Helping a home furnishings startup improve a failing buying experience.


Prototyping and design

Paul Brophy, Product Designer
Matt Sanders, Technical Director

2 months

After initially launching the store, the team at Walls4U saw stuttering sales, and performance issues navigating through the vast amount of product options. What was going wrong with the purchasing of a product? How could we improve the product finding experience? What could we do to reassure potential buyers?

I worked in a small development team to create a new buying experience that saw a huge increase in sales.

Uncovering the problems

We were initially approached to conduct an assessment to find out if we could make small changes to the store to improve sales. We quickly discovered that the site was difficult to navigate for a few reasons; the images were being pulled in from the Shutterstock photo API which was resource heavy and slow to load. There didn't appear to be any clear way to filter product results.

From the client's point of view using an API meant there was no way to control the order, and which images were displayed. The site also performed poorly in search engines, due to the fact that there wasn't a product page for each item.

The flaws quickly mounted up to an extremely frustrating experience for potential customers. We needed to start again.


Custom imagery provided by the Wall4U design team.

Unanswered Questions

Constructing user profiles based on the target demographic, and information we knew about existing customers uncovered that questions were being left unanswered;

What is included in the price?
How do I install my mural?
What happens if installation goes wrong?
How does shipping work?

Users felt alone in their buying experience. There appeared to be no fitting instructions or support post-purchase. This damaged buyer confidence. Combining this with the technical flaws in the site and it's a disaster for sales.


Early product layout experiments. Side filter versus horiztonal top bar.


Rapid experimentation with font styles and layout.

Ideation - Look and feel

Through the ideation process we established a look and feel that was more complimentary to the brand. The Walls4U design team were fantastic at producing lifestyle shots that show the murals in their best light. It was important that these played a central visual role and that they had a firm guide on how to reproduce them.

We dialled back the usage of green/blue accent colour. A more neutral minimal approach would make the imagery stand out, and let the user visualise murals in their own space.


Wireframe ideas used to explain initial thoughts concerning layout.

Customising Murals

The most central part of the buying experience is the customiser, as each mural is custom made to fit any size wall. This would also need to be completely usable on smaller devices like mobiles and tablets without frustration or performance issues. I designed an intuitive module that allows the buyer to crop to a specifically sized area of the mural, and to flip the image horizontally.


Mural customiser module. Allows murals to be cropped to wall size and flipped.

Introducing buyer support

Customer support needed to play a bigger role in the buying experience. We came up with the idea of making a 'promise', a manifesto of sorts. The client loved this idea, and it gave the buyer reassurance. Shipping is free and each purchase included a fitting kit - two very important buying deciders. As we'd already discovered, buyers needed this information so it made most sense for it to be prominent on the home page. This took the form of three linked boxes under the main banner.


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