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420, the nowadays cannabis seed bank

For over ten years, the client has been selling seeds from well-known breeders. Today, they want to boost the sales/shares of 420 Seeds, their most recent online marijuana seed bank.

Initial brief

To refresh 420 Seeds website.

Role

Strategy
Art direction
UX/UI

After a first meeting and some in depth discussions about 420 seeds, we decided to extend the brief.

Challenge

The cannabis seed market has been growing but 420 Seeds didn’t develop. With new countries legalising marijuana, the brand also has the opportunities to captivate new customers.

420 Seeds’ competitors are standing toe-to-toe: their online platforms offer seeds from respected breeders and deep discounts.

The battle with well-established competitors is on.

Goal

Reboot 420 Seeds’ brand and website with a distinctive idea.

Appeal to new buyers and keep the current ones.

To capitalise on 420 Seeds’ experience.

Competition

 Doubtful and complex, seed banks are backward and remind of the Dark Web (internet used for illegal trade). The identities are either clichés or disconnected and the web experience look dated.

420 seeds, competitors
420 seeds, competitors
420 seeds, competitors
420 seeds, competitors

Market

420 Seeds needs to differentiate oneself from other seed banks by adopting nowadays cannabis codes.

Either playful, gourmet or botanical, nowadays cannabis inspires trust. Cannabis-based products become colourful and/or slick. While breeders are showing passion for the plants with professionalism and authenticity.

Positioning

420 Seeds, the friendly expert

Expertise and quality: A marijuana expert with 10 years of experience in selecting, producing and selling the best seeds.
Friendliness: A company caring for its clients with a supportive customer service.
Trust: A legal and transparent business for every cannabis users/growers.

Branding

420 Seeds, the passionate expert in cannabis

Photography: Close-ups on the crops’ perfection / ‘cannabis porn’.
Colours: Serious and sober with bright touches to bring playfulness.

Logo options: King of the seed banks / Tradition (the 70’s) with a modern twist  / Star of the seed banks / The one that you can trust to fill your bag.

420 seeds, photography style
420 seeds, logo proposal
420 seeds, brand typography
420 seeds, photography style
420 seeds, logo proposal
420 seeds, brand colour
420 seeds, photography style
420 seeds, logo proposal
420 seeds, icons sample
420 seeds, photography style
420 seeds, logo proposal
420 seeds, brand colours

User experience

the ‘ASOS / kayak’ of the online seed banks

What is 420 Seeds

An online cannabis seed bank where to buy legal marijuana seeds.

What makes 420 Seeds unique

420 Seeds is the friendly expert who could offer: a modern online experience informative, as well as, accessible to everyone.

Role and responsibilities

Lead the product storyboarding and did light user research.
Did the User Experience Design and wireframes.
Created high fidelity screens to show the full product experience.

Problem and process

To create a modern shopping experience for marijuana seeds buyers.

Empathise with the user

Understand the user experience

Map the key user flow

Design the full solution

We identified two types of shoppers

We used proto-personas to help us stay anchored on the users and avoid letting our desire for features trump user needs.

Young & inexperienced

Thomas

He wants to grow cannabis to share with his friends during parties.

Needs to accomplish

• The production of marijuana for recreational purpose.
• The making of a natural/organic cannabis.
• Impress his friends.

Needs to feel

• Part of a cool ‘rebellious’ community.
• Reinsured that everything is legal and that he will receive what he paid for.
• Guided.

Expert & experienced

Michael (Pseudonym)

He has been growing marijuana for years for a specific reason which can be a medical condition.

Needs to accomplish

• Buying marijuana seeds with specific properties (medical, mental, height…).
• Taking expert decisions.
• Saving money.

Needs to feel

• Reinsured that everything is confidential.
• Valued as a customer.
• At ease with the web experience.

Storyboards help us to identify key moments in the experience of our users

Deciding to buy seeds

“Mark is so inspirational, I want to grow cannabis too.”

Taking information online

“Mark and some blogs are recommending some seed banks, let’s check them out.”

Shortlisting seed banks to buy from

“Some seed banks look dodgy. I will shop from the ones which look professional and legal.”

Select the seed bank offering the ‘best seeds’

“The product description looks really solid and makes me understand what I will get and how to do it. Plus, they have a customer service.”

Time to buy seeds

“It will be time to plant soon, I need to buy seeds.”

Opening his selection of online seed banks

“I always use those seed banks. I know that they have quality, options, good prices and always deliver; Though I keep an eye on what is happening around.”

Selecting relevant seeds

“I am interested in seeds with specific medical properties. I have a health issue and marijuana helps me to ease my symptoms.”

Comparing offers

“Since I often buy, it is important for me to get the best offers. I always compare to get the best value (prices and rewards).”

Consideration: There is another buyer type with who has low computer skills and fears authorities. That one buys over the phone from his/her usual seed banks.

The storyboard established a share vision with stakeholders and revealed issues and key screens early in the product development process

Issues

• Making a good first impression.
• Finding relevant products easily.
• Convincing newbies, as well as experts, that 420 seeds’ seeds are the best. 
• Supporting Newbies and ‘low tech’ users.

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The storyboard forced a discussion with shareholders, beyond the specifics of each page of the website.

“Shall we advertise more?”

“We want to increase the number of products from 50 to 350.”

The storyboard also helped to narrow the website scopes.

Key pages

• Presentation of the brand and its USP.
• Tailored results and easy navigation.
• Descriptions going progressively into depth.
• Customer support present through the journey.

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A product comparison tool has been retained for future developments.

Landing page

Product listing and search

Product page

Low-level wireframe helped us to validate the key steps and features

Splash screen 

The user journey starts with the brand and USP to engage and reinsure the user.

Product listing

It’s a one level experience – no need to search on different pages to see what is available: All the products are listed in one place and can easily be filtered.

Product page

The product details open in an overlay. The information is hierarchised to create a narration going from generic to in-depth. Micro-copy and infographics are used to make the content easy to read.

Check out

To not interrupt the checkout, the order is amendable on the spot at any time. One of the specificities of the checkout is the option to pick a reward based on the amount spent.

We used card sorting to define a simple content taxonomy and architecture

One of the challenges was to transpose the numerous characteristics of cannabis into a useful filter – allowing users with different seeds’ expertise to easily find products.

High fidelity pages were designed for the entire website

Notes: When the user scrolls down, the splash screen retracts to create the top menu.

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