SUMMARY AND CHALLENGE
Elu is a made to measure women's clothing company with a particular emphasis on alternative and plus-size dresses. The MVP is currently being run off of Shopify and we were to create a customized version 2.0 experience. Elu is interested in pursuing smart technology to alleviate certain pain points customers have around shopping for a dress online. Their goal is to make the dress buying experience as helpful and painless as possible.
Version 2.0 is anticipated to include an artificial intelligence system to help provide personalized suggestions, video tutorials on self measurement, and the possibility of smart technologies ability to scan and measure the body via camera.
As a team we decided to begin our research by looking into the goals, motivations and frustrations women have during the dress buying experience. We wanted to learn about all women's experiences in being measured or taking measurements on their own, and how the felt about purchasing a dress online vs in store.
We broke down our domain research into three sections:
Researched what the integration of a possible VR video body scanning would look like. Was this something users would be interested in? Would they feel comfortable with it? How much trust would users have in VR scanning?
Looked into how users felt about the in store dressing room. When purchasing online, what do users look for before making their purchase? What are their thoughts on being able to "try on" the dress via a virtual dressing room prior to online purchases?
Elu had a quiz to gather information in order to deliver recommendations and help the user find what fits their specific body shape. We wanted to find how important this quiz is to the user. How helpful is the information provided? Can using AI help the users feel connected to Elu and their mission?
We looked at other online clothing companies, more specifically the features each website offered. Interested in seeing how many companies used artificial intelligence and social media integration. We wanted to learn what features these sites used that made them stand out from others. We looked for ways to compare to Elu's current site with what was out there already to help improve the Elu experience.
Azazie offered the option to be sent a swatch from the dress in interest. This allowed you to feel the actual fabric and see the actual color prior to purchasing.
Rent the Runway sent out two sizes when ordered, this way if one doesn't fit perfectly you have another option.
Trunk Club, Stitch Fix and True & Co. all had very unique AI experiences. A quiz collecting information on your style which in some cases led straight to a biography and chat window with your "stylist".
We also researched what virtual reality options already exists, what information is being delivered to the user and how do these VR apps work? What we found was that even though this technology exists it is still very new, so there wasn't a lot we could incorporate. However the few we did find were able to do some variations of what we were looking for.
123D Catch lets you take a series of photographs and creates a 3D rendering of the subject. Giving you a 360 degree view.
With Fyuse you capture the photographs entire environment. This then renders VR feel allowing you to move the camera and look around within the space of the subject matter documented.
Bodi.Me has an on site 3D body scanner that can scan your body and tell you your measurements. You can then find specific brands of clothing in your specific size.
We completed a total of 11 interviews seven were standard users and four were SME's who were either fashion designers or worked as a stylist in a retail shop. We focused on fashionable women who were avid shoppers in store but mainly online. Women who knew what they were looking for in a dress when purchasing online as well as women who were unsure of the online shopping experience. We gained a wide range of feedback from a variety of women to identify the overall aspects of dress shopping. Elu was looking to reinvent the way a dress is measured and purchased through VR so we wanted to gather users opinions on that as well.
We made sure to touch on these points:
Current experience in dress buying
To learn what the pain points are in buying a dress today. What does the user look for in the dress itself that influences their decision to purchase it or not. Where do users go to buy a dress, do they shop at the same store? Do they shop online or in store, which do they prefer? We aimed to learn the ins and outs of their decisions throughout the whole dress buying process.
How familiar are users in going to a tailor and the process of being measured for clothing. What were their experiences in using a tailor (if any) and thoughts on the comfort level of having someone measure you. What was their level of trust in the measurements taken most importantly would they trust themselves to take measurements.
Familiarity with their body and the fitting room experience
Users knowledge and comfort level in buying a dress for their specific body type. How do they feel about their style and what makes them feel comfortable. Do they try on dresses before they commit to purchase? When trying it on what are they looking for? In store dressing room experiences have they been positive? Negative? In what ways. What things about an in store dressing room would the be missing by purchasing a dress online?
Interest in a virtual 3D option for taking measurements
Were looking for important feedback in regards to the possibility of 3D smart technology. Was this something that was trusted and desired or what level of importance do users feel this would have on their online experience.
We sorted our interview feedback by goals, frustrations, behavior and motivations. Within those 4 categories we were able to find further similarities that resulted in a more detailed and precise insight.
Through this process we found there were some very important topics at hand. A majority of all our interviewee's had the same concerns, standards and opinions when it came to dress shopping.
Social media and conversation lead to inspiration and personalization. Instagram was a major source of inspiration when it came to finding new fashion ideas and styles to try.
Online shopping has a larger selection. When shopping for plus size clothing some users only option is online. Certain sizes are available in a wider variety online only. This has become a norm for some users.
