Solo Project

Stim Store: Revamping "Toys for Autism"

Solo Project

Stim Store: Revamping "Toys for Autism"

Solo Project

Stim Store: Revamping "Toys for Autism"

Role

UX/UI Designer

Timeline

3-wk sprint, March 2024

Tools

Figma
FigJam
Optimal Workshop
Adobe Contrast Checker
Adobe Color Blind Safe
Stark Accessibility Tools

Methods

User Interviews
Heuristic Evaluation
Affinity Mapping
Persona
Journey Mapping
Problem Statement
Solution Statement

Task Flow
Card Sorting
C&C Analysis
Feature Prioritization
Wireframing
Prototyping
Usability Testing

Role

UX/UI Designer

Timeline

3-wk sprint, March 2024

Tools

Figma
FigJam
Optimal Workshop
Adobe Contrast Checker
Adobe Color Blind Safe
Stark Accessibility Tools

Role

UX/UI Designer

Timeline

3-wk sprint, March 2024

Tools

Figma
FigJam
Optimal Workshop
Adobe Contrast Checker
Adobe Color Blind Safe
Stark Accessibility Tools

Methods

User Interviews
Heuristic Evaluation
Affinity Mapping
Persona
Journey Mapping
Problem Statement
Solution Statement

Task Flow
Card Sorting
C&C Analysis
Feature Prioritization
Wireframing
Prototyping
Usability Testing

Methods

User Interviews
Heuristic Evaluation
Affinity Mapping
Persona
Journey Mapping
Problem Statement
Solution Statement

Task Flow
Card Sorting
C&C Analysis
Feature Prioritization
Wireframing
Prototyping
Usability Testing

Methods

User Interviews
Heuristic Evaluation
Affinity Mapping
Persona
Journey Mapping
Problem Statement
Solution Statement

Task Flow
Card Sorting
C&C Analysis
Feature Prioritization
Wireframing
Prototyping
Usability Testing

Methods

User Interviews
Heuristic Evaluation
Affinity Mapping
Persona
Journey Mapping
Problem Statement
Solution Statement

Task Flow
Card Sorting
C&C Analysis
Feature Prioritization
Wireframing
Prototyping
Usability Testing

A Website Shirking Its Key Users

I redesigned the Toys for Autism website — one of many fidget toy websites that forgets that autistic children grow up into autistic adults, whose attention and financial autonomy could sustain the website.

My redesign thoughtfully cares for fidget toy lovers, both autistic and not, by simplifying the website's information architecture and by catering to specific sensory needs in both content copy and filtering.

A Website Shirking Its Key Users

I redesigned the Toys for Autism website — one of many fidget toy websites that forgets that autistic children grow up into autistic adults, whose attention and financial autonomy could sustain the website.

My redesign thoughtfully cares for fidget toy lovers, both autistic and not, by simplifying the website's information architecture and by catering to specific sensory needs in both content copy and filtering.

A Website Shirking Its Key Users

I redesigned the Toys for Autism website — one of many fidget toy websites that forgets that autistic children grow up into autistic adults, whose attention and financial autonomy could sustain the website.

My redesign thoughtfully cares for fidget toy lovers, both autistic and not, by simplifying the website's information architecture and by catering to specific sensory needs in both content copy and filtering.

Bewildering Choices

Curious about expanding my own understanding of different stim/fidget toys, I found the website when Googling "toys for autistics."

Intrigued by how the company name immediately clashes with its sparse catalog, I conducted a Heuristic Evaluation.

Upon entry, I was taken aback by the vague descriptions, inconsistent nomenclature, and lack of sensory details — particularly strange since these items are designed to have sensory appeal.

Furthering my confusion, Toys for Autism has category names that are a hodgepodge of sensory experiences, furniture, and school subjects not specific to autistics.

Brand names are notably prioritized, but it’s unclear why neurodivergent users should know or trust them.

Countering Stereotypes

I found it crucial to interview adult stim/fidget toy users who are autistic and allistic (non-autistic), because not all autistics enjoy stim toys and not all fidget toy users are autistic.

