Ux interactive prototype development
This case study will highlight the thought process, research, branding and development of the Haulywood concept. This was a project for my master’s degree in User Experience Design from Kent State University in the fall of 2019.
Children grow very quickly. As a result, parents are left with quality used clothing when their children have outgrown those items. Roughly 30% of the time, these clothing items are still in new or like new condition, so simply donating them feels wasteful.
Parents have limited time, energy and they have many other responsibilities. Sorting through and selling clothing items that their children have outgrown is a lower priority task, so it needs to be made exceptionally easy.
How can parents make money off of their children’s gently used clothing quickly and easily, without having to take pictures, write product descriptions, buy shipping supplies, communicate and meet up with buyers or ship the product?
Let’s look at the current options available to these parents.
Selling clothing on ebay requires the sellers to take and upload product photos, write product descriptions, choose the correct clothing category, title their items, price their items, communicate with buyers and ship the items to the buyers. This is a very labor intensive process for a very small return. Additionally, Ebay takes a sizeable commission on each sale and the buyers must also pay listing fees.
Using Facebook Marketplace requires users to take product photos, write a minimal product description, choose a category, respond to endless buyer questions, haggle with buyers over pricing and then find a mutually convenient time and place to meet to exchange the purchased clothing. This is a heavy time investment for a fractional return on effort.
Donating clothing requires the person with the clothing to locate a donation center, make it to the center during normal business hours, bag up the clothing and drive the items to the local donation center. It is the easiest method available and it is good for the community. However, parents often feel wasteful donating clothing that they know that they could easily sell if only there were a better way.
Taking your used clothing to a consigment store is a gamble. The seller has to locate a consignment store, call the store to find out hours and what kinds of clothing they take. Then the buyer must bag up the clothing and drive it to the consigment store and drop them off. The consignment store cherry picks the best items, donates the other items and pays the seller a small portion of the sale of their chosen items. This process doesn’t leave the seller feeling very good about what was and was not chosen.
The plan was to create a disruptive idea that would remove the typical pain points associated with selling gently used clothing online or in your local area. The goal was to create a community of local buyers and sellers, connect them, reward them and incentivize them for sharing Haulywood with everyone they know. I started with the question, “What if buying and selling gently used children’s clothing could actually be fun?”
Easy To Use
Rewards For Sharing
Totally New Idea
Easy Way To Earn
Fun To Use
User Experience Research
I started by talking to local Baton Rouge area moms at different events and asking them about their experiences with selling clothing online or locally. I collected their data, did affinity mapping and identified common themes and pain points for this user group.
I looked at some of the most popular apps for shopping; Amazon, Etsy and more. I asked myself, “Why would I or wouldn’t I make a purchase on this site?” I identified what elements of those shopping platforms gave them such powerful conversion metrics.
Wireframes + Prototypes
Using all of my user and competitive research, I created a concept that would incorporate gamification, community and shopping. I created user personas, then walked each persona through a user flow, identifying their needs. Next, I created low fidelity wireframes and a sitemap, which was validated through various card sorting exercises. Finally, I created the logo, brand tone and feel and created the prototype.
I created and recreated the prototype by incorporating feedback from my instructor, my classmates and feedback from three rounds of user testing.
As this class was only 7 weeks long, I decided to keep the prototype at mid-fidelity, so that user flow and user testing would be the primary focus. I wanted to make sure that I had created a unique and fun solution to solve our original problem.
If this project were carried forward to it’s next logical step, a high fidelity prototype would be developed and full UI would be incorporated and tested to meet stated goals.
The solution developed provided both buyers and sellers with a fun, easy and community building way for parents to sell their children’s gently used clothing.
Haulywood allows parents with clothing (sellers) to simply bag up their items, choose one of three price points and list their Haulybag. There is almost no work and the parents get to feel good about earning a return on their initial investment.
Buyers get to find, and favorite, local sellers who have both the size and style of clothing that they are interested in. The buyer simply searches for the gender, size and dollar amount of the Haulybag that they want to purchase. Then they purchase the ‘grab bag’ style Haulybag and drive over and pick it up off of the porch.
Haulywood is based on complete anonymity and no communication between the buyer and the seller. Our system handles scheduling, pricing, payments and more.
In the end, I removed all of the pain points that the parents had with selling their children’s gently used clothing.
With Haulywood, the parents do not have to take any pictures, write any product descriptions, communicate or coordinate pick up times with buyers, haggle over price or ship items to buyers.
I created a green, affordable, fun, easy to use, community building solution for parents to solve the problem I was designing for.
- User Research + Testing – 30%
- Branding + Problem Solving- 40%
- Wireframes + Prototypes – 30%
Target Users Interviewed
User Tests Conducted
Cups Of Coffee
This is the first project where I was responsible for full scale creation, user research, wireframing, user testing, card sorting and prototyping. This was a very challenging project and I grew a lot as a UX Designer as a result. Here’s what I learned……..
User Experience Design
There are so many moving parts in the UX Design process from conceptualization and branding, user research and testing, wireframing and prototyping and of course, ultimately full scale development.
This project really made me appreciate how nice it would be to be part of a creative team of UX Researchers and Designers, Graphic Artists and User Interface Designers and Developers. It’s an incredibly creative process and being charged with all aspects of this project was challenging, but defintiely rewarding. I have a new found respect for all the people involved in creating exceptional user experiences.
User Research + Testing
It was a lot easier to talk to potential users about their pain points than I had assumed it would be. I really practiced just listening and hearing their frustrations and saving the creative process for after the interviews were complete.
Testing was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be. After you pour your heart and soul into a project, it’s hard to hear anything but glowing feedback. Even though I received a lot of that during this process, there were some who really challenged me to dig deeper as a designer and push my skill set. I am very grateful for that.
Web & App Development
Before this project, I was only used to using Balsamiq and Moqup for wireframing. This project presented both the challenge and the opportunity to learn an entirely new platform. I taught myself how to use Proto.io by taking a Lynda course (3 actually) and figuring it out by trial and error.
In restrospect, I wouldn’t have chosen such a large project to learn the platform on. That said, having such a large and complicated design really forced me to think through the complete user journey, click to click, end to end. After developing 100+ screens in this prototype, I feel confident that I could teach myself any prototyping tool very rapidly.
My Personal Design Style
As someone who has had a hand in starting several businesses for the last two decades, I already knew how much I loved start ups. This project showed me that I really thrive in an environment where I am given creative freedom to push the envelope and explore the unknown.
I really enjoy disrupting industries and creating hybrid spaces that pull from several industries and create solutions that incorporate new technology and social trends. That is a space that I really want to explore further and specialize in. I am also very interested in incorporating elements of artificial intelligence into my future designs.
Coming In 2020
What problem are you working on?
Let’s connect and talk about what challenge you are trying to solve and create something amazing for your business and your customers.