AMA: Joe Lallouz, Kuan Luo, and Eric Fensterheim, the team behind Pattern by Etsy.

5 years ago from , Product Lead @ Etsy

Hi everyone! Joe here, with Kuan and Eric. We’re the team that lead product and design for Etsy’s Maker Innovation group, where we build products to help Etsy sellers scale their creative businesses.

At the beginning of April we launched Etsy’s newest product, Pattern. It is the easiest way to turn your Etsy shop into your very own website. You can choose a theme, buy a custom domain, edit your content and publish your website in minutes. Pattern also integrates with plenty of Etsy tools so you only have to manage inventory, shipping labels, and orders in one place.

Before Etsy, Kuan and I worked on a startup called Grand St. (acquired by Etsy) and Eric worked at Hyperakt.

We’ve had a blast researching, designing, and building this product and would love to answer any questions we can from the DN community.

We will be here from 10:30 AM - 2:00PM EST. Ask us anything.


  • Roman Nurik, 5 years ago

    What kinds of user research (or specific feedback/observations) were most critical during the design process and product development for Pattern?

    4 points
    • Kuan Luo, 5 years ago


      Great question. Different kinds of user research were used at various stages of the Pattern development/design process, so I will break them down here:

      Beginning - insight-driven researches to validate our hunch of the product idea

      We went to sellers' homes and asked them their plans to grow their business and challenges, and noticed that time is the scariest resource for our sellers, most of whom juggling 5 things at once. So we positioned Pattern to be the easiest website builder for Etsy sellers possible.

      During - Usability testings to identify flawed UX flows

      We worked closely with our in-house research department and conducted a few rounds of 1:1 usability testings to watch how sellers interact with early prototypes and later, live betas.

      Close to launch - Marketing/communication-focused research

      As soon as the product feature is close to complete, we worked to make sure our marketing language to be spot-on. So we did a few rounds of 1:1 interviews with sellers to see if they understood what Pattern is/does.

      In short, we mostly used 1:1 remote/at home interviews throughout the process and targeted different interviews with specific goals.

      Let me know if you'd like more specifics on any of these. Thanks for the great question to kick this AMA off. :)

      6 points
  • Max LindMax Lind, 5 years ago (edited 5 years ago )

    Hey Guys! - thanks for joining us.

    • Because Etsy serves such a wide variety of sellers, who's the ideal target market for Pattern? (or is the beauty of it that literally anyone fits?)
    • Beyond the look/feel, why would sellers want to go this route vs simply selling/listing items on Etsy directly?
    • If buyers search for products on Etsy, will listing from Pattern show up?
    • Talk a bit more about Grand St...the concept is really great, how involved did you get with the makers themselves? Does Etsy let it operate independently as-is?
    • Lastly... what "things" are you currently using or were you using on this project as a source of design inspiration?
    1 point
    • Eric Fentruck, 5 years ago

      Hi Max!

      Thanks for the questions.

      • You’re right in that Pattern is meant for everyone. More specifically however, I would say we were trying to empower those sellers who are less tech-savvy. We heard from sellers who have tried setting up their own website in the past, only to abandon the process out of frustration. It was important for us to create a UX that does most of the heavy lifting, making the process as painless and automatic for our users as possible.

      • The advantage of selling on Pattern vs solely on Etsy is the ownership you get over your shop and brand. While on Etsy you share the spotlight with other sellers, your Pattern site is truly yours — your own personal storefront. We found Pattern gives our sellers shops a heightened sense of legitimacy (in addition to a second revenue stream.)

      • Currently searching for products on Etsy will take you to a seller’s Etsy shop and not their Pattern shop.

      3 points
    • Kuan Luo, 5 years ago

      In terms of design inspiration, we definitely looked into similar products/services for product UX/UI inspirations. The vertically stacked navigation on the Pattern dashboard for example, seems to a well-established design pattern that we didn't want to reinvent.

      For the marketing page and assets, we collaborated closely with our in-house brand studio to come up with photography and illustration styles that stand out yet are still easy to relate. While designing the marketing page, I browsed a ton of similar types of pages on DN, Siteinspire and brands I trust. I'm incredibly impressed by Stripe's product marketing pages -- they do an incredible job of answering your questions before you have them and maintain a slick look and feel.

      1 point
  • Matt StuhffMatt Stuhff, 5 years ago

    What approach did you take for determining pricing and trial period for Pattern?

    1 point
    • Joe Lallouz, 5 years ago

      Hi Matt!

      Thanks for asking. Pricing is often tricky to get right. As a starting point, and and in my experience, the best way to determine pricing is to simply talk to your customers in any way you can.

      For Pattern we used a combination of qualitative and quantitative strategies. I'll list a couple of the ones we used below, and note that we took each as a data point in deciding the right pricing.

      • We conducted interviews with sellers and tested price points to gauge interest and reactions.
      • We conducted market research to look at similar or competing products in the space.
      • We created a conjoint analysis to quantitatively measure feature and price point interest.
      2 points
  • Milkr Chan, 5 years ago

    hey, Joe. i have a historical question about Etsy. there is a saying, the etsy's growth in 2008 , because ebay blocked their small sellers? is this argument real? and what did you do to make these sellers still stay on Etsy?

    0 points