UX research / Framing
Avril, Linda, Thomas, Zaac
3 week sprint, Spring 2022
Final Slide Deck
The goal with our initial research was to learn as much as possible about luxury consumers, the luxury fashion space, and our initial client Luisa Via Roma.
I noticed that the team was struggling to find a significant experience design problem during the research phase. I suggested that we consider changing clients, provided that we stay within the same luxury fashion space so that we could use our research moving forwards. As a result, the team ended up choosing luxury fashion retailer Italist, who had more opportunities for a design intervention.
After reviewing Italist’s mission along with Italist customer’ thoughts and reviews regarding the company, the team identified three main brand values that would help build the foundations of our project:
(1) SMALL BOUTIQUE PARTNERS: Italist partners with small, Italian boutiques to provide authentic and pristine luxury goods.
(2) LUXURY DISCOVERY: Global customers have access to over 1,500 international luxury brands carefully curated by the Italist team and their partner boutiques.
(3) SHOP ITALIAN FROM AMERICA: Italist provides greater international reach for their partnered boutiques, allowing international customers to feel as if they are shopping in Italy.
By comparing Italist's small boutique partners brand value pillar to the customer perception of the brand (from reviews), and the concerns of Gen-Z and Millennial fashion consumers, I was able a create a framing question to drive the rest of the project:
I was synthesized the primary (user testing and interviews) and secondary (peer-reviewed papers and business journals) research findings into the following 3 key research insights:
(1) CLOSE CONNECTIONS: "In experiencing a brand, whether it is a product, service, or a retail store, consumers do not just look for quality or low prices; they want to gain [close connections] with brands from enticing store atmosphere, superb customer service, and entertaining experiences."
— 'Emotional Branding Speaks to the Consumer's Heart' (2019), Yong-Kyum Kim, Professor of Retail & Consumer Sciences at the University of Tennessee
(2) SEEK MEANING: "Consumers will look for meaning and purpose to justify high-end purchases. Catering to the idea of showing monetary income status via branded goods is the last gasp of any quote, unquote luxury brand. It’s what luxury brands do when they have no meaning to offer.”
— 'Luxury turns from conspicuous to conscientious in 2021' (2021), Pamela Danziger, Forbes
(3) DISCOVERY: "Having larger brands offered by the boutique helps me to trust that a boutique is credible. Also, when they show their smaller, more niche brands, it makes the boutique feel more interesting and helps me to discover new products."
— Luxury fashion consumer, participant 5/6
CUSTOMER VALUE: A website redesign to enable Italist’s customers to discover unique up and coming fashion items through Italian boutiques while appealing to their values of wanting to support businesses with similar values.
BUSINESS VALUE: Help to transition customers from being satisfied or perceiving brand differentiation to being fully connected to the business by appealing to the emotional aspect of connecting with smaller boutique buyers.
The strength in the design solution lies in the content that we have chosen to surface for this site. These content design decisions were based on the key research insights and can be broken down into 3 key focuses:
FAMILIARITY WITH BOUTIQUES: Aim to better connect customers with the brands and boutiques to build familiarity which can help inform purchasing decisions customers make online.
DISCOVER & LEARN: Allow customers to discover and learn from the boutiques they are purchasing from and browse relevant products from brands they are unfamiliar with.
EXPLORE NUANCES: Allow customers to explore products offered from particular Italian boutiques and feel the distinct aesthetics across different boutiques within Italist.