Bansy Tools

Type

End to end product design & E-commerce website

Duration

Dec 2021 - Present

Who

Personal project in collaboration with Bansy Ceramics.

Business

Bansy Tools – pottery and ceramic tools.
"Amazing tools for amazing potters!"

Making and selling: silkscreens, 3D printed specialty clay wire cutters, 3D printed shape cutters, angle cutting tools and more.

summary

Bansy Tools is a personal project and includes a range of unique tools for the pottery industry that I have designed. It began as a conversation with my mother, where she wanted to be able to put images on to her pottery - easily. My mother is also a potter and has understandably inspired my interest in the art. She has a central tremor, so she finds it difficult to hold things steady. Hand painting on ceramics was never as neat as she wanted it to be.

By working to design something that fulfilled a personal need, a gap in the market was also identified. We found there was a gap not only with potters globally, but especially within Australasia. It's hard for potters in countries like New Zealand, to get the range of tools and supplies that are available in other countries.

Beyond this, potters are always looking for ways to apply images and text to their work. Silk-screening, while widely used for fabric printing, was, and still is not widely used for clay. However, it is a technique, once altered, that works well for clay.

Having completed the initial product development stage (after many, many product iterations!) I will begin work on the Bansy Tools website, along with building a little creative community.

my contribution

What I achieved for this project.

  • Product development
  • Brand kit
  • Packaging Design
  • Marketing (print & social media)
  • Website (in progress)
  • Business strategy and order processing
  • Legal requirements and finances
Product Range

Bansy Tools includes a range of especially designed tools for potters.
These tools enable potters to add imagery and texture to their work, experiment with glazing styles and patters, and add cut out 3D images to clay.

Underglaze silkscreen

Under-glaze silkscreens are similar to fabric silkscreens in which they enable the user to use a medium (under-glaze) to push through a mesh screen and transfer an image on to clay.

Cutters

I developed a range of cutters that are appealing to potters and better suited the limitations of working with clay, as opposed to regular 'cookie cutter shapes'

Screen + Cutter Kit

These kits include silkscreens and cutters that compliment each other. The cutters have been designed to cut with a border around the image.

Clay Wire Cutters

Clay-wires are a key product in the Bansy Tools product line. A number of improvements have been made to commonly used clay wires, which break easily, frayed wires that cause injury, small handles, and are generally aesthetically uninspiring.

Texture rollers

Texture rollers are a very popular tool in the pottery community. Most are imported from Europe or Asia. Making textured rollers locally reduces transportation costs and also presents an opportunity to include designs that celebrate New Zealand, and Oceanic designs. Patterns for this genre are designed in-house and 3D printed locally with NZ made, eco-friendly 3D filament.

Relief stencils

These stencils are a popular and simple way to imprint a pattern on to clay and apply under-glaze on top. Creating a relief effect.
This is the latest edition to the Bansy Tools product line, by request.
It compliments the existing range of tools and gives potters even more tools to be creative with!

brand

The Bansy Tools branding is an extension of the clients own makers mark 'Bansy' and its branding.
In effort to create a unique brand identity, and one that was a natural fit for the client, information was gathered through conversation and taking inspiration from their work.

Small businesses with a personal touch are trending, and people appreciate the feel of a creative 'community'. In addition to the small business and creative community mindset, it will make it a more manageable business model, the small business approached works well for the client.


repsonse

The response to many of the products has been positive. Pottery is a slow-paced hobby, so naturally seeing more people use these products will take time, as works are created and shared.

A number of people in the Nelson (NZ) pottery community have been involved in the testing stages of the product, and have provided valuable feedback throughout the product development process.

The future of bansy tools

Marketing is underway to eventually reach a wider audience. Bansy Tools products are being sold to potters via an agent in a selection of towns within New Zealand, and on Etsy. With an online store launching soon.

Moving forward, I will only be involved in:
- New product development
- Building and maintaining of the Bansy Tools website.
- Social media marketing

All other business functions will be completed by my business partner.

