PlanB: Designing an online academy and e-commerce website for a global store of endodontic products

The Client:

With over 90 years combined experience in the dental field and over 22 U.S. and international patents, PlanB Dental, formerly DELabs, is the leading provider of endodontic instruments. Their products are designed by dentists, for dentists, providing a high-quality experience for clinicians every time.

In their pursuit to continue raising the bar of excellence in dentistry, PlanB is expanding upon the current DELabs e-commerce website with new equipment collections as well as introducing a revolutionizing root canal treatment called the PS System. The new PlanB e-commerce website will offer multiple collections of endodontic tools. The DELabs Academy serves as an educational platform with several types of continuing education for clinicians. Professionals will have the ability to not only watch Dr. Steve Buchanan perform treatments on patients in his demonstration theater, but also interact with him in real-time from anywhere in the world.

Services Provided:

Webdesign & Development Website Maintenance Responsive Website
Sherwood dental “PlanB is that elegant new tool that enhances our practice experience; PlanB is preparing for the future.” Visit Website

Challenge

PlanB Dental, formerly DELabs, needed a custom-built e-commerce site through which to market their new collection of endodontic products. They aimed to increase sales, build a reputation with a new brand name, and gain their audience’s trust. An added challenge was PlanB’s ability to only display pricing and allow purchasing to registered users - with this feature, the design had to be developed in such a way to avoid the loss of any potential customers.

Solution

With the newest UX approaches and techniques, Admen designed a website focused on the excellent quality of the featured products that will generate leads and drive conversions.

Results

PlanB now has a highly converting website design and a stable infrastructure to support their complex e-commerce demands. Their site is easy to navigate with multiple categories and smart filters. PlanB is now among the leading suppliers in their industry.

Brand Positioning

Brand Positioning Graphic

Brand Positioning Graphic

Research & Discovery

Client Interviews:

The initial step in gathering information about the brand is always a stakeholder interview. The client is an expert in the field, therefore, they are familiar with the issues and needs in the area of the project. Based on the stakeholder interviews, we were able to identify the following PlanB Dental goals:

  • Increase sales of endodontic products
  • Introduce and promote new product collections
  • Increase high-quality website traffic
  • Increase awareness and sales surrounding online education courses
  • Introduce the new PS System on the market
  • Automate segmentations for the various price tiers
  • Create a strong brand presence and integrity among competitors
  • Provide website visitors with a personalized experience
  • What is the purpose of the website?
  • How will you measure your success?
  • What are your corporate core values and how do you express them to your visitors?
  • What makes you different from your competitors?
  • Name top things that are most important in the design of your new website.
  • Describe your target audience.

Aligning business goals with the design best practices for E-Commerce website

E-commerce websites have unique goals as compared to other types of websites. Not only did the PlanB website have to be extremely user-friendly, but it also had to be designed to convert visitors into customers. The site needed to stand out amongst its competitors.

To follow UX design best practices, we focused on these eight design goals:

  1. Responsive website
  2. Smart filtering
  3. Personalization
  4. Background information
  5. Loading times
  6. Geographic location
  7. Clear design & navigation
  8. Shopping security

Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis is a necessary part of the design process. It helps us gain valuable insight into the market, identify the strengths and weaknesses of their products, and develop effective product strategies to create winning results. Though there are many aspects of competing businesses to review, for PlanB, we chose to focus on the following categories:

  • Brand Positioning
  • Structure & Navigation
  • On-Site Content
  • Product Presentation
  • Profile and Checkout

Below is a complete competitive analysis for PlanB (formerly DeLABS) and its 6 main competitors. The final two rows show a summary of the advantages and disadvantages discovered for each competitor.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive Analysis

As part of the competitor’s analysis, we performed a UX analysis called SWOT on the current DELabs website (soon to be PlanB). SWOT is a strategic planning method based on four elements — strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The SWOT framework helps us to evaluate the internal and external factors that impact your products or design decisions.

SWOT Analysis

As part of the competitor’s analysis, we performed a UX analysis called SWOT on the current DELabs website (soon to be PlanB). SWOT is a strategic planning method based on four elements — strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The SWOT framework helped us evaluate the internal and external factors that impact the products or design decisions.

PlanB SWAT Analysis Graphic

SWOT Analysis Graphic

PROBLEM STATEMENT

One significant challenge faced while designing the PlanB website was addressing the “members only” aspect of the online store. Shoppers must register in order to purchase from the new e-commerce website. The website had to build trust with visitors and express the quality of the products in order to avoid losing conversions as a result of this requirement.

Building Empathy

Understanding the ideal customer is the most crucial part of marketing an eCommerce store. With the insights from interviews and online data, we created the buyer’s persona.

User Persona

User Persona

User Persona

Empathy Mapping

Through Empathy Mapping, we were able to visualize and articulate what an organization knows about a particular audience, or user persona. It helps us to create a shared understanding of their needs, what they are thinking, feeling, seeing, hearing, and doing.

We created an empathy map to better understand the users’ needs and develop deeper and unexpected insights.

