Good Gift

Good Gift is a free wishlist and registry site that allows you to create shareable gift lists any time of year.

Date & Duration: March 2021, One Month

Role: UX Researcher, UX Designer, UX Writer, Content Strategy

Deliverables: Hi-Fi Clickable Prototype for Desktop

Methods Used: User Research User Interviews, Survey Questions

Tools Used: Figma, Maze, Google Forms


The Idea

The idea of a curated wish list website was drawn from existing store-specific registries. These are traditionally reserved for select occasions: weddings, bridal showers, or housewarming gifts. Stores like Amazon, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Macy’s allow users to create registries so users may direct their guests towards items they will need for the new phase of life.

Room For Improvement

These registries limit users to adding items that are sold by the hosting store. This excludes many gifts that might be valuable to the registrant. Such gifts include: event tickets, donations to charities, alternative brands, or second-hand buying. Additionally, these sites made no effort to discuss the waste surrounding gift giving.

A Wasteful Tradition

Upon some preliminary research, it is apparent that there is much waste generated around gift giving involving both environmental and economic consequences:

Defining the Problem

Research surrounding the psychology of gift giving behavior suggested waste generation in gift-giving stems from two main factors:

  1. Entrenched cultural expectations

  2. People Overestimating their gift-giving prowess

Cultural Expectations

There are many outdated conventions around gift-bearing that perpetuate a wasteful culture. Despite Americans glomming onto trends of minimalism and organization through boom of the KonMari method, shows like The Home Edit, and the propensity for millennials to value experiences over physical items, we still hold ideas like “it is rude to show up empty handed" to most events.

  • In my survey, 70% of respondents have implemented a “no gifts this year” policy within their families yet 90% said they would consider it rude to show up to someone’s house for an event empty-handed.

There is a clear disconnect between how we think we should behave and how we actually wish we could behave.

Overestimating Gift-Giving Abilities

Gift givers tend to make two major mistakes when selecting gifts:

  1. Over-valuing the importance of surprising recipients

  2. Assuming recipients will place a higher value on expensive gifts

According to research, while gift giving is meant to be a selfless act, gift buyers select items with a selfish attitude, looking for gifts with “shock value.” Buyers are more interested in eliciting an excited and spontaneous response from the recipient which may give them a momentary rush of joy, rather than truly listening to his or her needs. A gift that is highly practical might not elicit the same immediate response, but would in fact provide much higher satisfaction to the recipient in the long run. Interestingly enough, recipients had the opposite perspective. They found gift to be more thoughtful when the gift-buyer asked what the recipient needed, as it showed a level of thoughtfulness. The price had no bearing on how a recipient rated the gifts they had received.

The Solution

Create a year-round gift registry or (wish list) that promotes sustainable gift giving practices and fosters better gift exchanges.

Platform Features

To address this problem, Good Gift was designed with several features in mind:

  • The ability to create wish lists

  • Marking items for second-hand purchase

  • Updating gift preferences

        • Specifying sizing information, materials, or unwanted items

        • Gift wrap preferences (ie prefer gifts not to be wrapped in single use paper)

        • Prefer donations to a preferred charity in lieu of a gift


Research Informing Specifications

When researching the viability of a potential product, 78% of surveyed respondents said they were ok with knowing the gift they would be receiving. Additionally, more than half had received second-hand gifts in the past. Concurrent with market research findings, respondents to the survey suggests that while browsing for gifts occurred on both mobile and desktop, when it came time to make a purchase, respondents overwhelmingly stated they completed transactions via desktop; thus the choice for a website over a mobile application.

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These personas were developed based off of the information gathered during the user surveys. Jeff represents a slightly older male demographic and Sarah the younger female demographic.

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User Flows & Site Map

With site features in mind, I mapped out the three main user flows of the site. Likewise, the site map is very simple as most changes occur in dialogue boxes or directly on the user home page.

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Mood Board & Style Guide

Now that I had an idea of the demographic that would best be served by this application, I created a mood board for later use to evoke an upscale whimsical sense. Additionally, I decided on typography, font size, created a logo, and chose a soothing color palette.


In this phase, I built on my wireframe models to develop a high fidelity prototype to begin user testing.

Wireframe - Version 1

In this first series of wireframes I made two possibilities for the landing page and two possibilities for the user profile once the user has gone through the sign in process. These were very quick and rough outlines of how the site would appear.

Wireframe - Version 2

This second series of wireframes displays the main user flows of the user profile once they have logged in. I have built out designs for adding items to existing lists, editing gift preferences, and sharing profiles.

Hi-Fi Wireframe

In this design I have started to implement some design attributes. This mockup was created so I could begin usability testing.

Design Decisions

1) As I knew users purchase primarily through desktops, and that the design was going to be a website, I had the luxury of fitting the primary functions of the apps on the one main log-in screen; the user profile.

2) I knew I wanted dialogue boxes to appear rather than new pages to load so I could keep the user on the main page. As "telling" someone what they should or shouldn't buy as a gift can be off-putting enough, if there was a large learning curve in navigating the features, it would be hard to convince users to stay and use the application.

3) To differentiate the from competitors, I wanted to play up the personalized and inviting style. I did this by encouraging users during onboarding to write a quick blurb about themselves, upload a user photo, and state that they are only searchable via their email or phone.

4) To increase the chances of the users engaging with the parts of the site that promote sustainability, I placed those actions at the top of the page, closest to the required actions of each feature.


"I really like the website and whole idea behind it. It looks very clean cut and the colors are extremely easy on the eye. Well done!"

"I like the idea and concept, and overall the site is easy to navigate."

Using Maze to Test

I used Maze to gather usability insights. I had participants compete a series of five tasks based off of the prototype.

1) Users were able to complete the actions. Even when they took an unusual path, they managed to complete the activity.

2) Factoring out some margin for error with getting used to using Maze, users performed exceptionally well, with the heat-map showing the overwhelming majority of clicks occurring near or on the target buttons.

Here is a screenshot of one of the analytics of a task users completed in Maze.

Hi-Fidelity Mock-Ups

Upon completing this round of user test, I cleaned up the prototypes, added more detail, and standardized the styling.

This series shows the steps taken to "Add an Item" to existing lists.

Design Tweaks

The only design tweak I added was including suggested text in the free form text areas to give users ideas of the types of items to input.

This series shows (from left to right) the last step on onboarding prompting the user to fill in a few lines about themselves. Next, the suggested text shows what helpful notes might look like when "Adding an Item" to a list. Finally, the sample text shows several ideas in many of the field when updating the gift preferences.

Recap & Results


Create a year-round gift registry or (wish list) that promotes sustainable gift giving practices and fosters better gift exchanges.


Through the process of researching about the user, studying the research associated with gift giving, creating solutions, and testing solutions, I was able to create a design that satisfied the initial objective; create a solution to promote sustainable gift-giving processes by creating a year round gift wish list application. While the design proved usable, and followed researched psychology, barriers to actual usage and success would lie with convincing users to shift their habits surrounding gift exchanges

Important Considerations

Product would be best billed as a niche product; considering it is asking users to change their engrained behaviors surrounding gift exchanges.