Hard to find exactly what you want users look for something they can recreate. They also stick to stores they know and trust. If they find a dress they like they will go back for more.
Simple logistics and customer service are key to repeat shoppers. Customer reviews and interactions were the number one selling point of any dress. Feeling like the company is taking care of you and listening to you is very important.
Given 10 days to deliver a version 2.0 website we decided to break our project up into two parts. There was evidence that we had two types of users: One that is confident in herself, her style and her ability to shop for her style. The second is more timid, unsure and not yet fully comfortable with herself in the fashion world.
Therefore we developed two personas:
- The Fashionista
- The Eager Fashion Seeker
Kristy is unsure of herself and has yet to establish her personal style. She doesn't know how to choose clothes that look good on her body type and is unfamiliar with taking her own measurements. She is the user that needs more guidance throughout the process maybe by taking the AI quiz or searching other users reviews. Kristy would look to Janette for suggestions and confidence.
Janette is the user that helped us in improving the current MVP and immediate future changes of Elu. She is someone who is established in her style, knows what she wants and how to make certain styles work with her body. She is familiar with her measurements and doesn't need much guidance when purchasing a dress.
Since we developed two personas we also developed a problem statement and journey map for each persona. Janette and Kristy both online shop, for dresses and clothes yet they both have very different experiences.
Janette wants to find a fashionable dress that fits her body type, but stores don't offer enough options to cater to her personal style and the online experience is ambiguous and risky.
Kristy needs a way to find fashionable dresses that fit. She doesn't know her body type and hasn't explored her style enough to feel confident in what she wants.
A lot of our discussion was based on what we wanted Elu to stand for, how we wanted users to perceive Elu and the business model that Elu could uphold. After much thought we created four strong design principles based on our users and research.
As a team we decided the best approach would be to concept test three separate wireframes that each focused on different defining factors. We wanted to offer different qualities within our wireframes when testing to understand what features were most important to the user. The general layout and focus was important but we also needed to include the customization of the dress, the AI quiz and a VR dressing room experience.
Our three concepts included:
1. I focused on making sure that realistic and natural photographs of the users were integrated. Positioning the quiz on the hero image for reactions on it's meaning and importance. The VR dressing room I showed was through a third-party app. After download users could impose the dress on themselves while being able to turn a 360 view of the dress on themselves. (annotated below)
3. Concept three's approach was to solely concentrate on the imagery. The use of images to establish the lifestyle of the user and to provide an energetic and classic look and feel. The quiz was easily found on the dress page and the VR option here was a photograph taken by the user using the computer camera.
2. Concept two focused on simple navigation to highlight two things: the dresses and photographs. The "how it works" section was right below the hero image giving users the information they need up front. The AI quiz was hidden within the profile section with hopes of find out out how important the quiz was to users. The VR was offering the idea of a 3D body scan through a third party.
INSIGHTS FROM TESING
- Liked Instagram feed.
- Wanted to see the dress in a 360 view.
- Unlikely they would download an app.
- No one clicked on the quiz.
- They liked seeing how it works right away.
- 3D scanning was unclear
- Wanted visual and detailed reviews.
- Wanted the quiz to be easily accessible.
- Loved the clean and simple layout.
- Found the style of images used fun inspiring.
- Liked the layout of the quiz.
- The use of the computer camera was well liked for its accessibility.
Once we reviewed our testing feedback I developed a site map to help navigate us through the important flows within the website. (Flowing through the menu options and the AI quiz.)
Using the site map we combined the successful features from all three concepts to create one single wireframe leading into our final usability testing. Specifically looking for feedback on:
- Reactions or opinions to a simple on-boarding we added to the AI quiz.
- Users opinion on the reviews of the dresses.
- Three options for a VR experience to find what was mostly favored.
- Overall flow and navigation of the site.
Final decisions made based on our last round of user testing:
- Changed the How It Works to a simple 3 step explanation of what the Elu dress building process entails.
- Added the Elu guarantee to the homepage establishing Elu's credibility.
- Added the on-boarding to the AI quiz so users had an idea of what the results will reveal.
- Made changes to the reviews of the dress to make sure they were more visual and contained better detailed information.
- Provided users with three options for their VR experience. We found a wide range of responses to this and decided that it would require further testing in order to provide a more solid solution.
This project was so much fun and overall a great experience. Everything from our client to my team was wonderful. My team worked really well together and Elu was very supportive, excited and appreciative of everything we had to offer. I think one thing that was difficult was learning how to work within your project's time frame. We were given a total of 10 days to complete this project and we had to forgo further testing on the VR experiences because we simply ran out of time. I feel we could have worked a little better to manage our time to allow for that testing.
I was able to learn about and discover new technology! I didn't know much about VR prior to this project, so being able to download research and look into what is available out there was not only a lot of fun but also opened me up to possibilities in the future.