Navigation redesign dramatically improves user engagement.

I led a redesign of the Slow North navigation bar. With a hypothesis that a more prominent search bar and "sticky" navigation would lead to better engagement, I designed, fully implemented, and tested a new navigation bar. The results were a validation of the hypothesis and a big win for customer engagement on


Reduction in search exits


Improvement in time spent post search


Improvement in average search depth

The problem

The Slow North navigation wasn’t driving the results we wanted. We wanted a cleaner visual design that emphasized search. We also wanted to call out deals on shipping, specials, sales and more.

We hypothesized that these changes would have positive results on user engagement, including an increased numbers of searches and longer time spent post-search.

We hoped that the increased engagement and call-outs for specials would ultimately translate into increased conversions from our valuable website traffic.

The updated home page

First, we updated the navigation structure.

After doing a competitive analysis of like retail sites, we used the navigation of a partner site as a guide. We decided to implement a close version and test the results to see if that structure worked for our customers.

We made the navigation persistent as the user scrolled.

The 'sticky' navigation was thinner so as to be less obtrusive as the user scrolled. We also updated the search results page to be more on brand.

The updated search results page

I used heatmaps as early evidence that users engaged with the new search bar and other elements of the redesign.

To compliment the new navigation, I added full-width cover images of Slow North products...

Updating the navbar necessitated moving the hero image to a full-width cover image. It looked better and we were also able to move a critical key performance indicator (KPI) in the right direction.

...which resulted in a reduction of the homepage bounce rate by 10%.

This was even more of a win than it first appeared. While many sites have high-traffic entrances through interior pages on their site, Slow North gets upwards of 60% of its traffic entering on the home page. Thus, the lowered bounce rate of this critical page became an important driver of Slow North's online business.

By lowering the number of site exits, I helped Slow North maximize site marketing spending. Coupled with a dramatic increase in search engagement, this project was a big win for Slow North's e-commerce presence.

Led a navigation redesign which resulting in a dramatic improvement in user engagement

CompanySlow NorthYear2018My workConcept, research, design, implementation in Shopify code, and validation in Google Analytics

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