Hello and welcome to the first edition of UIbyUX! My name is Wes and I'm really excited to have you here. If you have any feedback on this I would <3 you if you hit reply and gave me some thoughts. Doesn't have to be super long, but I assure you that getting some data back from real people makes an incredible difference. I am a research junkie after all.
Learning UX was difficult for me. Like, really difficult. And I don't think it's going to get any easier, especially since this industry is in an ever evolving landscape. While I don't think it's going to get any easier, my ethos is that everyone is a teacher, and if my failures can help someone else succeed I'll gladly show them off. Heck, maybe even put them on billboards.
My mission is to help designers build the next big thing. But, not only to understand what they should be doing, but also why these decisions get made. And have a laugh or two along the way.
A quick update:
Ya, that was a bit long. But! If you want to shoot me a note with your thoughts on this I'd love to hear them. :)
So! With all that being said let's get started!
// About the company
Tractor Zoom is creating an easier shopping experience for equipment sold at auction - specifically for farmers. Over the past few years they've been working to create a unique way to connect farmers and auctioneers across the world. Their solution overhauls the auction advertising process and simplifies the decision-making process for farmers, all the while increasing their inventory options.
What we'll cover
This is a short one, but we'll cover two really interesting areas for improvement:
🕵️ UI Tricks to Improve Scan-ability
👑 Hierarchy combined with context
// UX audit
Here we have some cards on the homepage that feature upcoming auctions. We'll call them 'Features.'
These features are designed to provide a high-level summary of upcoming auctions, and have a few details listed on them. There are a few important details that we assume users might be searching for. Like, what items might all be included, when the auction is, how far away, and the type of auction it is.
The other thing to note here is that as a user, they really don't know what to expect when they click it. Will it go to a detail page? Is this just going to show me the item in the picture?
This already feels a bit cleaner and visually appealing to gloss over. The inclusion of a clear CTA (call-to-action) also helps the user understand what they are going to look at when they click.
Hierarchy is king
When creating any sort of web application or software it's important to remember that hierarchy and context is king. Hierarchy refers to how important different elements in an interface are to a user, and in relation to each other. Even more, most users prefer to read in a left-to-right pattern, meaning the most important content should be on the left and top, and supporting content to the right or down below.
Not all elements are created equal. In this case, users are most interested in finding relevant auctions near them, and to get to this page they have already entered their zip code. The second improvement that we'll make is to
Here is how Tractor Zoom currently shows their search results:
Instead, we can move to something like this. The major benefit is that we can still use stylings from the first component in the search results, but to the user we provide a LOT more value when they are searching. The easier it is for them to scan and search for relevant results, the easier time they will have evaluating options and less clicks they will have to invest.
In total I spent about ~15 hours or so drafting different ideas and sourcing other best practices. I was really excited to see how they were structuring this concept as a whole - much like an apartment finding tool. I also really like the mission behind the company, and have actually experienced this issue in the past (I'm from Iowa, so ya know, 🌽).