The head of Revolution Gelato came to me to create a web strategy to sell his vegan gelato direct to consumers. Together, we identified his business goals, found his target customers, and identified an engagement experience to successfully reach, sell, and retain customers for repeat purchase.


Hypotheses and questions

The hypothesis to prove or disprove was, “H1. People will buy vegan gelato online.” To solve this, we had a few questions:


  1. How do we reach buyers?
  2. What do they need in order to buy?
  3. How can we get them to return?

User research

We found online buyers of gelato and similar perishable goods through a targeted Adwords campaign. We were interested in collectng their touchpoints, that is, their online patterns, as well as the steps involved in their purchases. We accomplished this by focusing on their past experience: asking for descriptive retellings of purchases.

We affinitized the direct quotes and observations from each interview to understand patterns for each participant.

After completing 12 interviews, we looked at each step in the buying process: Discover, Engage, Purchase, Explore, Manage, and Support. We began to notice a pattern emerge between participants.

A segment of our participants are, in the words we came to use, “Seekers”. They are more active in pursuing their interests, whether it’s being informed about health topics or finding products to match their preferences. Many of them follow a certain type of user on Twitter and regularly check certain online food stores.

This contrasts with “Passive Consumers”. For every health food news source the seekers follow, “Passive Consumers” are inclined to follow lifestyle sources. A Facebook friend’s recommendation through a post carries more weight, and these individuals are generally comfortable with purchasing online products when they’ve first had an offline interaction.

We found that it would be easier to reach Seekers as early adopters of our gelato product. We decided to create a persona to amalgamate the behavioral patterns of our Seekers, to use as a tool when we had ambiguity about what features to create.

Feature prioritization

We used the persona to identify important touchpoints that lead to purchase. We brainstormed user stories (”a user should be able to…”) through using behaviors in the persona. We prioritized these stories by their perceived impact on purchase.


We came up with a set of wireframes, articulating the full user journey. We passed these wireframes to a visual designer and photographer and created requirements, using the persona as a vehicle to communicate the needs and wants of our potential customers.


My contributions

Project Planning

Generative User Research:

  • Early Adopter Marketing
  • Interviews
  • Persona Creation
  • Customer Journey

Feature Prioritization



Jared Olkin / CEO