This was Cara’s final Capstone Project to complete her 2013 MS in Information Technology degree.
This project required using all that was learned to earn this degree.
Teaching a child to read early has multiple benefits and is key to a child’s academic future. In the first six years, children learn at a much faster pace than any other time in their lives. On My Own Reading (OMOR) has developed an innovative learn-to-read system that makes vital connections at an early age for the brain to store information.
Problem: Develop a profitable way to sell OMOR’s reading system online through a robust e-commerce site that would create a memorable online experience site visitor’s and product users would find useful, usable, and desirable. The basis used for this project to meet OMOR company goals
- Build a e-commerce website to specifically promote and sell the new children’s series reading product that can easily expand for the future adolescents/teens and adults products.
- Research the market to understand the product, competitors, and learn customer wants, needs and requirements.
- Write an Internet Marketing Plan to promote and measure the new websites success with good SEO practices, Google Analytics to track and measure success, and Google AdWords to bring new customers to the site.
- Develop a Social Media Plan that offers a sense of community through the use of interactive site features with measurable results showing repeat visitors.
- Recommend the best platform to build the new Website: Drupal, Joomla or WordPress.
- Determine which Merchant Account to use: Google or PayPal.
- Build a secure, functional website with a storefront and e-commerce for the release of the children’s series products and accessories.
- Use Google Analytic conversion rates to show increased sales, track customers and confirm customer repeat visits.
OMOR is very focused on usability. Interaction design was used extensively in the development of OMOR’s products; therefor they had similar expectations for this project. The e-commerce site had to be learnable, efficient, and memorable and offer customer satisfaction.
In the end, Human Computers Interaction played an important role in determining that there were six different customer segments. Research discovered online customer segments that OMOR had not yet recognized. The work defined valuable perception on which customers will visit the site to purchase, verses those who want to join an educational community.
- More profitable customers: Grandparents, single parents and homeschooling parents.
- Customers looking for community with educational benefits: the child 3-5 yrs., married parents income 25k-75k and married parents with income above 75k
The sites overall appearance and features need to appeal to both young children and adults. This combined audience brought on design challenges that OMOR was not sure how to handle and was left for Swift Trek to solve.
- Adults use the Internet for information and communication.
- Children log on for fun and entertainment.
These two separate audiences, with different expectations meant that the sites design needed to fulfill the needs of both audiences. I designed the site based on the methods discussed in my “Conceptualizing the Design Space”. These ideas created a balanced user experience geared towards both children and their parents.
OMOR highly believes the final design concepts will be a hit, not just with the children but with their parents, too.
Successfully Completed Tasks:
- Detailed Content Management System comparison that defined WordPress as the recommended platform to build the site. Based on ease of use and updating, as well as the effortless installation of an e-commerce plugin called WooCommerce.
- Theme provider comparison established that the premium theme, Canvas, from Woo Themes offered professional design features, robust customization, excellent customer support, documentation and videos instructions, and included the easy to build storefront, WooCommerce. All this for $70 + $30 for lifetime support for $100 was a comfortable purchase for my OMOR. The Canvas theme combined with WooCommerce offered one stop support from one place.
- Defined required user tasks to evaluate and determine the associated KPI’s to use as benchmarks for analyzing usability during usability testing.
- Planned the main evaluation approach for the usability testing to be online testing with Loop11.
- Reflected on what OMOR customers will want to do on the site and defined two categories of users: those with the willingness to purchase a new innovative reading system and those looking for a community with educational benefits and self-gratification.
- Developed an initial conceptual model of the e-commerce site that encourages the kinds of questions or problems that the targeted customers visiting the site would come looking to find solutions.
- Defined accessibility guidelines. Implementing accessibility during the initial sites build adds no extra time or cost.
- Developed an online marketing plan: social marketing plan that offers a sense of community; keyword research; promotional campaigns with both PPC and Facebook ads; and good SEO.
- Built initial functioning website to be launched at a future date.