client success stories

Redesigning Blue Nile’s customer experience with Motivational UX™

A modern approach to celebrating life’s most significant moments

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Project Type:

A UX redesign case study where we optimized the user experience to deliver a personal and empowering customer journey

Finding the right retail UX to evolve an online presence

With a history of delivering transparency and clarity in the diamond buying process, Blue Nile is the leader in disrupting the jewelry industry. In this spirit, they sought to evolve their online catalog buying experience to one where customers regarded the company as their jewelry partner for life.

As you’ll see in this UX case study, this involved designing and validating a new digital customer experience that combined the ease and speed of the web with the support and personalization of shopping in-store.


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Designing and testing a new digital customer experience

Blue Nile was acutely focused on the growth of their core business. Luxoft’s design and innovation arm, Smashing Ideas, had their team of strategists, UX designers, and visual and motion designers work with Blue Nile to research, design, strategize and test a new customer experience strategy.

Initially, they focused on transforming a single line of business: wedding bands. Concentrating on just one line of business allowed the teams to have greater opportunities for experimentation and exploration.


Reshaping the buying experience with Motivational UX™

Smashing used Motivational UX™ to develop an enthralling e-commerce user interface and user experience. Smashing redesigned key web pages including the home, segment, catalog, detail, top 10 and education pages, focusing on core themes that improved the buying experience:

  1. Building confidence and trust: Customer service vastly increases customer confidence and conversion, so we identified what content was influential at critical buying moments and then designed an intuitive help feature to ease their journey, along with a redesigned education page portal.
  2. Maximizing SEO and SEM. We worked closely with Blue Nile’s SEO and SEM experts to ensure search results direct shoppers to specific and strategic Blue Nile education and shopping pages.
  3. Developing a bespoke design language system. Perceptual patterns provided documentation on voice, tone, design principles, typography, color palette, layouts, iconography styles, shapes/textures, spacing, imagery, and motion studies. The functional patterns provided documentation of the tangible building blocks of the interface which includes how each building block or component functions.

Smashing’s team of strategists and designers trained Blue Nile on the UX redesign process so they could replicate the approach across the entire retail customer experience. This included working alongside Blue Nile to update both branding and positioning so that all customer touchpoints maintained a high level of consistency.

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A simple and intuitive buyer’s journey

Through Motivational UX™, the team optimized Blue Nile’s customer experience with the following core principles:

  • Decision-making. The redesigned filter provides ease of search, while the overall design reduces cognitive load, letting users find what they’re looking for effortlessly.
  • Adaptive. The intuitive design of the contextual help center and strategic use of widgets aids customers in matching their wedding ring with the appropriate ring size.
  • Aesthetics. The clean, modern, luxe and intimate design empowers customers during one of the most important purchase journeys of their lives.

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