Fairtrade Gold & Silver

I was responsible for UX design and development of the responsive site.


Fairtrade Certified Gold is the world’s first independent ethical certification system for gold.

Buying Fairtrade Gold & Silver makes a real difference to the lives of miners, their families and communities. Jewellery with the Fairtrade Stamp is extra special. Buying it means you know the small-scale and artisanal miners were paid a fair price, giving them financial security.

Client: Fairtrade Foundation
Website: fairgold.org
Date: 2014-06-01
Services: UI/UX, Website Design

01. The Brief

The primary objective was for people to be able find and choose from over 300 Fairtrade jewellers based on their geographical locations.

I was responsible for UX design and development of the responsive site. I worked closely with the developer to bring design to life. As we both worked remotely, I communicated requirements, discussed constraints and possibilities.

We worked collaboratively, tested constantly and iterated progressively.

02. Design Process

I travelled from London to Chicester to meet with the client and have a qualitative understanding of customer. I also interviewed a few of the jewellers by learning about what it takes to do their work on a day-to-day basis.

User Journey Maps

I created the sitemap, personas and scenarios documents.

User Experience

I created a task flow and need analysis based on the features and functionality.

03. Prototyping

I designed the user interface based on the user journey map & personas. We created low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes of interface behaviours to build consensus and understanding between the project team and the client.

Task included creating template/style pages for the homepage, single blog page, blog listing page, project partners page, retailers “Where to Buy” page and required sidebar widget integration for each page.

The site was built using WordPress & Twitter Bootstrap framework. We ensured that theme would be W3C Validated & images optimized for retina display and optimised to support all devices.

04. Usability Testing & Report

As usability test usually reveal problems, the team evaluated and recommended few suggestions for the interface or flow of events.

The test was designed around task & scenarios that represented typical end-user goals. I provided site search analytics functionality. This helped to analyse the words and phrases entered into the site which gives insight into what people are looking for and how well site content meet those needs.


05. Iterations & Challenges

After initial usability testing, the client expanded the project scope by requesting for a “country specific retail partners” page template.

This brought about few changes to the design/framework which included the blog listing and retail template page. The requested changes included ability to add other countries and jewellers in the future whilst maintaining alphabetical filtering.

This posed a challenge for us because the retail partners page contained pagination and worked as an archive page which lists specific taxonomy records only. This meant, we couldn’t apply another filter for alphabetical listing.

We also had a setback as the web developer fell sick with deadline day ticking. I was reluctant to go back to the client informing them we have exhausted all possible means to provide a solution.

06. Solution

As the alphabetical filtering is the main reason the client was requesting the iteration, I was determined to solve the problem.

I recommended developing or finding an existing WordPress plugin that would enable us to overwrite the existing archive and taxonomy. After researching, we found a pagination & taxonomy plugin that allowed us to focus on the alphabetical filtering.

07. Result

Prior to launch, we noticed a bug which required fixing. The usability report helped to clearly outline which parts of the user interface should be fixed or improved. 

Overall, the team successfully delivered the project using a human-centered approach. The search metrics helped the client to monitor, evaluate and improve overall site performance, which bolstered retention and conversion rates.