User Interviews, Affinity Mapping, Comparative Analysis, Usability Testing, Prototyping
A solo project covering research, design, and testing of prototypes.
Known for its innovative and life-enhancing apparel, UNIQLO surprisingly receives much flak for its mobile application. Technical bugs plague the app and obstruct customers from using it. For those who can use it, one of the frequent complaints is the painful browsing experience.
Most participants were unsure of where to start. Many were confused toggling between the two navigation systems in the app. More often than not, users did not find the features they were looking for and hacked their way through the tasks during the usability test.
The app loads the mobile version of its website, whereby both has its own navigation system. The home pages on both the app and web load the same content, which makes it especially difficult to differentiate the two navigation systems. Both home buttons also open up differently, which disorientated participants.
There were multiple pathways for participants to browse the app. They could use browse by categories or use the search bar. However, these pathways were inconsistent through the app, appearing and functioning differently. Participants were confused by the multiple search bars, wondering what the hashtags were for and why there were no search suggestions.
Most participants just want to browse, and will only bother to find out more after they click into a product. It is part of the reason why they mostly start their search by category.
Filters surprisingly were not as crucial for UNIQLO consumers as the products were not as wide-ranging as other clothing brands. However, users expected it to be present nonetheless.
Since the participants were familiar with e-commerce, they relied on their experience with similar apps to navigate and feedback on the UNIQLO app during the usability test. Based on the apps they used, a more in-depth comparative analysis was conducted to identify standard features and best practices.
Succint and consistent navigation
Search bars are flushed to the top and provides search recommendations
Large images with minimal colour and sizing details
Comprehensive filter drawers
Large images come before product description and pricing
As mentioned above, UNIQLO products are not as wide-ranging as other clothing brands, and their consumers are used to searching through categories. We can streamline the browsing experience by improving the category search feature.
The first usability test was on the existing app, and the second was on the redesigned prototype, as seen above. In summary, participant feedback on the browsing experience improved with the prototype.
The project was an exercise to understand and improve the usability of apps through a user's perspective. The design solution had no regard for existing infrastructures in the app, which would have rendered the proposal obsolete. Hence, I understand the need to work closely with developers in real scenarios to develop solutions that are worthy for both businesses and their consumers.