Project Patch Redesign
Pictured Above: Ani, Jyoti, and Sunita in New Delhi, India
I discovered Pins and Needles in December 2017, an organization based in New Delhi, India that teaches over 40 women in underprivileged situations how to embroider and sew. These skills create the potential for this group of women to be self-sufficient, as the women keep the revenue of their work that is sold. However, Pins and Needles just operates through social media and word of mouth, and doesn’t have an extensive consumer-base, making consistent sales for the women difficult.
Founded Project Patch: a social enterprise where I sell hand-embroidered patches made with material bought from Pins and Needles
Produced 25% of Pins and Needles’ total earnings this past year and generated over $1200 in revenue
Created an Ecommerce website (found here), 3 social media platforms, and hosted 8 pop-up shops for Project Patch
Designed 10 original iron-on patches
Generate a consistent source of work for the women of Pins and Needles by successfully selling products to a market in the US
Restraints with Project Patch
A significant restraint with Project Patch is that the women in India, my suppliers for material, are still learning embroidery and take a while in completing a standardized design. Therefore, I have to adjust the complexity of the patch designs as well as the timeframe I expect them to be produced in. Furthermore, in order to accomodate for fair pay, shipping costs, and a profit margin, my product has to be at least $10, a steep comparative price for an iron-patch. Given this, my goal is to make the product artistic and original to help incentivize sales at this price point. Lastly when conducting research, many participants said that while they liked the idea of the iron-on patch and wanted to contribute to the cause, they didn’t want to deal with the work of applying the patch to their belongings. Thus I created a line of products including hats, belt bags, and makeup bags which all feature iron-on patches that have been pre-applied.
Project Patch Products
Originally Designed in Adobe Illustrator
Hand Embroidered Iron-On Patch
Belt Bag Featuring an Originally Designed Iron-On Patch
Methods of Sale
1. Ecommerce Website
Mission Page: conducted interviews with all 6 women who have embroidered for Project Patch in New Delhi, India, wrote profiles on each of them to deliver transparency to consumers and communicate the full significance behind our products
2. Pop-Up Shops
I have hosted 8 pop-up shops throughout the UC Berkeley campus, at various flea markets, and also art fairs to reach my target demographic of high school and college-aged women. I have completed the majority of my sales through these pop-up shops, and am able to talk to the consumer, face-to-face, about the mission behind the project before they make a purchase.
Looking Ahead: Strategy and Website Redesign
The purpose of the Ecommerce website is to provide a stable platform that makes purchasing easier and more accessible to consumers. This, then, would generate more business for the women in India, in comparison to pop-up shops, and improve the overall efficiency of Project Patch. Therefore, I would like to shift the main source of current sales from pop-up shops to the Ecommerce website. After studying Project Patch website analytics, I identified two reasons as to why the website hasn’t been successful: a) Not enough people know about the website and, therefore, aren’t visiting the website b) People that do visit the website aren’t converting because they may not find the website easy to use or aren’t persuaded to buy a product. To tackle the first issue and increase website traffic, improved marketing tactics must be put into place. The second issue, however, required some user research and usability testing.
After conducting seven user interviews, I came to realize there were two core issues.
All users found the landing page more difficult to navigate than intended
Users were more enticed to buy when they saw the mission represented in the product-which they didn’t observe with all the products in the shop
Multiple users brought up that after scrolling down from the home page banner and landing on the mission section, they were unsure as to how they would get from this section to the mission page without clicking on “mission” in the navigation bar. Although there is a “hover” feature that takes the user to the mission page by clicking on the picture, three users interviewed said they would prefer a tangible button.
Home Page Banner
Mission Section on Home Page
Users also brought up that the final section of the landing page, a collage of in-use product pictures meant to divert the user to the shop page, seemed “overwhelming”. Similar to the mission section, many didn’t realize that clicking on the picture takes you to that specific product with a discreet “hover” feature. Moreover, usability tests indicated that users almost never scrolled all the way to the bottom of the collage on the home page.
Frame from Collage
Frame from Collage
Users also mentioned that in the shop page itself, they were more likely to pay $10 for a patch that seemed “natural” and “feminine”, as opposed to a more commercial looking patch such as our pizza design. They mentioned that they wanted merchandise that embodied the mission and seemed unique.
Improved UI: simplify and clarify the journey to get to “shop” and “mission” pages from the landing page (with a focus on getting users to the “shop”)
Uniform theme: consumers want to feel like they are directly contributing to the cause and have an original product
Reach target demographic with marketing tactics for the website
On the landing page, I enlarged and added buttons in the first two sections, making them the dominant text. Additionally I made the "hover" features less discreet by adding text to the image once the image is hovered over. Furthermore I replaced the collage at the bottom of the home page with an interactive horizontal banner, so the user can see all the in-use product pictures, and still have the opportunity to be diverted to the Shop Page, without having to scroll down.
In the shop page, I removed designs that didn't embody the "feminine" and "naturalistic" theme that I hope to brand Project Patch as. Additionally to build even more consumer transparency and make the user feel like they are directly contributing to the cause, I added the names of the women who embroidered each design. These names correspond with one of the six profiles in the Mission Page.
*Redesign on actual website is currently in progress
Improved Marketing Tactics
Flyers with QR Codes and Discounts: will hand out and post these flyers around my campus at UC Berkeley, and also will hand out at pop-up shops to incentivize website traffic with a discount
2. Email Marketing: have customers sign up with their emails every time they make a purchase at pop-up shops, and send bi-monthly emails out to them via MailChimp (sample emails below)