EverSk8r + SmartSock
Footwear E-Commerce Shopping Experience with Hypothetical Fitting Feature for Generation Z
The goal was to create a mobile first e-Commerce shopping experience including a brand and a line of products that are sold online targeting the Generation Z (generation born in the mid-1990s and beyond) within two weeks.
Based on the user and competitive research findings and market trends audit I came to the solution which was to create a measuring technology: SmartSock, replacing the size chart system to improve footwear online shopping experience.
I was the sole designer on the project hence was responsible for the overall process including
- planning and implementing user and market research
- drafting design concepts
- writing content
- conducting usability testing
- iterating the designs
- creating brand identity
Even though I was the only designer, I have reached out to peer designers to brainstorm ideas.
In the research phase, I conducted user interviews and a survey and also analyzed studies presented by reliable research institutes such as IBM Institute for Business Value, National Retail Federation and Information Resources Inc (IRi). The competitive analysis was conducted throughout the research process. Market trends were also considered in the course of the brand design process. In all, I approached the research phase from three viewpoints:
Holistic Approach to Research
From the Drawing Board
At the outset of the project, I didn’t have a clear idea what my brand will be like. My only thought was that I should create a brand that will have a positive impact on the environment for Gen Z. I started to dig into researches. I came across a number of research reports on Gen Z shopping attitudes and behaviors. This was a great starting point for my branding idea.
Generation Z Shopping Attitudes and Behaviors
Discovery Journey Continued
The research findings validated my ideas. The Gen Z-ers were choosing brands that were eco-friendly and socially responsible. I started to recruit young adults to conduct interviews and an online survey to further refine and validate my idea of creating a footwear brand for the young generation. However, I couldn’t have guessed what would’ve happened next.
I interviewed 5 representatives of the Gen Z community and had conducted an online survey with 11 participants to uncover their footwear online shopping behaviors and attitudes. As a side note, 4 out of the 5 representatives interviewed had foot structure issues. Here is what the user research uncovered:
The Main Concerns of Online Footwear Shopping
The idea of building a brand on the idea of bringing a positive impact on our planet had painfully failed.
What are my next steps?
I started surfing the internet to find out the ways that footwear companies in this competitive market deal with the fitting issues and whether they make custom fitted footwear. So I started from the stores/brands that Gen Z shops most often: Vans, Converse, Nike, and Karmaloop. I found out that besides the size chart, they didn’t have anything to offer. Moreover, the respondents had found the Converse size chart confusing and unreliable. Was I looking at the right place? I soon turned my attention to the companies that were helping to resolve the foot sizing issues. Here is what I came across with:
Competitive Analysis Outcomes
I spent a significant amount of time understanding the user’s footwear online shopping expectations and pain points. Identification of the primary persona and the business problem and possibilities were the apex of the research. These outcomes navigated to the viable solution.
Create socks with sensors, later called SmartSock, that will help users to obtain custom fitted skater shoes delivered online.
Navigation Design and Content Writing
Even though the content writing was not listed in the project requirements, I decided to (1) create it to organize and focus my thought on what, why, and for whom I am establishing the brand and (2) what are my values after all as a brand.
Focusing on the needs and the goals of the persona, I wrote the 1st version of the content and created a list of the items available for sale.
I conducted an in person and an open card sorting study with 5 representatives from the target audience. After analyzing the data, I iterated the items and conducted an online card sorting using the Optimal Workshop service. As a result, I iterated the items and designed the navigation.
The Site Map
Rapid Prototyping and Iterating ideas
Having the persona, Andy, and the content in my mind, helped me to sketch out the shopping experience. I created multiple versions of the home page and the checkout process. After usability testing I came to a decision to showcase the SmartSock feature on the home page.
Introducing The EverSk8r
I managed to come up with a brand idea to design an e-Commerce shopping experience online. Mobile 1st application was designed to help the user to successfully accomplish the shoe shopping experience. This application solves both business and user problems by providing a cost-effective and innovative product through user-centered customer experience.