Thrive Market: Design Patterns

A website and eCommerce emporium that I am a big fan of is Thrive Market. The user flow that I typically engage in while on the site is one with the goal of purchasing gluten-free and organic food. My entry point is usually my browser unless they send a coupon code via email — I first type in the site (which automatically populates due to my frequenting!), swiftly followed by employment of the global search feature as I usually know exactly what I want during my visit.

Thrives presents users with a built-in auto suggestion feature in the search field which streamlines the user path, minimizes the user’s cognitive responsibility, and ultimately makes the whole decision-making process easier and more enjoyable.

Thrive Market also has effective tagging and labeling: my search results involve exactly what I need or a helpful system response — also known as visibility of system status in technical UX terms — to gracefully reroute me. Thrive presents their user with a horizontal navigation bar (on desktop) and scrupulously organized categories — a feature of the site I am very impressed with as its high volume inventory could easily miss the mark here. If I’m feeling like browsing, I usually select the category “Thrive Market Goods” which takes me to a page where their products are displayed in the site’s consistent grid structure.

Thrive’s use of a grid across the site allows each shopper to take in content in a predictable, harmonious way — the beauty and effectiveness of visual pattern is encapsulated here in their layout.

Filtering options within the products on Thrive are notably helpful and precise — ranging from “gluten-free” to “sustainably farmed” as well as product ratings, the user is sure to narrow down their search without any significant pain points. I add products to my “box” which is reflected in the upper right where a box icon and copy convey “my box,” the number of items, and something I appreciate — the grand total. (Usability is also high here in the checkout process with the presence of both icons and language to convey information to the user).

I personally appreciate being able to see my total in the upper corner as it allows me to track how much I’m spending and also incentivizes me to buy more in order to activate free shipping — a feature that meets both user and business goals. Once I head to checkout, my customer details have been previously saved and the process is essentially one step — hit the Place Order” CTA.

Another notable design pattern here is the items I am purchasing remain in view, listed with prices and details; not being able to view what I’m buying before clicking the final purchase button is an unfortunate dark pattern and I value the overall feeling of trust and transparency when I shop at Thrive.

My experiences shopping online at Thrive Market are consistently positive and nearly effortless. They offer multiple ways to engage with their content, from comprehensive to targeted approaches, the white background of their pages accented with black and green is friendly and fresh. Overall, they do an exemplary job of presenting users with a vast inventory in a delightful way which is why they continue to have a loyal customer in me.