Of my 6 wonderful adult interviewees:

  • 2 have ADHD

  • 3 have autism

  • All 6 have used fidget toys/sensory tools/stim toys before

Bewildering Choices

Curious about expanding my own understanding of different stim/fidget toys, I found the website when Googling "toys for autistics."

Intrigued by how the company name immediately clashes with its sparse catalog, I conducted a Heuristic Evaluation.

Upon entry, I was taken aback by the vague descriptions, inconsistent nomenclature, and lack of sensory details — particularly strange since these items are designed to have sensory appeal.

Furthering my confusion, Toys for Autism has category names that are a hodgepodge of sensory experiences, furniture, and school subjects not specific to autistics.

Brand names are notably prioritized, but it’s unclear why neurodivergent users should know or trust them.

Countering Stereotypes

I found it crucial to interview adult stim/fidget toy users who are autistic and allistic (non-autistic), because not all autistics enjoy stim toys and not all fidget toy users are autistic.

Of my 6 wonderful adult interviewees:

  • 2 have ADHD

  • 3 have autism

  • All 6 have used fidget toys/sensory tools/stim toys before

Bewildering Choices

Curious about expanding my own understanding of different stim/fidget toys, I found the website when Googling "toys for autistics."

Intrigued by how the company name immediately clashes with its sparse catalog, I conducted a Heuristic Evaluation.

Upon entry, I was taken aback by the vague descriptions, inconsistent nomenclature, and lack of sensory details — particularly strange since these items are designed to have sensory appeal.

Furthering my confusion, Toys for Autism has category names that are a hodgepodge of sensory experiences, furniture, and school subjects not specific to autistics.

Brand names are notably prioritized, but it’s unclear why neurodivergent users should know or trust them.

Countering Stereotypes

I found it crucial to interview adult stim/fidget toy users who are autistic and allistic (non-autistic), because not all autistics enjoy stim toys and not all fidget toy users are autistic.

Of my 6 wonderful adult interviewees:

  • 2 have ADHD

  • 3 have autism

  • All 6 have used fidget toys/sensory tools/stim toys before

Affinity Map Revelations

Both our autistic and non-autistic users aligned on reasons to look for, use, and ultimately avoid toys marketed for fidgeting/stimming, despite the fact that our autistic users had done extensive prior research on fidget/stim toys, whereas our non-autistic users were unsure where to look.

With Toys for Autism excluding adults in branding, product curation, copy, and web design, the website continues a widespread trend with lasting negative emotional consequences for our users.

In order for the original website to succeed long-term, it needs to build back the trust lost through poor branding, and convince our users that it’s worth looking for fidget toys despite years of bad press, by giving exactly what they want — or a revolutionary option.

Affinity Map Revelations

Both our autistic and non-autistic users aligned on reasons to look for, use, and ultimately avoid toys marketed for fidgeting/stimming, despite the fact that our autistic users had done extensive prior research on fidget/stim toys, whereas our non-autistic users were unsure where to look.

With Toys for Autism excluding adults in branding, product curation, copy, and web design, the website continues a widespread trend with lasting negative emotional consequences for our users.

In order for the original website to succeed long-term, it needs to build back the trust lost through poor branding, and convince our users that it’s worth looking for fidget toys despite years of bad press, by giving exactly what they want — or a revolutionary option.

Affinity Map Revelations

Both our autistic and non-autistic users aligned on reasons to look for, use, and ultimately avoid toys marketed for fidgeting/stimming, despite the fact that our autistic users had done extensive prior research on fidget/stim toys, whereas our non-autistic users were unsure where to look.

With Toys for Autism excluding adults in branding, product curation, copy, and web design, the website continues a widespread trend with lasting negative emotional consequences for our users.

In order for the original website to succeed long-term, it needs to build back the trust lost through poor branding, and convince our users that it’s worth looking for fidget toys despite years of bad press, by giving exactly what they want — or a revolutionary option.

Finding 1: Branding fidget toys only for children further alienates adults from taking a chance on our website.

