made a good investment on a STEAM toy that will give the gift of learning.”

– Alberta, Founder and owner of Little Einstein

Strategy

To further understand the context of our users/product, we started to look into some of our competitors that offered similar products/services. This was a great way to understand what kind of target market the industry has and also to determine how our product differs from theirs. We realized that we were able to validate some of our ideas discussed during our brainstorming session by learning what features similar target audiences responded positively to and what common features they were frustrated with.

Although looking into research data created by our competitors gave us great insight, it still didn’t give us the entire picture of our market. To do so, we would have to perform our own primary research which included taking the time to conduct online surveys, personal interviews, and to develop personas and user scenarios to better understand our end users. These approaches are extremely fundamental to our process.

Insights

Millennial women value authenticity and prefer experiences over products. Along with this, they have a high filter for “bullshit” and connect with brands that share their values and interests.

With a brand belief that ‘fashion is about looking exquisite and not giving a fuck’, we realized we could align the BB Dakota brand with a specific millennial woman: one that is fashion forward, has an irreverent personality, and wants to live in their clothes, not just wear them.

By telling brand and product stories centered around the experiences that you have in clothing, and not the actual garments themselves, we could establish a position and point-of-view that differentiates and connects with a like-minded culture of individuals.

Personas

We created user personas in order to further understand who will be using our product. Based on user research, which involved discovering the needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns of our target audience, we made the decision to explicitly call out our primary users for Little Einstein–parents and children.

Personas of the typical Little Einstein Shopper/User

Coming from a place of empathy our team tried to relate to our personas. We asked ourselves: As a parent, who do we relate to more? Are we like Tony who is swayed by the promise of learning and wants to buy the best toy for his kid. Or are we like Buy Now Nancy who just wants a seamless online shopping experience in order to easily buy the toy she wants? Maybe we’re like Price Sensitive Samantha. Either way, our team will be designing with users like them in mind.

SiteMap and User Flow

To further understand the context of our users/product, we started to look into some of our competitors that offered similar products/services. This was a great way to understand what kind of target market the industry has and also to determine how our product differs from theirs. We realized that we were able to validate some of our ideas discussed during our brainstorming session by learning what features similar target audiences responded positively to and what common features they were frustrated with.

Sketches

I always start with a pencil and a sketchbook. It helps to un-clutter the mind and focus on what’s important. Sometimes I simply write words I associate with the product, or list what it needs to do, just to get it out of my head. Sometimes I’ll sketch a feature, or a small UI detail, or a new approach to the UI entirely. It’s a quick way of purely and simply just designing and exploring ideas. Perhaps most importantly, I don’t get distracted by pixel perfection, fonts, color, grids, guides etc… like you do while using computer software. However, this sketchbook work naturally evolves into UI sketches.

Wireframes

Prototyping wireframes I focused on content, simple navigation and an easy to use interface. wireframing is an essential part of our design process, and it helps us save both time and money for us and our clients. Prototyping with wireframes is way quicker, and we can validate ideas faster, however this particular wireframe design was the iteration closest to completion and what our stakeholder approved upon.

Web and UI Design

(homepage) For the home page, we wanted it to be mostly useful, and only slightly promotional. Users can either deep-dive into specific case studies which show Zumtobel products in actual use, or scroll through the different product “Families” which immediately signal to the user what mounting options, sizes, color temperatures, color renderings, watts, and unique lighting technologies are available per family.
Homepage
Homepage with Menu (shown on hover)
Product Catalog Page
Product search
Product Page Full
Shopping Cart
Checkout

Mobile Minded (Responsive UI Design)

Millennials and fashion-inspired consumers like to browse on their mobiles, and they expect the mobile experience to be as good as desktop. If people want to use their mobile phone to shop, our sites are designed accordingly. Our mobile designs aren’t scaled down from our desktop design; they are created deliberately and uniquely, with absolute focus on every responsive element.

Team –

Project Manager  Dana Karwas
UX Research  Rose Bender, Ariana Ijaduola, Najma Dawood
UI Designer  Ariana Ijaduola
Visual Designer  Ariana Ijaduola
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