A New Ecommerce Platform
UX Design

Transforming a
billion dollar behemoth

CDW Corporation has always been known as a leading provider of technology products and services for business, government and education. Over the course of its (then) 20-year history, the demands of its resale business continued to expand, yet the comprehensive online experience of its ecommerce platform did not. As a result, CDW.com persisted in being overwhelming and difficult to use — many times making it impossible to locate products, content and tools. In turn, a major digital transformation was initiated. This effort focused on usability, creation of best-in-class content, regionalization of its offering, and most important, providing reassurance to its customers.

Digital Strategy

Methodology & Timeline

User-Centered design is founded upon the observation that people will gladly use and recommend products that are designed to advance their goals. Rather than focusing exclusively on underlying technologies, the process helps identify what patterns and practices are utilized to accomplish the specific needs of the user and results in cohesive designs that satisfy them. Although the initiative encompassed a series of phases, this only documents the discovery phase and its findings. These findings were later used to determine workflows, major screens and behaviors of the CDW experience.

Research & Discovery

Competitive Assessment

To guide the thinking and see CDW within the context of the marketplace, the online experiences offered by its competitors were analyzed. Strangely, no clear winner emerged — all competitors pursued unique strategies and targeted specific customers. As a result, CDW prioritized the areas that aligned with its own strategy and target segments.

Concept Framework

Customer Experience & Site Concept

This framework is composed of a series of organizing structures that together helped to define the core of the CDW customer experience — derived from the narratives and native language gathered during customer interviews. The first-hand narratives give insight into how customers make sense of their experience from psychic, emotive, and behavioral perspectives. As patterns emerge the user research team is able to identify core activity areas, use scenarios, and process flows, as well as catalog existing pain points and unmet needs.

The Persona

Formulated from user research and corporate knowledge, each persona profile is centered on key characteristics such as goals, behaviors, and motivations. They are used throughout the design process helping to validate interactive scenarios and set priorities.

Validating the findings

Interactive Scenarios

The following scenario illustration was meant to depict ways of interacting with the CDW.com platform. The illustrations put the persona into action, and showcase some of the key features intended for the site. These illustrations are not meant to be all inclusive, but rather, illustrate the spirit of the future state of the site, emphasisizing customer self-service and segment driven behaviors, while enhancing the Account Manger relationship.

The Design Vision

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