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Export As - Rethinking Onboarding


Export As

Date and Timeline

December 2022 - Ongoing

Role and responsibilities

UX Researcher (User Research, Facilitating Workshops)


UX Researcher, Web Developer, CEO, Marketing Manager

What does Export As do?

Export As provides print-on-demand merchandising and e-commerce solutions for artists, designers and content creators to sell their works, so that they can focus on their creativity. Their product line currently consists of t-shirts, hoodies and phone cases, with more on the way.


During a meeting one day, the team discussed about improving the relationship between Export As and its' clients. We came to a conclusion that there was a lot of friction and took a long time for artists to set up using the service. This is the current as-is scenario for new artists interacting with Export As:

User Journey.png

*based on contextual inquiry, stakeholder and client feedback

After some discussion, prioritization and user feedback, it was decided that the phase that had the most opportunity for improving the user experience was in the Onboarding phase. This was evident in the emotion section, and we also believed solving the pain points in this phase could potentially solve some issues in other phases too (eg an Onboarding phase that includes more information and roadmap/milestones could solve issues in the Discovery and Meeting phase)


As-is User Flow

This is the as-is user flow of the artist onboarding process at Export As. Artists first contact with Export As is through the contact us page, or meetings set up through outreach by employees. Artists sends designs to the designers at Export As through email, WhatsApp or Google Drive. 


This process can take anywhere from a few days up to 2 months. 

Frame 7.png

Below is some key feedback we received from different stakeholders, and observations about this process.

"The physical meeting makes me feel welcome and I get to see the production site"



"It took too long to make changes to mockups if I change my mind"



"I'm happy to give Export As full control of the production side, I just want my design on the products"



"Would be better if I could [change the designs] myself and see results immediately"



"File types sent in by the artists aren't compatible with the product"

Export As Designer



"Making changes whenever the artist needs even if it's a tiny one distracts me from my work"

Export As Designer

Sometimes clients sends designs to whoever was their touchpoint, which might be CEO, and he has to forward to the designer


some snippets of user feedback and observations we obtained from clients and stakeholders.

Key Takeaways

  • Communication between clients and Export As Designer needs to be more efficient, or perhaps completely removed.

  • Artists want to visualise their designs on the products faster.

  • There seems to be two different types of artists in terms of control of the product, displayed below as archetypes: 

1 "Just get it done for me"

  • Behaviours: Busy, has a lot of other things to tend to, this is just another revenue stream

  • Goals: Set up a passive revenue stream

  • Needs: A way that takes the least amount of time to to upload their design, choose and visualise product. All other optional decisions are made for them.

2 "I want to do it myself"

  • Behaviours: Truly wants ownership of their design and products, perfectionist.

  • Goals: Want their artwork represented and shared as products

  • Needs: A way to visualise their designs on products and have control on aspects of their products such as sizing, placement and colour.


Before ideation, we listed out and prioritized the things we needed to solve:

  • A way for users to visualise their designs on products

  • A way for users to make changes to their designs such as sizing and placement

  • A way for users to upload designs, which includes file type requirements

  • A way for users to choose to have full control, or simplify the process

Feasibility Issues

After consulting with the web developer, a lot of our ideas were not feasible, so we decided on implementing a "Custom Product Engine" on the website, which could also act as a funnel for the business. We had an idea of creating our own engine, however after some research, we found there are some existing plug-ins and programs already available we could implement into our website, and are in the process of evaluating which one to use.


Some inspiration for solutions we found were Nike's NikeID, and Zakeke for Shopify.


At this moment, the project has been handed over to the Export As team, and is awaiting confirmation to put into action. The next steps would be to create an ideal user-flow depending on the capabilities of the solution our team decides on, and build upon that.

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