  • 6 of 6 users enjoy tactile stim toys, but are unconvinced that adults need them because of existing branding.

  • 2 of 2 autistics avoid fidget toy websites for being vague on sensory descriptors and being not marketed to them.

Opportunity 1: Present a variety of tactile toys that meet social standards in corporate workspaces.

Finding 1: Branding fidget toys only for children further alienates adults from taking a chance on our website.

  • 6 of 6 users enjoy tactile stim toys, but are unconvinced that adults need them because of existing branding.

  • 2 of 2 autistics avoid fidget toy websites for being vague on sensory descriptors and being not marketed to them.

Opportunity 1: Present a variety of tactile toys that meet social standards in corporate workspaces.

Finding 1: Branding fidget toys only for children further alienates adults from taking a chance on our website.

  • 6 of 6 users enjoy tactile stim toys, but are unconvinced that adults need them because of existing branding.

  • 2 of 2 autistics avoid fidget toy websites for being vague on sensory descriptors and being not marketed to them.

Opportunity 1: Present a variety of tactile toys that meet social standards in corporate workspaces.

Finding 3: Our online audience is in need but our website is not up to par.

  • 6 of 6 want to learn more about available fidget toys.

  • 5 of 6 have constant stress.

  • 4 of 6 emotionally benefit from using fidget toys.

  • 4 of 4 non-autistics expressed renewed interest in exploring fidget toys after our interviews.

Opportunity 3: Address our adult users' needs in our content copy, inventory, and information architecture.

Finding 3: Our online audience is in need but our website is not up to par.

  • 6 of 6 want to learn more about available fidget toys.

  • 5 of 6 have constant stress.

  • 4 of 6 emotionally benefit from using fidget toys.

  • 4 of 4 non-autistics expressed renewed interest in exploring fidget toys after our interviews.

Opportunity 3: Address our adult users' needs in our content copy, inventory, and information architecture.

Finding 2: Specific sensory profiles are crucial for enticing our users.

  • 6 of 6 have specific sensory preferences for fidget toys.

  • 5 of 6 need clear sensory details about fidget toys before buying.

Opportunity 2: Describe and filter products by precise sensory descriptors.

Finding 2: Specific sensory profiles are crucial for enticing our users.

  • 6 of 6 have specific sensory preferences for fidget toys.

  • 5 of 6 need clear sensory details about fidget toys before buying.

Opportunity 2: Describe and filter products by precise sensory descriptors.

Finding 3: Our online audience is in need but our website is not up to par.

  • 6 of 6 want to learn more about available fidget toys.

  • 5 of 6 have constant stress.

  • 4 of 6 emotionally benefit from using fidget toys.

  • 4 of 4 non-autistics expressed renewed interest in exploring fidget toys after our interviews.

Opportunity 3: Address our adult users' needs in our content copy, inventory, and information architecture.

Finding 3: Our online audience is in need but our website is not up to par.

  • 6 of 6 want to learn more about available fidget toys.

  • 5 of 6 have constant stress.

  • 4 of 6 emotionally benefit from using fidget toys.

  • 4 of 4 non-autistics expressed renewed interest in exploring fidget toys after our interviews.

Opportunity 3: Address our adult users' needs in our content copy, inventory, and information architecture.

Finding 2: Specific sensory profiles are crucial for enticing our users.

  • 6 of 6 have specific sensory preferences for fidget toys.

  • 5 of 6 need clear sensory details about fidget toys before buying.

Opportunity 2: Describe and filter products by precise sensory descriptors.

Finding 4: Our toys have to compete in convenience with everyday objects and be maximum $30.

  • 6 of 6 would spend up to $20 on fidget toys, and $30 if the toy is exceptional or if they’re in dire need.

  • 6 of 6 self-soothe without fidget/stim toys.

Opportunity 4: Promote products that are upgrades to our users' favorite fidget objects.

Finding 4: Our toys have to compete in convenience with everyday objects and be maximum $30.

  • 6 of 6 would spend up to $20 on fidget toys, and $30 if the toy is exceptional or if they’re in dire need.

