Information Architecture

Categories should be accurate and easy to understand.  Keep the hierarchy flat, put similar things together, make the structure apparent. How hard could it be? It's not so much hard, as time-consuming. You also need to make sure the IA matches the users' mental models. And has a consistent navigation. And the words you use describe the content in the ways that visitors understand. That's all. 

Shipping Module Cleanup

For the toy store SAAS e-commerce platform I worked on, "Shipping" was the number-one search term in our Help System site logs, and shipping setup delayed launch for about half our customers. The standard approach was, "Needs More Help Video!" My approach was, "Make it Less Baffling!" Configuration should be simple, and anyone should be able to figure out their choices.

BEFORE: Many bad choices, arbitrary names, and repetitive descriptions. 


AFTER: Usable choices clearly explained. Choices and setup on the same screen. 

  • Helpful columns and modules only. 
  • Names and descriptions are clear.  
  • Similar modules are together.  
  • Most common methods are first.
  • Setup is now done on this screen.
  • Default settings are now standard.

Shipping Setup Consolidated

In addition to the Shipping Modules being hard to understand and set up, the actual mechanism to CHOOSE them was well hidden, and the menu item labeled "Shipping" was NOT how you set up shipping. 

Shipping configuration was under "Store > Shipping Module," but activated in the "Admin > Configuration" panel.

Country and Zone setup were under “Admin.” A new International Shipping system left the legacy "Add Countries and Zones" as dangerous clutter. Countries are more easily added from the list itself.

Let's just put all the shipping options in the Shipping Menu.