Sunnyland Farms

Sunnyland Farms Website Redesign


Background: Sunnyland Farms is a 1,700+ acre pecan farm in Albany, GA. They were founded in 1948 and have been family owned and operated since that time. Historically they have had the majority of their business from their mail in catalog. My team was assigned the task of identifying improvements that could be made to take this catalog-based family business into the digital world.

Team: Robert Kashey, Danny Nam, Sabrina Chae, Jarred Henry, Julie Hurwitz, Xiomara Sifuentes

My Role: User Research, Research Synthesis, Customer Journey Mapping, Design Sketching, Wireframing, Usability Testing (Current State and Design), Prototype (not all links work, just to give idea of functionality), and Storytelling.

Timeline: 3 weeks

Summary: Sunnyland wanted us to fix their checkout process to increase their conversion rates and decrease the number of abandoned carts. We did this by changing the layout of the product pages to make it easier for users to get items into their carts. We also fixed the shipping portion of checkout to make it easier for users to complete the checkout process.

Discovery Session

My team started with a discovery session with Alex, the COO of Sunnyland Farms who had contracted us to work on a redesign of his company’s website. He brought with him his SEO adviser Jenny, and the two spoke at length about their desire to increase conversion rates, decrease the number of abandoned carts, and the desire to fix a “clunky” checkout process.

Key Stakeholders


After speaking with the key stakeholders, my team and I created a survey which we sent to all of the customers who had purchased from Sunnyland Farms within the last 12 months. We wanted to understand more about their purchasing habits, reasons for purchasing, history and pain points with the website.


After the survey, we interviewed 8 different customers. What we found from the interviews was that users weren’t reporting difficulty with the website. In fact, they were quite happy with it. Users tended to buy the same products over and over, and normally they would look through the physical catalog before purchasing on the website.

Heuristic Evaluation

We conducted a baseline heuristic evaluation to determine pain points within the site. We synthesized the results and agreed with Alex that the checkout process needed to be fixed, but we were curious about how the customers found it.

Usability Tests

Even though users weren’t reporting any difficulties with the site, I wanted to see if they still ran into them by testing them. I created a test prompt for a usability test of the current website and I wanted to better understand how customers handled key tasks including: creating an account, adding items to the cart, and shipping the items to multiple locations (a Sunnyland Farms’ website feature).

Current State Usability Test with Customer

Testing takeaways

Users struggled with:

  • Creating an account
  • Browsing products because of indistinct categories
  • Placing items in the cart
  • Shipping to multiple locations (which currently can only be done by having an account)

Users would have liked:

  • Seeing prices upfront
  • Reviews on product pages
  • Multiple shipping with guest checkout

Competitive/Comparative Task Analysis

One of the major takeaways from these analyses was the massive disparity in home page content between Sunnyland Farms and its competitors. This, coupled with the interview insights led us to hypothesize that the reason for users not reporting difficulty with the site is because they weren’t really browsing it.

Persona Creation

74% of our customers were female, and 70% were over the age of 66. Using this data we created our current user persona Judy. During our discovery meeting with Alex (COO), he mentioned that he wanted to start marketing to a younger audience, especially by making the site mobile friendly. Currently less than 1% of Sunnyland Farms’ customers are under the age of 45. From current state testing, we created a target persona of Rebekah. We took data from both users to make sure our design was friendly to the current user base without alienating a younger audience.

Customer Journey Mapping

Using the research, I created a customer journey map. Typically customers like Judy would browse items in the catalog first, then go to the website and find their item. They’d add it to the cart and if they weren’t successful with checking out because of the convoluted shipping options, they’d give up and call the call center.

At this point I would have just called.

Customer Journey Map

Project Focus / Design Decisions

Desired Changes/Backlog

  • Information architecture for navigation bar (fix labels for increased browsing)
  • Loyalty points (Per Alex’s request)
  • Indicate when items are not in season (issue from usability testing)
  • Make Google reviews more visible (product page reviews had been previously disabled)
  • Display products on homepage to promote curiosity
  • Clearly display product reviews on product detail pages
  • Opportunity to create account at checkout
  • Drag and drop to send items to multiple locations

Project MVP

  • Make Google reviews more visible because the company reviews are on google and not on the website.
  • Display products on homepage to promote curiosity
  • Clearly display product reviews on product detail pages (something customers wanted)
  • Opportunity to create account at checkout
  • Drag and drop to send items to multiple locations


I created some initial sketches for each of the main pages including: home page, product listing page, product details page, and the checkout screens. When our team came to the idea of shipping to multiple locations we were a bit stuck. After thinking about some of the usability tests I had conducted, I proposed that we create a drag-and-drop feature to make this easier for users. Here are some additional sketches of the home page, product page and shipping page.

Proposed Multiple Shipping Page

Design Workshop

Whiteboard Sketches of Screen Designs

Our team came together and conducted a design studio to pull the best design aspects from everyone’s sketches. As we talked about the drag-and-drop feature we realized we should get David’s (developer) feedback on whether this would be feasible or not. I called him and he felt that it would possible to code and implement.


Given the greenlight from David, I started creating wireframes of the checkout process to create a prototype. I also created screens of the cart, shipping information, confirmation page for one shipment, and confirmation screen for multiple shipments.

Prototype Usability Testing

After wireframing we created a prototype using Justinmind. We tested this prototype with five users, two who were over 66 and three who were in our target persona Rebekah’s age range.

What we found:

  • Users felt the conversational checkout was helpful
  • Users didn’t like how many checkout screens there were
  • Older users loved the drag-and-drop feature
  • Younger users felt drag-and-drop was unfamiliar at first
  • Younger users felt drag-and-drop was intuitive once trying it
  • During multiple shipments, users were confused with the term “packages” because at Sunnyland Farms “packaging” refers to the individual product packaging, not the shipment of items to a customer

Prototype Iterations

Here are the changes between the first and second iterations of the page we created.

Style Guide

On Sunnyland Farm’s current website, there were many different fonts, font sizes, and colors, which was very distracting, and made the copy hard to read. So, we created a style guide to create consistency across the website.


And after we finished making our iterative changes we added some product images and color to give a feel to Alex and his team about how the website would look. Additional images can be seen here and here.

Next Steps

After talking with Alex after this project, he has said that he is concerned about the scalability of the drag-and-drop feature for mobile. He and his team are still looking for potential solutions, but are choosing to implement several of our solutions including implementing the product and product listing pages. He also liked our implementation of the static “free shipping” bar and will be adding it to all pages.

Going forward I would love to see how the designs they choose to implement affect the numbers about reductions in call-center calls, abandoned carts, and an increased conversion rate. Ideally, I’d like to revisit the drag-and-drop solution and see if there is a way to scale for mobile. If not, I’d go back to the drawing board and start ideating new potential solutions.