  • 6 of 6 self-soothe without fidget/stim toys.

Opportunity 4: Promote products that are upgrades to our users' favorite fidget objects.

Finding 2: Specific sensory profiles are crucial for enticing our users.

  • 6 of 6 have specific sensory preferences for fidget toys.

  • 5 of 6 need clear sensory details about fidget toys before buying.

Opportunity 2: Describe and filter products by precise sensory descriptors.

Finding 2: Specific sensory profiles are crucial for enticing our users.

  • 6 of 6 have specific sensory preferences for fidget toys.

  • 5 of 6 need clear sensory details about fidget toys before buying.

Opportunity 2: Describe and filter products by precise sensory descriptors.

Finding 3: Our online audience is in need but our website is not up to par.

  • 6 of 6 want to learn more about available fidget toys.

  • 5 of 6 have constant stress.

  • 4 of 6 emotionally benefit from using fidget toys.

  • 4 of 4 non-autistics expressed renewed interest in exploring fidget toys after our interviews.

Opportunity 3: Address our adult users' needs in our content copy, inventory, and information architecture.

Finding 4: Our toys have to compete in convenience with everyday objects and be maximum $30.

  • 6 of 6 would spend up to $20 on fidget toys, and $30 if the toy is exceptional or if they’re in dire need.

  • 6 of 6 self-soothe without fidget/stim toys.

Opportunity 4: Promote products that are upgrades to our users' favorite fidget objects.

Meet Lavender

Our first persona represents allistic users who enjoy fidgeting with everyday objects and seek convenient fidget toys that fit corporate social norms.

Meet Petrichor

Our second persona represents autistic users who avoid fidget toy websites, for exhibiting vague descriptions and a poor understanding of autistic needs.

Meet Lavender

Our first persona represents allistic users who enjoy fidgeting with everyday objects and seek convenient fidget toys that fit corporate social norms.

Meet Petrichor

Our second persona represents autistic users who avoid fidget toy websites, for exhibiting vague descriptions and a poor understanding of autistic needs.

Meet Lavender

Our first persona represents allistic users who enjoy fidgeting with everyday objects and seek convenient fidget toys that fit corporate social norms.

Meet Petrichor

Our second persona represents autistic users who avoid fidget toy websites, for exhibiting vague descriptions and a poor understanding of autistic needs.

Lavender's Problem Statement

Petrichor's Problem Statement

Lavender wants a more convenient way to find discreet fidget toys that are socially-acceptable for work, to relieve her constant stress, but she doesn’t know where and how to find toys with her preferred textures, colors, and aerodynamics.

Petrichor wants to feel more empowered to find aesthetically-interesting, dynamic stim toys that engage all five senses and comfort them, but they rarely purchase any because stim toys are not compassionately marketed or designed for autistic adults.

Lavender's Problem Statement

Petrichor's Problem Statement

Lavender wants a more convenient way to find discreet fidget toys that are socially-acceptable for work, to relieve her constant stress, but she doesn’t know where and how to find toys with her preferred textures, colors, and aerodynamics.

Petrichor wants to feel more empowered to find aesthetically-interesting, dynamic stim toys that engage all five senses and comfort them, but they rarely purchase any because stim toys are not compassionately marketed or designed for autistic adults.

Lavender's Problem Statement

Petrichor's Problem Statement

Lavender wants a more convenient way to find discreet fidget toys that are socially-acceptable for work, to relieve her constant stress, but she doesn’t know where and how to find toys with her preferred textures, colors, and aerodynamics.

Petrichor wants to feel more empowered to find aesthetically-interesting, dynamic stim toys that engage all five senses and comfort them, but they rarely purchase any because stim toys are not compassionately marketed or designed for autistic adults.

Double-Checking through Ideation

After analyzing my competitors' design patterns, I sketched each frame and gathered my interviewees' preferences to challenge any cognitive bias. The trends in their preferences aligned with my design instincts, which fortified my path forward.