Bansy tools e-commerce website

Defining the problem

Bansy Tools would like to reach a wider audience. Starting with New Zealand & Australia, and hopefully expanding to countries such as UK, CA, US, EU etc.
They would like an easy to manage web-page where they can update listings, sell their products, and communicate with their customers.

BansyTools does not have a webstore and are selling via a third party website and via sales agents in a small number of cities around the country. In order to reach a wider audience a greater, independent, online presence needs to be established.

Scope

Project Scope document

A 33 page document was created to outline the project scope.

This includes: Project goal, objectives, deliverables, tasks, assumptions and constraints.

It also identifies:

Out of scope, Milestones, acceptance criteria, risks, estimates and approvals.

Lean Canvas

A lean canvas was used to deconstruct the business idea intokey assumptions, helping to better analyse the product and business goals.

stakeholder analysis

Why stakeholder analysis

Competitor analysis

To identify the strengths and weaknesses, and better understand where Bansy Tools is placed in the current market. A competitor analysis was conducted on 6 competitor websites, accessing their site performance and user experience.
Each website was evaluated against # factors.
The 3 closest competitors were selected and summarised in to a chart.

Understanding the users

To better understand the audience that Bansy Tools hopes to reach the following methods were used to uncover the types of users Bansy Tools will have.

Personas, questionnaires, Interviews
(information and tasks they are most interested in.

User journey map

By mapping each of my personas user journey I was able to identify how they might discover and interact with the web-store.

Often first touch points occurred well before interacting with the web-store, starting back to a situation that ignited their search. One user journey for example was lead to the web-store via a series of internet searches, where the Bansy Tools web-store was discovered via a social media post.

From the use journey map, information was collected and categorised in to the following:

  • Actions
  • Motivations
  • Questions
  • Obstacles / Pain Points

Through these user research methods I was able to identify a set of unique value propositions which will user to guide the design stage for the Bansy tools web store.

Site Map

A site map was created to understand what pages, and sub pages,  will be in the website. This helped to visualise the hierarchy of information and act as a road map for building the web-store.

Initial wireframes

Aim of the website:
To function as a web store for people to purchase Bansy Tools products. As well as creating a 'community'.
This will be done by encouraging visitors to engage with the brands social channels and by including helpful guides, tutorials (written & video), ‍

Client comments:
"I want the website to be more than just a basic web store, I want it to communicate the brand, its playfulness and make people want to spend a bit more time there - and hopefully follow on to/from our social channels"

"I want it to feel creative, inspire potters to want to push their work and try new things, and even showcase other people's work using our product"

Using the information gathered during the research phase, I sketched some ideas to begin the creative process. I wanted to explore a number of options for each page, then proceeded to get feedback on the designs. Testing via role play and discussion.

Landing Page

One of the requests from the design brief was an emphasis on story telling, showing the person behind the brand, as a way to connect with the audience.

We also want to highlight the 'small business' aspect.

During the ideation phase, I wanted to explore different approaches for the main page design as a way to stand out from other brands.


Exploring the use background images, radial navigation, highlighting social engagement channels along side a larger left aligned navigation menu.



Product Page

Show multiple product images
Including professional product photography of the physical product and example images of the product being used on a pottery project.

Display featured products, or products customers often buy together.

Inspiration pictures of other silkscreens / Bansy Tools products that people have bought. Possible a section displaying reviews.

Initially I thought to include a section for tutorials or blog post at the bottom of the page. To make this content more visible to customers.

As it is a new product and customers may be unsure on how to use the product, tutorials would give them more confidence that it is something they could use.

Cart Summary



Newsletter Sign-up & Account Registration

Popup overlay that will have
'creative' and 'casual' feel for the design.

Building a friendship with a fellow creative potter is the tone that we wanted to set for their interaction with the site.
While still being organised and presenting the shop in an expected format.





HIGH FIDELITY

Tools used:

Landing page
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Product Page 1
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Product Page 1 - view cart on screen
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Cart
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