Maker's Brand

My Role: Project Lead


Our goal was to reevaluate the current Creator Flow to make sure the process was seamless.


Through multiple iterations and testing, we came up with a revised user flow with fewer steps, clear guidelines, a constant visibility of the product status.


Maker’s Brand is a crowdfunding platform that allows people to design their product, connect with manufacturer’s and test demand online. Maker’s Brand has four user types: Creators, Consumers, Manufacturers, and Retailers.

1. Usability Testing Beta Site

After getting a grasp of the BETA site, we created tasks for both expert and novice users to perform on the current platform. We drew out the Creator Flow and noted points along the flow where there was confusion or frustration.

There were 5-7 wait periods from start to finish, with no information for users on how long that wait might be.

Key Findings

  • Overall difficulty navigating site
  • Too many steps between each milestone
  • Lack of clear guidelines
  • Factory quotes unclear
  • Lack of updates on product status
  • Crowdfunding pages lack customization

2. Defining Personas

Jules Linden
Recent FIT Graduate

“I have no idea how to get my designs manufactured, but I’d love to try it out.”


  • Connections with manufacturers
  • Decrease cost per unit on her jewelry


  • Sells jewelry on Etsy and at craft fairs
  • Constantly looking for ways to expand her business
  • Makes her own work at nights and on the weekend


  • Finding a manufacturer outside of NYC
  • Exhaustion from working full time and starting business
  • Overpaying for materials she purchases locally

Susannah Mitchell
Experienced Designer

“I know what I need to start my own business, I’m just scared to invest all of my savings into it.”


  • Gauge demand for her designs
  • Receive physical samples of her designs


  • Visiting Museums for inspiration
  • Collecting vintage and antique jewelry
  • Designing jewelry digitally as well as hand-manipulated


  • Meeting minimum orders at current known factories
  • No budget to travel overseas
  • No studio space to make work herself

3. Competitive Analysis

We examined both crowdfunding and retail spaces with unique products to identify overlap and potential holes in Maker’s Brand’s current platform.

We wanted to make sure that Maker’s Brand spanned the concept of both a funding site and a space where Creator’s have a customizable space to elevate the shopping experience.

Campaign Page


4. Paper Prototyping

The navigation of this product was our biggest issue to tackle. The journey fromt start to finish is a complex one, and we wanted to make sure the user never got lost along the way.

As a group, we diverged and created individual solutions, then came together and compared our ideas several times. Finally we created a paper prototype to test with.

Usability Test Findings

Choose the right words

Several field labels we chose were confusing to our users- throwing off the entire process

Still too many steps

The company required an application to complete a project. No matter where we moved this application in the process, all users were annoyed.

Expert vs Novice user

We tested with both user groups and found a large variance in user needs and understanding.

Alternate ways to use the product

The original product definition required Creators to go through a crowdfunding process to manufacture their design. Many users indicated a desire to purchase outright or subsidize the minimum order quantity.

Wireframing & Testing Again

Check out the Invision Prototype

5. Before & After

Reviewing Factory Quotes Page

Elimination of large profile graphic

Quotes are in a grid format to make sorting and comparing different factors easier

Status of product is always shown on the left

Detailed factory information is easily accessible on quote page

Original Site

Our Solution

Creating Campaign

Ability to upload new photos/videos

Status of product is always shown on the left

Detailed explanations regarding cost and supporters

Customizable rewards

Fields for entering information about designer and product

Original Site

Our Solution

6. Next Steps

Optimize Onboarding

Because of the complexity of the process, it is integral to improve the onboarding experience. Based on our testing we learned that onboarding would be effective on the home page and the top navigation bar, but we can more precisely complete onboarding after reassessing the Consumer and Manufacturer user flows.

Narrowing Scope

We recommended that Maker’s Brand narrow down their userbase before launch. Currently they see themselves as serving all types of manufacture, from fashion, to electronics, to furniture. By narrowing down to one category, such as jewelry, they can exercise greater control over the process and understand how their product operates in the real world.