Double-Checking through Ideation

After analyzing my competitors' design patterns, I sketched each frame and gathered my interviewees' preferences to challenge any cognitive bias. The trends in their preferences aligned with my design instincts, which fortified my path forward.

Seating for Potential Guests

To ensure the scalability and universality of my redesign, I prioritized accessibility concerns at every stage of my process.

Research and Synthesis
I identified how our primary users (autistics) want stim toys to be marketed to them. They yearn for:

  • clear visuals, especially videos

  • neurodivergent reviewers

  • nuanced sensory profiles

Seating for Guests

To ensure the scalability and universality of my redesign, I prioritized accessibility concerns at every stage of my process.

Research and Synthesis
I identified how our primary users (autistics) want stim toys to be marketed to them. They yearn for:

  • clear visuals, especially videos

  • neurodivergent reviewers

  • nuanced sensory profiles

Seating for Potential Guests

To ensure the scalability and universality of my redesign, I prioritized accessibility concerns at every stage of my process.

Research and Synthesis
I identified how our primary users (autistics) want stim toys to be marketed to them. They yearn for:

  • clear visuals, especially videos

  • neurodivergent reviewers

  • nuanced sensory profiles

Ideation, Wireframing, and Prototyping

Visual Considerations

  • I communicated form feedback with icons and color, to conform to red/green conventions.

  • At the same time, I accommodated color blindness, by utilizing Adobe Contrast and Color Blind Checkers.

Neurodivergent-Friendly

  • I avoided flashy colors and video auto-play, to minimize sensory overload for AuDHD users.

  • Instead, I followed Loop Earplugs’ monochromatic approach, which caters to neurodivergent users.

Ideation, Wireframing, and Prototyping

Visual Considerations

  • I communicated form feedback with icons and color, to conform to red/green conventions.

  • At the same time, I accommodated color blindness, by utilizing Adobe Contrast and Color Blind Checkers.

Neurodivergent-Friendly

  • I avoided flashy colors and video auto-play, to minimize sensory overload for AuDHD users.

  • Instead, I followed Loop Earplugs’ monochromatic approach, which caters to neurodivergent users.

Ideation, Wireframing, and Prototyping

Visual Considerations

  • I communicated form feedback with icons and color, to conform to red/green conventions.

  • At the same time, I accommodated color blindness, by utilizing Adobe Contrast and Color Blind Checkers.

Neurodivergent-Friendly

  • I avoided flashy colors and video auto-play, to minimize sensory overload for AuDHD users.

  • Instead, I followed Loop Earplugs’ monochromatic approach, which caters to neurodivergent users.

Usability

  • Consulting a user with dyslexia and ADHD, I adjusted the background color from white to a bluish grey, then confirmed this preference with dyslexia research.

  • I tested usability with users diagnosed with autism and/or ADHD to ensure that I made an engaging design that does not cause sensory overload.

Usability

  • Consulting a user with dyslexia and ADHD, I adjusted the background color from white to a bluish grey, then confirmed this preference with dyslexia research.

  • I tested usability with users diagnosed with autism and/or ADHD to ensure that I made an engaging design that does not cause sensory overload.

Usability

  • Consulting a user with dyslexia and ADHD, I adjusted the background color from white to a bluish grey, then confirmed this preference with dyslexia research.

  • I tested usability with users diagnosed with autism and/or ADHD to ensure that I made an engaging design that does not cause sensory overload.

Neurodivergent Usability Testing

I determined whether 3 autistic users were able to purchase a corporate stim toy that they could rub for comfort, using my Phase 1 prototype.

For quantitative analysis, I measured errors as 30 seconds with no movement and assessed pain points as each user's number of clicks without forward action.

These are the salient user trends gleaned from my usability data:

User 2 and 3 loved how the contextual collections were placed at the top before the sensory collections, which they also loved being listed.

User 2 and 3 loved the descriptions, especially the tagline, the corporate and nostalgic collections, and the store blurb.

User 3 instinctively scrolled to the bottom of the Home Page to filter for the assigned task, instead of clicking the Corporate Collection itself.

Home Page

User 1 was stumped by how the filters did not change in number as they were selected.

All three users enjoyed how they could quickly get the info they needed using the filters.

Collection and Filtered Page

User 2 trusted the reviews as verified by neurodivergent folks.

User 3 loved the stim toy instructions being placed under the price tag, as well as the video options, the reviews, photos, and pagination.

Product Page

This page was familiar in aesthetic for all three users.

Cart Page

User 1 was confused by “Save” in the checkout page after the address input.

Checkout Page

User 1 did not recognize the confirmation page as a successful purchase, because it looked like the cart.

Users 2 and 3 didn’t stumble and knew where to click enough to playfully pretend to be the Persona.

Confirmation Page

Neurodivergent Usability Testing

I determined whether 3 autistic users were able to purchase a corporate stim toy that they could rub for comfort, using my Phase 1 prototype.

For quantitative analysis, I measured errors as 30 seconds with no movement and assessed pain points as each user's number of clicks without forward action.

These are the salient user trends gleaned from my usability data:

User 2 and 3 loved how the contextual collections were placed at the top before the sensory collections, which they also loved being listed.

User 2 and 3 loved the descriptions, especially the tagline, the corporate and nostalgic collections, and the store blurb.

User 3 instinctively scrolled to the bottom of the Home Page to filter for the assigned task, instead of clicking the Corporate Collection itself.

Home Page

User 1 was stumped by how the filters did not change in number as they were selected.

All three users enjoyed how they could quickly get the info they needed using the filters.

Collection and Filtered Page

User 2 trusted the reviews as verified by neurodivergent folks.

User 3 loved the stim toy instructions being placed under the price tag, as well as the video options, the reviews, photos, and pagination.

Product Page

This page was familiar in aesthetic for all three users.

Cart Page

User 1 was confused by “Save” in the checkout page after the address input.

Checkout Page

User 1 did not recognize the confirmation page as a successful purchase, because it looked like the cart.

Users 2 and 3 didn’t stumble and knew where to click enough to playfully pretend to be the Persona.

Confirmation Page

Neurodivergent Usability Testing

I determined whether 3 autistic users were able to purchase a corporate stim toy that they could rub for comfort, using my Phase 1 prototype.

For quantitative analysis, I measured errors as 30 seconds with no movement and assessed pain points as each user's number of clicks without forward action.

These are the salient user trends gleaned from my usability data:

User 2 and 3 loved how the contextual collections were placed at the top before the sensory collections, which they also loved being listed.

User 2 and 3 loved the descriptions, especially the tagline, the corporate and nostalgic collections, and the store blurb.

User 3 instinctively scrolled to the bottom of the Home Page to filter for the assigned task, instead of clicking the Corporate Collection itself.

Home Page

User 1 was stumped by how the filters did not change in number as they were selected.

All three users enjoyed how they could quickly get the info they needed using the filters.

Collection and Filtered Page

User 2 trusted the reviews as verified by neurodivergent folks.

User 3 loved the stim toy instructions being placed under the price tag, as well as the video options, the reviews, photos, and pagination.

Product Page

This page was familiar in aesthetic for all three users.

Cart Page

User 1 was confused by “Save” in the checkout page after the address input.

Checkout Page

User 1 did not recognize the confirmation page as a successful purchase, because it looked like the cart.

Users 2 and 3 didn’t stumble and knew where to click enough to playfully pretend to be the Persona.

Confirmation Page

Improvements Rated by Impact

To address issues unearthed by usability testing, I updated the Phase 1 prototype to make our user experiences more frutiful.

Made the filters exclusive rather than inclusive, as more are selected (ex. only corporate toys that crunch, instead of corporate toys and crunchy toys).

Removed all extraneous buttons on the Home and Checkout pages.

Prototyped the Home Page’s filters to give room for users who prefer it over the larger CTA.

Capitalized “stim” to make it easier to read for older users.

Clarified the Confirmation page that an order had been successful, with bigger font and more specific language.

Most Impactful
Least Impactful

Improvements Rated by Impact

To address issues unearthed by usability testing, I updated the Phase 1 prototype to make our user experiences more frutiful.

