Have you ever heard of the Uniqlo app?

Case study • July 2018

This was one of the projects I worked on while I was in General Assembly's bootcamp. The brief was to redesign an app of our choosing. I worked in a group of 3 and we collectively chose the Uniqlo app for the project because of the negative ratings it got on the App Store. We found it odd that a brand which was known for their efforts in placing customers first had such horrible ratings for their app. This project was completed over a span of 11 days. 

Tool used

Sketch

My role

I was part of the research team and was the sole designer working on the design for the app

Platform

iOS

If you've never realised that Uniqlo has an app, you're not alone. While we were conducting our research, we found out that 90% of the users we've interviewed had no idea that Uniqlo has an app. Even if they did know about the app, they rarely had anything nice to say about their experience with it.

The problem

After conducting a number of interviews, the main consensus that we got were that:

Most of our interviewees frequently shop at Uniqlo however, most have commented that they have never used the app to shop. The people who have used the app highlighted that they are only using it for the loyalty program.

We attempted to break down the reasons behind that and narrowed it down to three main issues:

1) There is a good in-store experience - users enjoy browsing around the store and feel that the staff provides really good service
2) Users prefer a tactile experience - they want to feel the material of the clothes and to see if it fits them
3) Uniqlo has a ton of physical stores - users are able to find a Uniqlo store easily hence they do not see the need to use their app

With these findings in mind, we set out to figure out what can be done to motivate people to use the app.

What did we do with the information we gathered?

We decided to focus our efforts on figuring out what features would entice people to use the app. Our results showed that people would rather visit the Uniqlo store than use the app. However, people were enticed by the loyalty program on the app and that was a motivating factor for them to download it.

Our hypothesis was that if we had features that'll improve their online shopping experience, users would have more reason to use the app. We started listing out ideas for features that would make the existing online shopping experience better. We then used a 2x2 matrix to figure out which features to focus on in order to get our minimum viable product.

We decided to focus on the "low effort" and "essential" features which were:
1) A feature to allow users to check whether the item is in stock in the store
2) An option to make a reservation and try the item in the store

Wireframes

We used the wireframes to conduct our first round of usability tests before creating our hi-fidelity prototype. This helped us identify any major problems before moving to the next phase. We gave our users the task of making a reservation for an item and the tests were conducted without a hitch. The results from the testing were positive and it gave us the confidence to move on and produce a Hi-Fidelity Prototype.

Revisions made to the idea

(from left to right: prototype v.1,  prototype v.2, prototype v.3)

We went out to the Uniqlo store to test out the design of our app. In version 1, people did not notice the "see in-store availability" option because it was not outstanding enough.

In version 2, we made the words "see in-store availability" as a button in an attempt to make it more obvious. While people started to notice the button, it created a new issue - they were now confused between the CTA's “Try in Store” and “In-store Availability” as they felt that the meaning behind both CTA's are the same.

We resolved this issue in version 3 by merging both the "try in store" and "in-store availability" options to just "In-store availability". We came up with that solution because we noticed that users preferred to reserve the items when they checked the in-store availability. As such, we realised that there was no need for the “try in store” button to be on the main product page.

The final product - how does it work?

There are three features which are implemented to entice users to use the app: 

1) Loyalty points: a rewards system whereby users would be gifted with promotional codes as a reward for their consistent patronage
2) In-store availability: allows users to easily check whether the item they are interested in is in store in a store of their choice
3) Reserve and try item in-store: lets users reserve the item and head down to the store to try it on before committing to the purchase

Afterthoughts

The idea of allowing people to reserve an item and try it in store is definitely interesting however, I am more than aware of the limitations and possible reasons why this will never get implemented. The logistics and processes that need to be implemented to make this system work will be a daunting task. However, I do hope that this was useful as a thought exercise on how we can improve the existing online shopping experience.

See more work