Introducing Closet Doctor: A UX Case Study

What is the Challenge?

On average, Britons spend over £1k on new clothes every year, but leave ⅓ of it hanging in the wardrobe. Fashion production is also a concern, making up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, with 85% of all textiles going to the dump each year. Persuading people to reduce the amount of clothes they buy can be challenging, as many decisions are emotionally-driven.

I have designed a solution which enables people to create a clothing management system, leading to better organisation and higher personal savings.

How does it work?

This mobile application has been designed for the money-conscious, organized user in mind.

For current clothes: It provides daily clothing suggestions based on the user’s current wardrobe and displays appropriate looks.

For new purchases: Its algorithm cross check’s the new clothing with the user’s current wardrobe to generate an output: Will it match anything in the user’s current wardrobe? Does the user own something similar? Will it be replacing anything?

What Makes Closet Doctor Unique to Other Apps?

The ease of use and sleek user interface is unparalleled to other apps.

When adding clothes to the wardrobe, the user only needs to take photos of their items. They do not have to edit the pictures themselves, remove the background, nor categorize their items unless they wanted to — the app does this for the user.

Research

I conducted my research in two parts:

  1. Competitor Research x 3 Apps: Stylebook, YourCloset & Smart Closet
  2. Five interviews with males and females to determine the main pain points faced by individuals when buying clothes and organising their wardrobes. Two males and three females were interviewed, between the ages of 27–35.

Questions asked can be found in this google form

Competitor Research Example: Stylebook

  • The user takes pictures of the exact items in their closet.
  • They edit the pictures themselves.
  • They have to organise the images themselves into categories/occasions.
  • The app generates bespoke looks.
  • They can schedule outfits/see stats/create packing lists/shop.

User Research: Core Findings

The general consensus of the interviewees indicated that they were only using up to 30% of their wardrobe on a weekly basis. They mainly only remember the recent items they have worn and sometimes end up duplicating items.

When getting dressed, they do spend time deciding what to wear which they don’t particularly enjoy. The main frustration when buying clothes is not finding something that suits them or matches what they currently own, so when they do end up buying something, it sits in their closet. They are also busy individuals needing quick and effective results.

Key Quotes

Spends time deciding what to wear (4 respondents)

“I don’t usually feel frustrated when getting dressed, but it’s just another thing to think about. The dress code at work is super laid back so I spend a fair bit of time deciding what could look cool.”

Remembers recent items only (5 respondents)

“Having all my clothes cataloged would be really useful, I own so much I definitely don’t remember half of my stuff and end up duplicating similar things.”

Needs to purchase appropriate items (4 respondents)

“[When buying clothes, I get frustrated by] not finding something that suits me or matches anything I own. I end up spending money on things I don’t wear.”

User Research Informing the App Build

The app will have features to:

  • Inspire users to use all of their wardrobe, and if not, get rid of the items they don’t use.
  • Document their wardrobe quickly and effectively
  • Compare the item they want to buy with their current wardrobe and ensuring they don’t duplicate items.

Creating the Storyboard

By creating the storyboard, I can walk through a day in the life of the user and the points of day when the app might be used. Following the storyboard and the research undertaken, I built a persona to capture the exact user who the app needs to be built for.

User Persona

From this, I created a rough user journey from which I came across a few roadblocks.

User Journey: Rough Mock-ups

User Journey: Version 1

  1. This user journey duplicated the flows for ‘login’ and ‘create an account’.
  2. There was also no ‘compare to wardrobe’ function after the user added more items to their wardrobe.

User Journey: Version 2

  1. I created a separate user flow for those creating an account and those logging into a pre-existing account.
  2. Any photo taken is now passed through the wardrobe checker.

User Journey: Version 3

  1. After creating the initial sketches for the app, I realised that I needed to add more components to ‘the create an account’ flow which were missing from Version 2.
  2. Additionally, after showing one of the research participants Version 2, ‘my saved items’ was also added, as the participant highlighted wanting to be able to see all saved items on the home screen, as well as ‘rarely used clothes/stats’.

Rough App Design

The app mockups were created from the Version 2 user journey to begin with, however, after designing these mockups I realised elements were missing from these initial designs which I added to Version 3 user journey: Under ‘create an account’, the ability for the user to edit their wardrobe while they are creating it.

Lo-Fidelity: Create an account wireflow

I created the below designs using Balsamiq following the rough app mock-ups, and by doing so, could visualise the flow and steps the user would take when they first opened the app to create an account.

Lo -Fidelity: Main wireflow

The below depicts the main app flow after the user has created their account.

Measurement

After the final app build and review, the app will be launched and measured in the following ways, including any advertising efforts to measure the effectiveness.

Quantitative

  • App Downloads
  • Daily Active Users (DAU)
  • Retention Rate
  • Churn Rate
  • App Open Rate/Sessions

Qualitative

  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Focus groups

Conclusion

Next steps

After the hi-fidelity prototype is created, more usability studies will be conducted to test the app.

The idea of having a weather-based clothing suggestion integrated into the app will be explored in order to improve clothing suggestion accuracy.

The stages between the user journey and app build may require many more iterations and require reviewing the user research and questioning design decisions continually.

What I learned

I learnt a lot from this UX design project; especially the importance of forming the correct research questions to inform the user journey and app build.

The most difficult part for me was forming the research questions and getting the design of the user flow in a good place. I loved the whole process and in particular the app build.

Thanks for reading!

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