Made the filters exclusive rather than inclusive, as more are selected (ex. only corporate toys that crunch, instead of corporate toys and crunchy toys).

Removed all extraneous buttons on the Home and Checkout pages.

Prototyped the Home Page’s filters to give room for users who prefer it over the larger CTA.

Capitalized “stim” to make it easier to read for older users.

Clarified the Confirmation page that an order had been successful, with bigger font and more specific language.

Most Impactful
Least Impactful

Improvements Rated by Impact

To address issues unearthed by usability testing, I updated the Phase 1 prototype to make our user experiences more frutiful.

Made the filters exclusive rather than inclusive, as more are selected (ex. only corporate toys that crunch, instead of corporate toys and crunchy toys).

Removed all extraneous buttons on the Home and Checkout pages.

Prototyped the Home Page’s filters to give room for users who prefer it over the larger CTA.

Capitalized “stim” to make it easier to read for older users.

Clarified the Confirmation page that an order had been successful, with bigger font and more specific language.

Most Impactful
Least Impactful

The Pendulum Swung A Bit Too Far

In my first try, I prioritized a highly accessible, minimalistic design to rebrand fidget toys for adults in stressful corporate workspaces.

To accomplish this, I drew upon Etsy’s conservative patterns to balance a wide variety of products and minimize sensory overload. My autistic usability testers responded to my thoughtfully curated collections with joy, but I admit, the design as a whole has little charm.

Hi-Fidelity Phase 1 Prototype

So I experimented with more playfulness in Phase 2.

The Pendulum Swung A Bit Too Far

In my first try, I prioritized a highly accessible, minimalistic design to rebrand fidget toys for adults in stressful corporate workspaces.

To accomplish this, I drew upon Etsy’s conservative patterns to balance a wide variety of products and minimize sensory overload. My autistic usability testers responded to my thoughtfully curated collections with joy, but I admit, the design as a whole has little charm.

Hi-Fidelity Phase 1 Prototype

So I experimented with more playfulness in Phase 2.

Back to the Playground

Note: I borrowed the cute banner images from Stay Okay Studio. They are made by Anna!

My second try was more fulfilling on several levels. Designing for adults can still mean eliciting joy in silly, wonderful things.

Two of my interviewees wanted a website that didn’t fear personality and color -- something that I had deprioritized for more pressing needs.

So this time, I focused on our indirect competitor Stay Okay Studio for a more personable approach, as well as Lush for more aesthetic product presentation.

I dove into what would be joyous to create and use, experimenting with vibrant colors and hover interactions, and created a website for stim toys that could be a stim toy itself.

Hi-Fidelity Phase 2 Prototype

Back to the Playground

Note: I borrowed the cute banner images from Stay Okay Studio. They are made by Anna!

My second try was more fulfilling on several levels. Designing for adults can still mean eliciting joy in silly, wonderful things.

Two of my interviewees wanted a website that didn’t fear personality and color -- something that I had deprioritized for more pressing needs.

So this time, I focused on our indirect competitor Stay Okay Studio for a more personable approach, as well as Lush for more aesthetic product presentation.

I dove into what would be joyous to create and use, experimenting with vibrant colors and hover interactions, and created a website for stim toys that could be a stim toy itself.

Hi-Fidelity Phase 2 Prototype

Up Next

Opportunity 1
Before further development, I could conduct A/B Testing to determine which prototype our users prefer more. I'm most curious to see whether minimalism or playfulness will win out.

Opportunity 2
For a more consistent aesthetic and to expand the impact of my redesign, I could partner with a stim toy company with a curated catalog.

Up Next

Opportunity 1
Before further development, I could conduct A/B Testing to determine which prototype our users prefer more. I'm most curious to see whether minimalism or playfulness will win out.

Opportunity 2
For a more consistent aesthetic and to expand the impact of my redesign, I could partner with a stim toy company with a curated catalog.

Phase 3 Accessibility Considerations

As I move our prototype closer to realization, here are updates I would like to make to enhance its universality:

Conduct more usability tests with users with different visual impairments to ensure all clickable user states are accessible.

