Hardware House

Hardware House



One day, United Finance Opportunism group invited me to pitch ideas for their e-commerce site Hardware House.


Their problem was they wanted to further engage existing customers and attract new customers, but the current website was out of date, ambiguous and not resonating with users.


My goal was to design a new website, which should be easy and efficient to use, and help Hardware House build a good relationship with their customers.




United Finance Opportunism group





Two weeks




Project Management | Competitive/Comparative Analysis Testing Guide | Usability Testing | User Interviews | Journey and Experience Mapping  | Paper Prototyping| Digital Prototyping | Presentation.

Competitor Analysis

I asked Hardware House who their competitors are and completed a competitive analysis. In this way, learnt from their advantages and avoid design problems.


During project time we provided personas here are  three personas from Hardware house

User scenarios


The design must cater for key flows, to satisfy these typical persona scenarios:


1. Harry just got a call from his staff, saying that the power at a wedding reception has blacked out. He wants to order an emergency delivery of a power generator, directly to the venue.


2. Stephen is about to start a new home project, to build a rack for his new bike. He thinks he’ll need a power drill set, measuring tape and an arc welder. But he’d like to call to an expert for advice


3. Mrs. Cheng would like some deck chairs delivered so she can enjoy her garden in the autumn. While she’s getting that delivered she may as well add some other items too. Her trusty garden hose is leaking like a sprinkler, so she may as well get a new one. She decides she’d like to try one with one of those fancy spray heads. She orders these things online for delivery.

User flow

To better understand the users’ behaviours, I built 3 user flows for each persona. With the help of my instructors, I was able to combine the 3 flows and produce the final user flow 

Card Sorting

Hardware House provided a product list without categories. So I conducted a card sorting exercise to understand users’ expectations of the list of products and how to categorise them.


I did several paper card sorts to start forming category labels. Combining with what I learnt from the competitors, I built an online hybrid card sort. By surveying others online, I could reach a more diverse sample base, and form a more user-friendly information architecture.


From the 19 survey results, I found that users categorised the products into six categories (Tools, Outdoor & Insect control, Garden, Cleaning & Maintenance, Cooling & Storage, Safety).




Following on from the Card Sort results, I created a sitemap to visualise the data.  This helped to build and organise the navigation for the website. 

Sketch & Wireframe


With clear ideas for the website layout, I was able to prototype my design using Axure.


I had to remind myself that ‘I am not my user’. In my eyes, the design totally satisfied the client and user needs. But after 3 usability tests, they gave me much valuable feedback about the lack of clarity of the categories and the depth of the website navigation ( it took too many clicks to get to an item). Subsequently, I made the relevant changes and evolved my prototype into a more user-friendly one. I prepared a Testing guide, to target specific areas and assess the usability of key tasks from the personas

Too many clicks to

find the Item 

Outdoor/ Insect control is ambiguous because of  "/"

View Prototype



After these two weeks of design, I recommended a long-term plan for Hardware House including:

  • Design app Hardware House for mobile (Harry and Stephen like to use mobile).

  • Further rounds of user testing to iterate design.





From this project, I learnt not only knowledge about UX design such as card sorting, Comparative analysis etc but also Hardware as well. Now I am familiar with Hardware.