Overview


Problem Scope

Shopping for women’s underwear in-store can be an uncomfortable experience, especially for non-traditional customers, so many prefer to shop online. However, true satisfaction with an underwear purchase comes from fit, feel, quality and comfort all of which can be best ascertained during an in-store shopping experience. We studied the pain points associated with the shopping experience and created a digital solution which leverages the advantages of online shopping and brings it into the in-store experience to mitigate the discomfort and creates an inclusive experience for traditional and non-traditional customers alike.

Process Overview

We conducted Research by means of Market Analysis , Field Visits, Survey, Contextual Inquiry and Interviews. We analyzed the gathered data by Affinity Mapping and created Personas based on the data. We brainstormed numerous solutions and came up with 4 different ideas. After getting feedback on those ideas, we narrowed down to a mobile application which had top-rated features which emerged from the Card Sorting session.






Project Duration

August 2017 – December 2017


Team Members

Ruturaj Eksambekar
Karthika Jayaprakash Charlotte Lou
Danielle S

My Role

I participated throughout the research process of field visits, contextual inquiry and survey. I took lead on creating the survey in Qualtrics and analyzed the survey data. I sketched and created wireframes for one of the ideas. Helped to create Hi-Fi designs in Sketch for the final prototype. I was also responsible for scheduling team meetings and coordinating work between team members.

Tools

Balsamiq Mockups
Sketch
Invision
UX Research Methods

Research


Competitive Analysis & Field Visits

We conducted comprehensive market analysis by visiting several stores both physical and online. We decided to focus on Victoria’s secret as it is the leader in the women’s underwear market space. By focusing on them we believed to will have access to a larger target market and potential to make a bigger impact.



Surveys,Contextual Inquiry & Interviews

We sent out survey to reach a wider user base. Our goal was to verify our findings from our initial market analysis and observations held true for a large sample set. Also recruit participants for our in-depth contextual inquiries and interviews that would follow.
We conducted three contextual inquiries to gain a more in-depth understanding of underwear shopping experience with Victoria’s Secret both in-store and online. Two of the contextual inquiries were conducted at two separate physical locations in Atlanta. The third contextual inquiry was conducted over a video call for the online experience.
The interviews were with 2 transgender women who mostly purchased underwear for themselves, one cis woman and one cis-male, who purchases underwear for his partner.

Synthesis


Affinity Mapping

We created affinity maps to analyze all the gathered data and to visualize emerging patterns from it.



Key Insights




Users have concerns about finding the right size, both online and in-store.



Users are uncomfortable having their measurements taken outside the fitting room area and prefer a private fitting room.



Feeling of ‘not wanting to be judged’ by sales associates is a major deterrent for non-traditional customers.



Navigating in-store is difficult, including locating inventory, fitting rooms, and the checkout.

Persona

We created 4 user personas to represent our target user group.



User Needs


Users want to find where the items they are looking for are located

Users want to know what an item will look like when it’s worn

Users want to control their interactions with sales associates

Users want to know what others think of the quality & fitting of the products before they purchase them

Design


Ideation & Concept Sketching

Considering the user needs, we brainstormed and came up with 4 different solutions. We each sketched and created Lo-Fi designs for one idea and got feedback on these ideas.






Idea #1: AvataR





Idea #2: Self-Service Shopping





Idea #3: Social Bra





Idea #4: Smart Mirror


Concept feedback & Feature selection


To evaluate the features represented in the four initial concepts, we conducted 3 concept feedback sessions with interviewees from our previous phase of research, as a way to directly examine how our proposed features answer to user requirements


The number of features that received positive feedbacks was more than we could have in a single application as it would increase the complexity of the system and could potentially affect the usability of the app. To make an informed decision on which features to keep in the wireframe, we conducted a card sorting activity.



Scan the product to look up details in the application


Customized reviews based on the size details of the user


Customize the fitting experience with sales associate on demand


Request products of different sizes in the fitting room

Medium Fidelity Wireframe

Considering the feedback from the users in the previous phase and the card-sorting activity, we created a medium fidelity wireframe.

Final Design

We conducted 4 feedback sessions which comprised of two cis female participants, one crossdresser male participant and one cis male participant. Based on their feedback, we iterated on the design and came up with the final design.



Scan & Search Flow

The scan and search feature allows users to look up the product information of an item in store by scanning the item’s barcode using their smartphone camera.




Find My Fit Flow

This flow gives users the option to control their own bra-fitting experience by allowing them to choose whether they want to size themselves for a fitting or get help from the Sales Associate.




My Fitting Room Flow

This flow describes how the user can add a product to the fitting room in app, which can then be used to request different sized products from inside the fitting room.




Customized Reviews Flow

This flow describes how the user can see customized reviews based on their measurements if entered, or by filtering products through different categories.


Evaluation


We used a combination of expert and user testing in order to test the performance of our design. Within these categories we used techniques including Cognitive Walkthroughs, benchmark tasks, the SUS Scale, and After Scenario Questionnaire (ASQ) and Unstructured interviews in order to get different types of feedback.
We requested all our participants to follow the Speak Aloud protocol to gather additional qualitiative feedback.


Reflections


  • Personally for me, this project was a great learning experience as this was a problem scope completely out of my comfort zone. I went from a phase from being uncomfortable in a lingerie store, to understanding the pain points for others as well and eventually coming up with a design solution to mitigate those issues. It indeed was a roller-coaster ride.
  • A good part of research involved with reaching out and interacting with people from the LGBTQ community. When dealing with a community who might be going through crises, it is imperative to choose words appropriately. A huge positive impact on our survey was to run the pre-pilot past a couple of friends in the LGBTQ community to cross-verify that we were not offending.
  • I acknowledge that there were various time and resource constraints in this project and the problem we intended to solve is very complicated; but nevertheless we were able to get a positive feedback on our designs and the biggest takeaway was the general response we got from non-traditional customers which was that they were at least willing to visit the stores if such a system existed.