Customs Marketplace


The Challenge

While at General Assembly, I was tasked with adding a feature to the pioneer of indie artists marketplaces, Etsy's responsive website. After analyzing the website and other niche product marketplaces, I arrived to the conclusion that a more robust customization feature would add value to both users and artisans.  


Two Weeks  

My Role








Layout & Heuristic 

Competitor Analysis 

We compared the UI layout and system behavior of competitor custom product marketplaces. 


We surveyed 43 people in order to learn more about their online shopping habits and to answer the question, "what factors into trust when it comes to customizing proudcts online" 


In order to arrive at a nuanced understanding of both buyer's and seller's online experience, we interviewed seven participants. Of the seven, four were buyers, two were sellers, and one was a hybrid(both buyer and seller).   

Affinity Mapping

We assembled all of our data from the previous three phases of research and compiled them into emerging themes from which we would prioritize features and arrive at a problem statement and persona.   

Survey Results

Notable Interview Quotes

“ Returns are the scariest thing  for a seller”

“ Knew exactly what I wanted on Etsy. Went straight to search.”

“Want customized products with the ease of Amazon.”

“Need the proposals to come to me. Not vice versa.”


& Solutions

Customization Process

Buyers need a customization process that is simple, yet allows them to precisely describe their desired product using input from platforms they are accustomed to such as Pinterest. 

Evaluating Designs

Buyers need a simple way to evaluate multiple designs through an auction marketplace that features reviews, portfolios, and bios of each artisan. 

Artisan/Buyer Communication

Enable artisan/buyer communication through a chat feature on their responsive website.    

Easy Accesibility to Proposals

Allow artisans to submit bids to proposals that are relevant to them with minimal effort through the use of tags during the proposal creation process.  

Search Over Browsing

Emphasize search function over browsing to align with user behavior.     

Want the full story? Check out my Presentation or Medium post



Process of submitting a proposal and then subsequently selecting one of the designs out of many bids. 


Want to Learn More?