Create an alternate mode for each page where the background is darker grey/black and the text is white for dyslexic users.

Ensure speech recognition software is compatible with our website.

Include the ability to increase the volume of the videos.

Most Impactful
Least Impactful

Phase 3 Accessibility Considerations

As I move our prototype closer to realization, here are updates I would like to make to enhance its universality:

Conduct more usability tests with users with different visual impairments to ensure all clickable user states are accessible.

Create an alternate mode for each page where the background is darker grey/black and the text is white for dyslexic users.

Ensure speech recognition software is compatible with our website.

Include the ability to increase the volume of the videos.

Most Impactful
Least Impactful

Phase 3 Accessibility Considerations

As I move our prototype closer to realization, here are updates I would like to make to enhance its universality:

Conduct more usability tests with users with different visual impairments to ensure all clickable user states are accessible.

Create an alternate mode for each page where the background is darker grey/black and the text is white for dyslexic users.

Ensure speech recognition software is compatible with our website.

Include the ability to increase the volume of the videos.

Most Impactful
Least Impactful

Up, Up, and Away

I will take my overall learnings from this project to future opportunities, excited to continue forging new designs that empower neurodivergent and marginalized communities.

I analyzed my most memorable takeaways across each design phase:

Both autistic and non-autistic users aligned on reasons to look for, avoid, and use stim toys, despite being distinct user groups.

User preferences on sketches aligned with my conclusions from user research, so I will trust myself more in the future.

Research and Synthesis

User research patterns can beat design patterns seen across competitors, leading to a blending of page design structure.

Image research revealed how much the original website’s product catalogue is limited and unfocused on trends.

Prototyping

Cross-referencing inspiration is crucial, and revealed how existing websites still do not specifically cater to the audience intended in my redesign.

Clicks without forward action wasn’t an accurate representation of success, because users tried to interact with the prototype as if it were fully-functioning.

Communicating the limited functionality of the prototype was crucial for usability testers’ enjoyment.

Usability

Up, Up, and Away

I will take my overall learnings from this project to future opportunities, excited to continue forging new designs that empower neurodivergent and marginalized communities.

I analyzed my most memorable takeaways across each design phase:

Both autistic and non-autistic users aligned on reasons to look for, avoid, and use stim toys, despite being distinct user groups.

User preferences on sketches aligned with my conclusions from user research, so I will trust myself more in the future.

Research and Synthesis

User research patterns can beat design patterns seen across competitors, leading to a blending of page design structure.

Image research revealed how much the original website’s product catalogue is limited and unfocused on trends.

Prototyping

Cross-referencing inspiration is crucial, and revealed how existing websites still do not specifically cater to the audience intended in my redesign.

Clicks without forward action wasn’t an accurate representation of success, because users tried to interact with the prototype as if it were fully-functioning.

Communicating the limited functionality of the prototype was crucial for usability testers’ enjoyment.

Usability

Up, Up, and Away

I will take my overall learnings from this project to future opportunities, excited to continue forging new designs that empower neurodivergent and marginalized communities.

I analyzed my most memorable takeaways across each design phase:

Both autistic and non-autistic users aligned on reasons to look for, avoid, and use stim toys, despite being distinct user groups.

User preferences on sketches aligned with my conclusions from user research, so I will trust myself more in the future.

Research and Synthesis

User research patterns can beat design patterns seen across competitors, leading to a blending of page design structure.

Image research revealed how much the original website’s product catalogue is limited and unfocused on trends.

Prototyping

Cross-referencing inspiration is crucial, and revealed how existing websites still do not specifically cater to the audience intended in my redesign.

Clicks without forward action wasn’t an accurate representation of success, because users tried to interact with the prototype as if it were fully-functioning.

Communicating the limited functionality of the prototype was crucial for usability testers’ enjoyment.

Usability

Case Studies

Heather Muriel Nguyen
San Jose, CA
Heather Muriel Nguyen
San Jose, CA
Heather Muriel Nguyen
San Jose, CA