Hunting gear for any condition

Taxonomy testing and site redesign for a rising name in ultralight technical mountain hunting apparel


Optimal Workshop, Salesforce Commerce Cloud


Taxonomy, Test Findings, Wireframes, Prototypes


iA, UI / UX Design, User Testing





KUIU supplies high-performing Mountain Hunting clothing with uncompromising quality and complete manufacturing transparency. As a favored brand in the industry, KUIU sells their premium products online and shares the latest research and design of their products. They also share their retail strategy directly with consumers. To improve site navigation, we contacted existing customers to participate in Taxonomy testing and identify pain points.

Information Architecture

To test a new navigation schema, we needed to gather details of content and products for site navigation. KUIU faced a challenge because it produced more content than products. Despite this, KUIU's online sales were high, but the backlog of customer orders was also high. We already knew customers wanted the products, but we needed to understand why they chose certain products and how they made purchases. We also needed to identify problems in the purchasing journey, considering the mix of supplemental content showcasing technology and features and the hunting stories and research on these products.

Current Site Navigation

KUIU's site navigation used confusing and inconsistent naming conventions, making it difficult for customers to understand the categories and products offered. We wanted to test whether clearer names and content would improve the site experience. The site also lacked information about the specific use and components of each clothing layer and system, leading us to question which naming conventions would work best for different shopping habits and needs.


User Testing

Although we planned to test our new taxonomy with many users, we faced an obstacle when fewer participants than expected were able to complete the surveys. This smaller subset of participants increases the margin of error. Despite this not being an ideal scenario, I believe that some user testing is better than none. To make the most of our testing data, we need to discuss with the client the importance of both quantitative and qualitative studies.

Quantitative Analysis

Provides data that can be expressed numerically and can be analyzed statistically to make statements about trends, group differences, and demographics.


Qualitative Analysis

Provides details about human behavior and personality characteristics. Emerges in the form of patterns, pain points, barriers and more without yet fully understanding what data is of a priority.


We used both behavioral data and statistical success/failure of navigation paths, but we had fewer participants which made our confidence level lower. We used these two types of research methods to find and focus on the most important problems in our navigation designs.

Many users were confused by the category names on the site, especially the KUIU “System” and “Layers” names. The survey results showed that we needed to use more obvious names that clearly describe the type of product in the category. For example, instead of "Clothing" or "Insulation", we should use "Shirts" and "Jackets". This would make it easier for users to find what they are looking for. We learned this from our open-ended questionnaires, where customers talked about their shopping experience and what they were looking for. They preferred clear names like "Pants" or "Jackets" instead of vague or confusing names.


According to survey results, users had trouble understanding what KUIU offered in their different product categories, called "Layers" or "Systems." These categories were meant to help users choose products for specific uses, as well as identify which products worked well together. However, users couldn't easily find this information unless they were specifically looking for it on product pages. We wanted to use the existing content on the site that explained these categories, but in a way that didn't distract from the product categories. We created landing pages that explained the qualities and uses of each "Layer," and added refinement options for each "Layer" within the product categories to help users who were familiar with the terms. By making the information available in multiple places, we hoped to make it easier for new and existing users to navigate the site and learn about the benefits of KUIU products.


E-Commerce Experience

One of the most important concepts we needed users to understand was KUIU's "Layering System". Each layer within the system had specific characteristics for expected scenarios and use-cases when outdoors. Proper layering of clothing ensured customers would be prepared for any weather condition. We conveyed these characteristics at various touch-points to guide users to products based on their specific needs and reassure purchasing decisions when choosing between specific products.
To make it easier for users to find products that meet their specific needs, we used category landing pages to highlight the key features of each product layer and narrow down search results.

Layering System

After a user chooses a layer, they can see the different "Collections" of products in that specific Layering System. It's important to know the fabric quality and how a product fits with other "Layers" in the system. On the Collection landing page, we use icons to quickly show identifying characteristics (like good for warm, cold, or rainy weather) and we also offer extra content like videos demonstrating how to use each of the different collections in real life.


Product Details

We wanted to be completely open about the advantages of the technology used in KUIU's products. Some of the materials and features that make KUIU products special can't be found in other brands, so we wanted to explain why someone might choose KUIU over another brand.

KUIU tested each of their products in the field. We used real-world product photography to show the specific uses of each product. For example, we showed photos of people wearing KUIU's rain gear in a heavy rain, and photos of vast mountain trails to demonstrate how light and packable the products are.