Zelus Insoles

Zelus Insoles is a brand new retail orthotic company featuring a unique, patented anti-fatigue technology. Zelus Insoles are designed with injury prevention in mind but also has many beneficial features such as performance prevention and returning energy upon impact.

During this project I worked as a  full time employee at SATECH Inc, the parent company of Zelus. I worked closely with my manager and we directly reported to our executive team who were our stakeholders throughout the project.

Zelus Insoles has a brand voice that shows seriousness but adds pieces of humor in attempt to be different in an industry that is either heavily medical or athletic based. Because Zelus Insoles are engineered to prevent injury, we decided to target an audience that it would resonate with. The maturing young adults who are starting to feel the aches and pains of getting a little older.

PLATFORM:

WordPress Desktop Website

TIMELINE:

2 Months

MY ROLE:

Graphic/Web/UX
+ Photography

PROJECT LINK:

Approach

Being a newcomer to a competitive foot orthotic market, the Zelus marketing team needed to know where our niche product featuring SmartCells would fit amongst the rest. In order to determine our desired market share, we performed a series of research tasks to further refine our positioning and target audience. Our research consisted of competitive analysis, analyzing market reports, and creating user personas.

HOME PAGE SNIPPET

Competitive Analysis

Our approach to the process was to identify what our competitors were doing by partaking in heavy competitive analysis to analyze what was working and what wasn’t. We researched companies who were leading the foot orthotic industry as well as design leaders like Nike and Pair of Thieves. By analyzing our competitors and alike companies, we were able to get a good idea for how we wanted our site to flow and how we wanted to explain our products.

Market Research

By purchasing a study on market research, our team was able to pinpoint our target audience and users with corresponding data. From the data that we found, we were able to create user personas to help identify who our target users are and learn about their tendencies. Also found from our market research were the types of common terms people were searching on search engines which played a later role in how we went about our taxonomy based on the most popular search results.

Based on our market research we created two user personas (1 male, 1 female) and started to form their most common tendencies and desires.

User Personas

Because of the extremely short timeline of the project I wasn’t able to change much of the site that actually needed to be changed. There were many sections that were in dire need of updates like the page layouts, product descriptions, and others but there just wasn’t enough time.

Zack

  • 40 years old
  • Competitive
  • Rec League Champ
  • “Connected” w/ devices
  • Will to win
  • Latest & Greatest
  • Cool Dad/Uncle

Zoe

  • 38 years old
  • Mother & Professional
  • Workout = Me Time
  • All about healthy
  • Follows bloggers
  • Pinterest Queen
  • Always connected

Most young adults aren’t too interested in buying high quality foot orthotics. They’re not in any pain and probably still healthy which means they’re probably not going to be googling the terms: foot orthotics or insoles. Using the data from our research we were able to determine who our users will likely be and some of their possible characteristics.

We determined our target users range from young adults to baby boomers (25-55) and probably have some sort of leg or foot pain.

A Different Approach

Most foot orthotic brands and products have a pretty serious brand voice which lacks a personal touch. Our approach was to do the opposite and present ourselves as a confident yet laid back brand that comes from a history of professional experience. Zelus also used non-traditional naming conventions to name our products in attempt to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. These naming conventions proved to be a little troublesome later down the road causing leaving our users confused about the differences between products.

Product Categorization

Determining how to group the products and name the different groups was a highly discussed topic. The only big difference in our 6 products was that some insoles had arch support and the other ones didn’t so we decided to categorize our types of products in that manner.

Based on our competitive analysis and market research, our team decided that it would be simplest for our users to navigate our products based on if they wanted arch support or not. I decided the simplest way to do so was to include those two categories in the navigation and let the user view the products that were offered within them.

I wanted the layout to be easy to read and scroll through so users can quickly skim over the features of each product. The reason behind this is that I want users to be able to quickly identify and compare the features of the individual products which in result will help them make the best buying decision for their needs.

Once the user selects a product, they are taken to the single product page which contains much more information about the product.

Arch Support Landing Page

No Arch Support Landing Page

WooCommerce

There were many hiccups throughout the process because of how difficult it was to customize any aspects of WooCommerce.

My boss and I spent a lot of time comparing different sites that had clean design with the right amount of product information. Because of the amount of low quality foot orthotics in the market, we needed to find a way to show visually why our insole is better and be able to explain why in a succinct manner. I personally spent a great deal of time looking through the code of other WooCommerce sites to try and figure out which plugins they were using as well as what was custom developed in order to determine what was within the scope I of our site.

Custom Solution

By using a couple custom CSS scripts, I was able to hide the product detail tabs that show by default. This was an improvement but it didn’t solve the problem of customizing the page layout.

I was able to solve this problem by activating the “Product” page types inside of the Visual Composer (page layout) plugin which allowed me to design and edit the product pages as if it were a regular page. Solving this problem allowed us to have the freedom to have as much information below the fold as we wanted. The types of information displayed are a seal of guarantee, custom icons, some cheeky language, a list of features specific to that insole, and related products.

Our research showed that a lot of people who purchased insoles had problems with selecting the right size, installing their insoles, and other problems related to comfort. This was the number one reason on Amazon why customers returned their insoles so we decided to be proactive and implement our own size chart.

Located directly above the dropdown selectors, I designed and implemented an insole size guide which appears in the form of a modal popup. Users can quickly find the correct size and continue with their purchase. This is the perfect solution to assure that our users are buying the correct size insole based on their foot dimensions and hopefully eliminating future returns.

Challenges

­­­Pricing
Because of how expensive the raw material is to make SmartCells, our team was tasked with marketing our line of insoles in the middle to upper levels of traditional orthotic pricing. The product prices ranged from 30$ – 64$ but our 6 products are rather similar and very hard to convey differences. Which also makes it hard to justify different price points for products when they appear to be similar in the eyes of the user.

I brought this to the attention of my boss and our exec team but there’s not a lot we can do.

Product Differences
Throughout the launch and post launch, our team found it somewhat hard to convey the differences to our end users. Also, trying to explain an advanced cushioning technology and how it is effective in the form of an insole proved to be rather difficult.

Primary Color: Neon Green

The Zelus color palette features an extremely bright, almost neon green as our primary color complimented with shades of grey and black. While this catches the eye of viewers, it proved to be extremely difficult to use for most elements of the site. Initially, I had some of the links and buttons using this green on top of white backgrounds and it was nearly impossible for anyone to see.

There were discussions about using a darker green for links and similar alternatives but the best solution was to limit the use of the color to designated buttons and only on the backgrounds. We also used our green on top of dark colored backgrounds which resulted in sharply contrasting page sections. This allowed us to still keep our branding consistent throughout the site and highlight the most important buttons and calls to action.

Current State

The launch was not as successful as we hoped for.

The site has been live for several months now and our team continues to analyze analytics and come up with new ways to improve the site. While we are experiencing a good amount of traffic, we’re losing a lot of users after only a couple pages and most importantly on our technology page.

One of the main things I learned throughout this site was to keep it simple. I think that we may have went overboard with our content and attempt to be cheeky and it is causing more confusion than clarity. Looking back, I wish I would’ve been more involved in the discussions regarding our content and tone instead of only being the designer.