As part of the whole global e-commerce platform overhaul in 2013, the Software and Peripherals catalog got a desperately needed refresh. Just as important as moving to a responsive platform, we needed to define a mobile-friendly navigation across and lay the groundwork for a new branding layout for this standalone experience that would establish Dell as the new primary destination to shop for Electronics, Software and Accessories. The initial launch delivered a more focused and templatized shop to purchase path, personalized product ecosystem and search, and new site navigation. [We achieved a 30% total lift in customer satisfaction of the cart and checkout funnel from the previous years. Efforts to optimize, simplify, and add user-driven enhanced features continue to elevate Dell as a top global online retailer.]



  • Standalone catalog site needs to flow, function and feel like a seamless experience with the rest of
  • Clear product organization, findability and details
  • Reconfigure the product pages to show only what users want
  • Create a mobile-first navigation that works across
  • Parts finder needed to be an intuitive and easy self-serve process

The Beginning

There was little time for discovery exercises or user testing at the beginning, but we did work with the Dev team to clean up and prioritize the features backlog into an agile sprint plan. I worked with an architect to assess the worst pain points and how our initial solutions might work across breakpoints. 

S&P site home (before): Competing CTAs, tabs not well used, poor use of space

Product page (before): Copy heavy, excessive forms fields (29), confusing payment options

Parts search (before): Too much copy, poorly formatted forms, disorganized cart summary

Product organization, discovery and details

The existing site had a confusing and repetitive category layout and a disorganized taxonomy, making it hard for a customer to find what they were looking for without heartburn. We scrapped all existing design and took inventory on what data and functionality to keep and what to throw out...keeping in mind that the taxonomy and product details for non-Dell branded products could not be changed due to several third-party provider services in place. Basing the designs on test results from the consumer site, we sketched out templates and category hierarchy that more closely matched the consumer product path. The existing product details pages also got a new look since they lacked useful content and were visually disjointed from the consumer site. 

Landing Page:  Users thought this page was very clear but expected to see shipping and financing information here.

Landing Page: Users thought this page was very clear but expected to see shipping and financing information here.

Category page: Users expected info to pre-populate for the address and "Create Account" section. They thought the Shipping and Payment info should be on the same page.

Product details: Users expected to see specific credit card types, how to pay in installments, and a security icon or logo. The idea of splitting payments was confusing.

Mobile-friendly navigation

The current navigation was repetitive and complicated. We knew we had to make the product category options quickly identifiable and reduce the number of steps to reach a product to the bare minimum. 

Home nav - mobile

S&P home nav - mobile

PFYD home nav - mobile

The approach for the S & P site navigation was adopted for the consumer site (with allowance for product variations). There's a feeling of consistency now. 

While limited on real user testing, we cobbled together an in-house skunkworks testing lab to obsess over breakpoints and folds, while our Dev lead ran a host of tests on browsers and OS compatibility. 

"Parts For Your Dell" parts finder

Service call volume was high and costly and CSAT for Software & Peripherals was lagging. The parts finder needed to be so easy to use, there was no question how to use it - well-defined search options, clear links and calls to action, concise help content, and the minimal amount of text or help content needed.

UAT testing

We went through 3 rounds of testing, carefully adjusting the language and interactions to figure out what worked and what didn't. Can users easily and naturally locate the zip code field in their Cart when choosing shipping options? Do users think the delivery dates and shipping dates are confusing? Are users  confused by item-level shipping and the inability to combine orders into a single shipment?

  • First round of testing – in their cart, users were looking for the delivery information by the item, not above where we had a zip code field

  • Second round – users were puzzled as to why they were choosing a delivery option for each item ("choose for each item" was overemphasized)
  • Third round – the most successful approach was to lead users to choose one delivery option for all items in their order but provide the ability to choose different delivery options for individual items


Internally, it was a highly unified effort. Each section of the site and sometimes each page had different designers and Dev teams working on it. Consistency was key and Design had to be incredibly proactive. I took the lead on oversight for the required features across all design, Dev and project teams throughout the project lifecycle and for several months just in UAT, logging and fixing defects prior to launch. Launch was throttled - mobile launched first, then tablet launched another three months after, then desktop a year later. 

[Numbers go here] Site performance