Backcountry skiing is booming. In the backcountry, skiers are free to travel through miles of untouched terrain. Skimo Co, based out of Salt Lake City, started seven years ago to help backcountry skiers get gear that was lighter and more durable. Over the years, they have expanded from a niche group into a booming business that helps thousands of skiers every year. After diving into their experience, we found three major problems we could help fix.
How we helped
Improve the mobile experience
We start every project with user testing. As we watched people use Skimo's website, we realized that the mobile experience was causing many problems. In particular, navigation was very difficult. Since so many customers are buying multiple items at once, navigation is crucial for Skimo. Through some iterations and testing ideas, we broke the design into categories, giving users small groups to more easily shop. In addition, we streamlined navigation on mobile by reducing the number of dropdown menus, keeping users in context while shopping.
Make the home page more inviting
The home page on Skimo left a lot to be desired when we first started. More than anything, it didn't clearly explain to new users why they should care about Skimo. After two different iterations, we created a design we believe does just that. Focus on showing why Skimo Co is better than the competition so people don't bounce to another site.
The Objective Finder: Helping people ski amazing mountains
Ski routes in the backcountry are difficult to find. In order to get enough information, skiers need to buy outdated guidebooks and search online forums. Skimo Co had the idea to create The Objective Finder, a user-generated, online guidebook. When we talked to users, we realized that quality information trumped all other design decisions. We designed a page focused on giving them information, links to helpful gear, and amazing photography. In addition, we advised Skimo to focus on quality over quantity, to help them be seen as experts by everyone coming to the site.