Color Swatches as
a User Expectation

How I helped Rothy's align their user experience with the Baymard Institute's e-commerce-specific user experience guidelines.

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Project Summary

During my research tenure at Rothy's, a noteworthy user behavior came to my attention, where each color variation of a single product was presented as a separate list item on Product Listing Page (PLP) . This practice elicited user frustration and contradicted e-commerce guidelines delineated by the Baymard Institute, a renowned authority in e-commerce UX research. Consequently, our primary objective was to substantiate the advantages of integrating a color swatch functionality into the PDP.

By employing a multifaceted research approach involving user interviews, Hotjar recordings, and A/B testing, we successfully demonstrated the efficacy of incorporating various color options for the same item within a single product detail page. The outcome was a tangible increase in add-to-cart actions and a concurrent reduction in user "U-turns," affirming the significant benefits of this enhancement to the user experience.


  • User Testing

  • Sketch

  • InVision

  • Optimizely

  • Hotjar


  • 1 UX designer

  • 1 developer

  • 1 project manager

  • 3 stakeholders

My Role

  • UX/UI design

  • User research

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  • Add to cart rate

  • Decreased u-turns

Rothy's Color Swatches

Competitive Analysis

We audited multiple competitor product page experiences analyzing various points of interest such as look and feel, accessibility, usability, functionality, and ease of use.

Rothy's Color Swatches


Based on the established design system combined with my experience as a certified e-commerce user experience designer, I was able to sketch out a sensible direction for the PDP (product details page) and PLP (product listing page) with notes for the stakeholders to review. With the wireframes approved we were able to swiftly move into Sketch to design the hi fidelity prototypes.

Rothy's Color Swatches

Hi Fidelity Prototypes and Roadblocks

I created a fully-functional, high-fidelity prototype of the new PDP using Sketch, however the project ran into an unexpected roadblock at this stage: how to indicate the used-desired color as 'out of stock' despite the availability of the user-desired size.

Collaboration to the rescue

Instead of going back to drawing new wireframes to solve this issue I turned to collaboration. Myself and two other talented UX designers brainstormed ideas to solve the issue until we had 3 iterations of the design. From there we decided to let the users dictate which out of the 3 made the most sense and be included in the A/B test.

Rothy's Color Swatches

User Interviews

Utilizing the platform User Testing I set up our surveys targeting two distinct demographics to help gain a solid understanding of the clarity of our designs.

  • Users already familiar with Rothys

  • Users who are brand new to Rothys

Our key point of interest was to find out if the designs were easily understood by those who had no previous experience with Rothy's design system. Thankfully, they navigated the prototypes without issue giving us confidence to move forward to the live A/B test.

User Interviews
Lasting Change
Rothy's Color Swatches

A/B/C Test

Once the winning design was dictated by the user interview results I worked with the developer to create the variation in Optimizely. After a few rounds of QA, we were ready to launch our test by funneling in 50% of users into variation A and 50% to the control.

We reached statistical significance in around one week's time which led to the expected results of color swatches providing a more seamless user experience which led to increased add-to-cart rates and reduced u-turns.


Don't miss the forest for the trees

When it comes to creating a unique e-commerce experience it's important that you do not neglect the function for the form. Keeping things simple and in line with well researched guidelines from the start and build up from there in complexity to be sure you aren't overlooking something with a big impact on your conversion rates.

Collaborate and listen

When you encounter a roadblock in your designs it's important to know you can rely on others in your team to move forward. Collaboration is one of the best ways to generate new ideas and get a new perspective on something you may have not considered.

Rothy's Color Swatches

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