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The goal of this project was to research into retail business and discover the opportunity where we can improve the related shopping experience. We came out with "Zip fit" which offers a better fitting experience of clothing shopping.
As shown in the diagram, about 49 percent of 250 men and 250 women, ranked “fit” as their top priority when purchasing clothing, followed by price and value. The fitting room, as a space where customers try on the outfits is the place where people make most of their purchase decisions.
• Not being available - The customer needs a different size but will have to put right-fitting(their own clothes mostly) outfit back on to go get it. Customers start to think that’s a waste of time and ask themselves questions like “Do I REALLY need something else? I have lots of stuff that fits this well…” The next minute they might be walking out.
• Long lines - Most department stores have horribly long lines for their fitting rooms and some fast-fashion stores encounter similar situation.
• Dirty fitting rooms - Dirty fitting rooms make the impression on customers that the clothes are skanky and cheap.
• Horrible, unflattering lighting and fun-house mirrors
After breaking down the problems of fitting rooms, we think it is valuable for physical stores to redesign their fitting room experience to utilize their unique advantage and become more competitive.
We visited a series of fast-fashion apparel stores in the Atlanta city. We observed the store environments, customer browsing and purchasing, meanwhile we took notes to prepare for task analysis. After asking for consent, we were also able to have a few inquiries with store assistants.
Insights: The store display of most mid-end apparel stores were very similar. Store floor were loaded with clothes, even when well organized, the crowded space made it a challenge for customers to find the clothes they want. When customers tried on something that didn't fit, they had to travel through the whole place to get another size and a lot of times, they couldn't find their way back.
After having a glance of the problem, we conducted further research to understand customer's tasks, needs and to identify pain points. We want to learn about people’s general trying on experience and how much this affects their decision to purchase.
We distributed an online survey and collected 100 responces throughout a period of 9 days. It was a method to learn what percentage of the data population will choose which answers. We were then able to figure out common issues and opinions and focus on the ones that occured most frequently.
The most valuable information we gained from analysing survey responces was that: About 70% of subjects chose to go back to the fitting room to try on a different size if the previous one didn’t fit. And the majority of them use the fitting rooms (in one visit to the store) from 1 to 3 times, with an average count of 1.6 times(std Deviation 1.03).
Besides, in order to make sure that our research target a group of users and avoid ending up serving no one, we generated several user personas to keep us on track.
We wanted to understand the tasks undertaken in-context and the artifacts they use to support the shopping and trying on activities. By observing shoppers going through the process and breaking it down into parts, we started to form in-depth understanding of the work-flow and areas where design solutions could arise. Because it was nearly imposibble to get consent from people for letting us observing them trying on, some of our team members played the role of shoppers and the rest observed them shopping while tooking notes of their behaviors and think-alouds.
Based on what we observed and subject's self-report experiences, emotions, we created 2 customer journey maps.
Based on what we observed and observant's self-report experiences, we created 2 customer journey maps, the pain points are highlighted in the pictures.
By then we had a round view of customer shopping experience, tasks and pain points. We want to know customer’s likes and dislikes about the fitting room and what their ideal trying on experience would be.
We interviewed 12 people, each taking about 25 minutes. After the interviews we used affinity mapping to analyze the data and abstracted 5 high-level themes:
Analysis & findings
I don't like shopping because I lose patience
I feel tired to get dressed multiple times to try on clothes Changing clothes, getting more clothes to try on is time consuming
I don't like waiting
Waiting in line doesn't occur very often Waiting in line sucks. It prevents me from trying on more, so I leave
I can't find my size
Sizing inconsistency makes finding right size hard Clothes look different on me than on rack, it's upsetting
I don't like NOT feeling safe
I want more security and privacy
I don't like a mess or chaos
Unorganized stores make it hard for me to find clothes I don't like dirty fitting rooms No hook and dirty area, I have nowhere to put my stuff
I want store assistants to leave me alone
I trust my judgement, I don't need their opinions I don't like being harassed by store assistants
I find store assistants useful
I want "valet" type service I want very personal service I need store assistants' opinions I want service from store assistants
IDEAL FITTING ROOM EXPERIENCE
If this is how clothes will be presented to me, shopping will be more convenient
I want to have other people bring in my clothes to try on I want to only go in and leave the fitting room once I want service from store assistants I want spacious fitting room, good lighting, enough hooks
This is how I want to find my size
I want to scan and know my size upon arriving I want to choose style of clothing, not spend time deciding on the size I wish someone could tell me what size I wear and just hand me the right size
From the information we gathered from doing journey maps, surveys, and interviews, we’ve seen a few trends that have led us to want to design a solution that resolves user’s pain points. Our core functionality should focus on dealing with the user needs as follows: • Being able to receive customer service when needed, but not if it is unwanted; • Being able to know and find the correct size for the items they want; • Being able to efficiently change a size or item when trying on clothes. • Improving the basic amenities that are in the fitting room area. (not a core focus because amenities mostly depends on the store budget)
We did two rounds of design ideations: Sketching and Wireframing. Meanwhile, we held two feedback sessions to get users involved in the design process. In the first round of design ideation, we used storyboards, scripts and sketches to present to users 3 different ideas.
A consensus appeared among four people we asked feedback from, they preferred the tablet solution. Because this solution provides a high level of self-control, doesn't invade user privacy and is the most feasible solution.
The idea is that customers pick up a tablet upon arriving the store. All clothes on the floor(only one item for each size) display are samples, not for trying on. Customers will use this tablet to scan clothes that they want to try on and send the list to store assistants for them to pull clothes from the storage. Once decided they had finished picking, customers will request a fitting room. Store assistants then started to prepare a fitting room by bringing in the clothes and notify customers when it's ready. I drew this storyboard to demonstrate the use case.
After the feedback session, we altered some design that users didn't think would work for them:
1. We decided to remove the “come back later” option when users request a fitting room. Because most users would like to try on immediatetly when they find something interesting. Once they left, the possibility to come back to store is rather low.
2. Instead of sending a complete "try on" list to store assistants, the new design will let store assistants start pulling items while customers are browsing. This is because users shown a lack of patience when they see the estimate waiting time to get in a fitting room. Letting store assistants to pull clothes on the go will shorten the wait time that customers perceive.
After incorporating those changes, I drafted a wireframe to move our design into the next phase.