UI Design, Front End Development using LESS, jQuery, and Freemarker
At its core, the VS website demonstrates a minimalist, luxury look. Behind the scenes, it is in a constant state of optimization. Every element, especially within the site’s product detail pages, is carefully designed, measured, and then optimized for maximum impact on conversions. Adding a customer reviews display (which naturally takes up a lot of real estate) to their product detail pages was a huge undertaking.
When most review solution projects come through the Bazaarvoice design team, UI Designers like myself will carefully apply CSS and images to the basic reviews layout and reviews submission form to match the brand style guide of the client.
In the case of VS, their design team wanted to provide high-fidelity mockups of the expected look of the reviews solution — understandable, given how tightly-controlled their product details pages are.
This required careful coordination, thorough explanations of each feature and its underlying capabilities, and honest expectation-setting between myself, my project team, and the design and development team members on their side.
Few Ratings & Reviews layouts are perfect in all cases. As a designer, you’re attempting to present a lot of data points and interactions in a way that’s easy for shoppers to scan and benefit from, and you’re trying to do so under many constraints, especially relating to the real estate on the page that the layout will occupy.
There are some things you can plan for within a reviews layout — items that will always appear, like star ratings — and many others, like long strings of numbers, that can cause layouts to become brittle. You’re restricted to only make superficial changes to the underlying HTML, and custom code that you write can come into conflict with the client’s code. In the case of layouts designed by clients, the visual hierarchy and priority given to certain elements may not always conform with Bazaarvoice’s best practices.
However, if the solution delivers success to the project team on the client’s side (on-time launch, no bugs), and delivers the value that the client seeks (review volume, conversions, traffic), then it is a successful execution.
This project was one of the most challenging and fun projects that I got to undertake at Bazaarvoice in my role as a Sr. UI Designer. My team was able to travel onsite to the eCom team’s headquarters, and that made the project even more rewarding and unique.
VS’s hundreds of thousands of discerning shoppers are giving back. High review volumes are driving conversions for the company’s best products through desktop and tablet reviews displays on product detail pages across multiple VS brand sites.