Karma Sauce is one of the most award-winning hot sauce brands in the country. The sauces are made using locally sourced ingredients, many of which come from their family pepper farm in the Finger Lakes, NY. Their Extreme Karma sauce was recently chosen as part of the line-up for Season 5 of Hot Ones, a popular Youtube series where interviews are conducted while eating spicy chicken wings. In the lead-up to the premiere of season 5, the owner of Karma Sauce wanted to revamp the companies website in order to capitalize on the publicity.
It’s the 2017 Pepper Festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and I’m looking at a sea of interested festival-goers crowding the Karma Sauce booth. Seeing the enthusiasm for Karma Sauce first hand was eye-opening, and I made sure to get my observations on paper as soon as I could. I gained insight into the natural strengths of the Karma Sauce brand that day that I would never have learned otherwise.
During the festival, I would occasionally ask festival-goers if they would be willing to be interviewed. This information was the basis for a series of personas used to increase empathy for the intersection of people interested in buying boutique hot sauces.
I also wanted to get a sense of the current user experience with the Karma Sauce website. This was accomplished through both in-person heuristic evaluations and an optional survey offered to customers after they made a purchase.
Using the information from the survey and the safari, we began defining common pain points.
Pain-Points were accumulated on both the demographic level and the interface level.
We also devised a conceptual point of view that reflected the core brand we wanted to portray in the site redesign:
Many hot sauce brands simply mix and match prepackaged sauces in order to create their products. At Karma Sauce we have gone to great lengths to ensure that every drop is packed with pure locally sourced ingredients. We’ve built a family farm so that we can grow our own peppers, and built our own micro-factory to ensure quality standards are met from farm to bottle. We are a brand that sticks to its ideals in the pursuit of perfect karma.