BeautyBook helps consumers who want to be acknowledged for their product endorsements by rewarding their participation in an authentic beauty community.
How might we reward consumers for their authentic product recommendations?
Often times, beauty products are recommended by word-of-mouth through personal contacts. Consumers seeking an authentic recommendation may conduct research, weigh the initial recommendation, and make their purchase or opt for a different solution and earn rewards for their purchase. Meanwhile, those making recommendations to go unrewarded for their vote of confidence.
Research | Define | Design | Validate
We initiated the project by outlining the creating the project brief and research plan. We asked ourselves what the product should look like, what value will it bring to consumers, what problems could it solve before moving into the research, define, design, and validate stages.
While I actively participated in each phase of the project, I led the research effort and guided the UI design. The team had a wide-range of skills to offer thus allowing each person to assume the lead role when appropriate.
A platform that creates a curated experience for beauty enthusiasts where they can recommend & share products, review, and earn points to use towards exclusive rewards.
We surveyed 22 individuals ages 18 to 55 both male and female about their habits as beauty product consumers. We established research goals early on to ensure we identified and solved the right problem for our users. We sought to understand:
We examined Emma, LIKEtoKNOWit, IPSY, Brandefy and MiaMia, all known apps in the beauty eCommerce space. In a saturated market, we wanted to identify an opportunity to fill a specific void. Many apps we reviewed were similar however, they were lacking rewards or only included rewards in the traditional sense.
Onboarding for several of these apps had nearly 11 steps resulting in fatigue and negative experiences.
Some apps didn’t integrate curated content based on the user’s interests.
MAPPING THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
As a team, we examined the traditional purchase sequence to review the buying process for in-store shoppers. We used what we learned to understand the parallels between an online & traditional in-store experience as 77.3% of our surveyed participants stated they prefer in-person shopping. Mapping the customer journey outlined the process these users went through to complete the task of purchasing a beauty, skincare or hair product.
As a result, we developed 17 ‘How Might We' statements and proceeded with the design phase.
‘HOW MIGHT WE’:
OPPORTUNITIES TO STAND OUT
Establish a platform where beauty consumers can research and purchase products
After ideating product features with epics and user stories, we used the outcomes to inform the workflow for first-time and return users. We took this approach to further design the experience and identify gaps & overlaps.
On the first iteration of the functional group workflows we discovered several overlaps in the first time user flow. We realized the product search, review, redeem and workflows weren’t applicable to the first time user:
Review & Redeem
Both of these functional groups take place post product purchase and we recognized that these workflows were specific to return users. Therefore, we moved the review and redeem functional groups belonged in the beginning of the return user sequence.
We knew we wanted to conduct a design studio for the Beauty Library & Rewards functional groups. This exercise generated necessary conversations around how we would approach our interactions and potential navigation solutions. It also pushed us to revisit the HMW statements and consider how we might innovate.
Themes we identified during the design studio:
Community/Purchase/Rewards: We believed these functions should have high visibility to inform the users of what’s possible with the application
Personable UI: Giving ownership to the user through thoughtful copy and infusing personality Create an elegant & intuitive pattern for the layout
Interactions: The design studio helped us take an aligned approach across functional groups for consistent interactivity
Visually, we aimed to achieve a high-end, sophisticated appeal. Warm skin tones served as inspiration for the color palette. We wanted to avoid overtly feminine colors in an effort to be inclusive. During the design of the UI we discovered accessibility issues with the contrast of the palette with Adobe XD's Stark Plugin and made modifications using strokes and shadows to add depth.
We’ve done the work but we needed to know how it would function in the hands of our users. We established user and testing goals before creating multiple test scenarios.
Usability Testing Goals:
Our limited timeframe required us to prioritize the review and redeem functional groups for testing. Over the course of three days, we asked 8 testers to navigate through the prioritized workflows.
Overall, our testers provided positive feedback.
“Chic and minimalistic”
“I didn’t have to think too much”
“I like how I can see how much I’m saving on each reward”
“Easy to navigate”
While enthusiastic about the responses, there were a handful of usability issues we needed to address.
Plotting the usability issues on a problem matrix allowed the team to get a comprehensive look at the challenges our users faced. The severity range for the top 3 usability issues were moderate to severe. The top three usability hurdles occurred within the first scenario. Users experienced:
- confusion with the step indicator on the review product screens
- confusion caused when sending endorsement code – within the app
- had a missed opportunity to close out & explore the final screen
We would like to incorporate the feedback received during usability testing into a new prototype: