Ecostylist is an item curation site that allows users to browse eco-friendly, sustainable clothing items for men. It originally offered a simple styling service that involved a phone call with a personal stylist. Ecostylist has a low cost-to-benefit ratio, and is not user-intuitive or memorable. It is also unclear what services the website offers.
Our team worked to create simple, personalized experience in Ecostylist that allows the user to take a style quiz that assigns a stylist tailored to personal taste. Our goal was to simplify the site, and enforce typical buying patterns and habits through suggested item curation.
Through user interviews with a focus on buying habits and e-commerce model preferences, we created multiple data-driven solutions to the Ecostylist layout.
This was a 3–week Agile UX sprint.
- User Stories
- Research Plan & Process
- Testing & Feedback
- Ideation Phase 1 & 2
- Clickable Axure Prototype
- Steps Moving Forward
We tailored our user experiences to the following user needs:
- As a customer, I want to share my preferences and style so that I can receive personalized style and product recommendations
- As a customer, I want to look through curated content so I can discover new products
We began observing brands that successfully utilized personalized styling, and compared them to the existing Ecostylist model.
We observed that Ecostylist did not utilize a style quiz, or emphasize free, easy returns.
From this point, we decided to closely observe StitchFix’s model. Placing just as much emphasis on the styling aspect as the sustainability aspect would create a larger market for the site.
Initial Site Testing & Feedback
We asked specific style, shopping and sustainability questions, followed by asking each person to navigate the existing Ecostylist site and provide feedback based on pain points and positives.
We gathered our user testing information through Zoom interviewing and site navigation, and in-person interviews. We sent out an initial screening survey to about 60 people, searching for people who regularly online shop, as well as express interest in sustainable shopping. The final first-hand interviews were conducted with 7 participants.
“I only prioritize sustainability if it’s affordable.”
“I’m not sure what brands or sustainable, or if sustainability has a consistent definition.”
“I find this website’s purpose to be unclear.”
“I’d only pay for a stylist if it was a great value for what I’m getting.”
Our next step following competitive analysis, secondary research, and 1-on-1 interviewing and user testing, was to organize the data we collected. We utilized Miro to create an affinity map with the purpose of organizing main takeaways for our research.
Our key takeaway was affordability, but we later came to see this as an issue that was larger than our work as designers. The concept of affordability would change shape a few times during our research and ideation process.
Favorite brands, sizing, sustainability information, and certain desirable site features like size filtering, easy returns, and a simple, clean layout were also emphasized as important by those we interviewed.
No participants showed a desire to pay extra to be styled because they felt it was not a good value compared to the cost and service provided. The website was overall seen as a bit unclear in terms of what the stylist did for the customer, as well as what kind of sustainable options were offered.
The first user we created was a user with need for item curation and guidance with personal style choices. This user would want as much assistance as possible with the shopping process, and have a simplified, quick experience with Ecostylist. This user would additionally benefit from a styling quiz to easily determine what items would be best for him without having to do too much clicking.
The second user would be someone more interested in sustainability, and less interested in using the services of a stylist. This might be someone who wants to look at all their options while shopping and make careful style decisions. The style quiz would allow her to easily enter sizes, sustainability preferences and style preferences, and then get suggested items within her categories of need.
With the ideas of a styling quiz and a simplified browsing process for the user in mind, we then began the process of ideating user flows.
We each drew up our initial concepts of the home page layout, including user flow of the Ecostylist shopping and styling pages.
However, following our ideation of the shopping features, we quickly realized the sales of individual clothing items did not take place directly from Ecostylist, but rather from the recommended brand sites, respectively.
This is where we reached a project pivot.
From this point, we went back to the drawing table and ideated new user flows that involved more focus on styling services, the quiz, and sustainability information.
We simplified the home page to include two large call-to-action selections:
- Meet Our Stylists
- Take The Style Quiz
Our second ideation, after comparing sketches, included:
- Replace Meet Our Stylists with About tab
- Style Quiz option guides user with a more prominent button
- Change Shop option to Explore
- Swap Sustainable for Why Shop Sustainably?
- Sustainability information video included on home page for clarity
We then moved on to usability testing of our first Axure prototype. Users were asked to navigate the home page to find information about stylists, and to take the sustainability quiz.
Usability Testing & Adjustments
Final Axure Prototype
In our final prototype, we made it possible for users to easily find stylists based on their price, size, and fashion interests. Our priority of simplifying Ecostylist and making the styling option a better value was successful.
Final Takeaways & Future Steps
Moving forward, we’d like to propose carrying women’s and unisex clothing, as well as moving the business model toward subscription packages in the style of StitchFix.
This project was a challenge because our audience feedback wasn’t matching up with the business model of Ecostylist. As designers, it’s our job to work with what we are given. Creating intuitive, usable and useful sites often involves how we present things, not the content itself.
I am so happy I got to work on this with my incredible teammates, Whitney and Bhimer. We hope to work together on other redesigns and original projects soon!