Empathy Mapping Graphic

Empathy Mapping Graphic

Customer Journey

Considering the customer’s journey from visitor to dedicated customer was a critical factor in designing the e-commerce website. We had to evaluate what actions the customer completes including what content and functionality they would seek before and after making a purchase. We developed a PlanB customer journey mapping out informational needs for each stage:

Customer Journey

Customer Journey

Solution, Goals, and Plan of Actions

  • Provide customer with information about the brand and company
  • Provide information about the reputation that stands behind the brand
  • Offer testimonials and peers opinions
  • Provide information about collections and each product
  • Offer modern yet intuitive user interface and clear navigation
  • Allow locating a specific product/category without any troubles
  • Offer variety and relevant products to compare/explore/choose from
  • Enable secure and uncomplicated checkout
  • Allow saving products for later and easily add them to cart on their journey
  • Inform customer about delivery details and estimated arrival
  • Allow order tracking and updates on order status
  • Offer learning materials, video content on the new products, and techniques on how to use them
  • Implement loyalty program or exclusive discounts for repeat customers

Developing Stage

User Flows

User flow examines how site visitors’ complete tasks, like visiting a product page or making a purchase. A user flow diagram mapped all the steps as people move through the PlanB website and interact with different elements in order to complete a particular task.

From the customer journey, we defined the desired path for users to move through in order to achieve their goal quickly and with best experience.

User Flow 1 - Product Purchase

User Flow 1 - Product Purchase

User Flow 2 - Order Review

User Flow 2 - Order Review

From the user flow the structure of the website that is most logical to the users and their navigation was defined:

Site Map

Site Map

Site Map

Sketching and Wireframing

Following the research phase, our team began sketching the overall layout of the website and the main pages. This stage in the process allows our team to discover potential issues and solutions before beginning the design and development stages. These sketches are used to create low-fidelity wireframes which we present to clients to portray the basic interface and information architecture. These static visuals are not interactive.

For PlanB, we designed each of the primary pages with 3 to 4 different variations. Annotations were added to each section to better envision how this early sketch would look in the future:

Low Fidelity Website Wireframes
Low Fidelity Website Wireframes
Low Fidelity Website Wireframes

Low Fidelity Website Wireframes

Style Guide

To achieve a consistent appearance across all materials, we created a style guide specifically customized for the PlanB brand. The PlanB style guide addresses logo usage, fonts, colors, call-to-action-buttons, and iconography:

Website Style Guide

Site Map

Final Product AND DESIGN SOLUTIONS

During our initial research process, numerous problems and concerns were discovered. We quickly developed solutions in order to create a successful ecommerce website for PlanB. The list below describes a few main sections of the PlanB website and how we used design choices to solve potential problems:

  • 1. Easy and intuitive navigation.

    Because PlanB is not only an online store but also an online academy offering several types of continuing education for clinicians, it was crucial to give similar importance to access to both products and education.

  • 2. Different product categories and multiple ways to search for products.

    Regardless of which route customers chose, we offered multiple ways to find the product they were seeking.

  • 3. Case gallery

    Testimonials and samples of work from industry peers were important to portray the brand’s experience and reputation.

  • 4. Product collection with direct access on the Home Page.

    Many online shoppers may not make beyond a website’s home page. For this reason, we captured interest directly on the home page.

  • 5. Frequent video content.

    Due to the busy schedule of our user persona, videos not only provide excellent visual information but save time.

  • 6. Comparison for the PS System -a new and unique product on the market.

    Customers can compare features and easily make their choice towards PlanB’s new product.

  • 7. Hosted Education Page on PlanB.

    Although visitors would access the educational courses through the DELabs, we considered it necessary to showcase education on the PlanB website as well. Many products on the PlanB e-commerce website serve as a great addition to online courses and vice versa. Some courses are beneficial for learning new techniques and procedures with PlanB products.

  • 8. Smart filters for Shop All pages.

    Another way to find the right product quickly and easily.

  • 9. Related products on the product page.

    Related products not only encourage additional purchase, but they provide the consumer with multiple choices before selecting a product.

  • 10. Expanded About Us page.

    The About Us section helps the new customers learn more about who stands behind the name and their success stories. Particularly for PlanB, who launched under a new brand name, the About Us page was a primary focus. We wanted visitors to know that the founders of PlanB have an incredible reputation and years of experience.

  • 11. One-page account creation and notes on why we collect personal information.

    Providing personal information while registering is not easy for any user, especially for first-time buyers. Explaining why we needed to collect information during account registration would help customers understand and trust the signup process.

  • 12. Intuitive user account profile.

    The account profile with a simple but intuitive user interface would offer the most important details. It would allow users to view current and past orders, contact customer service, and change personal information at ease.

  • 13. Shopping cart shipping estimate.

    Because PlanB serves as a global e-commerce store, customers may order from many countries worldwide. A shipping price estimate would help customers make the right shipping choice and feel confident about the final price.

  • 14. One-page simplified Checkout.

    Visitors are less likely to checkout if they are forced to click through numerous pages. Streamlining the checkout process would eliminate the possibility of losing customers through complex funnels.

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