Case Study: Wear Base
Creating an online community for aspiring fashion designers
I worked on redesign project for the Wear Base website in December 2016. Over a two week period, I worked on a team of two. I dove right into the research portion, interviewing several fashion design students, graduates, and entrepreneurs. I designed the wireframes using Sketch, and I made the prototype clickable with InVision.
Tools & Methods
Tools: Sketch, InVision, User Testing, Optimal Workshop
Methods: User Interviews, Competitive Analysis, Design Studio, Paper Prototyping, Wireframes, Usability Testing
How can Wear Base provide value to an aspiring fashion designer?
When I asked the stakeholder why she decided to start Wear Base, she told me that the fashion industry parallels the film industry in the sense that "it is exclusive until you make it." The goal was to break down that barrier between the aspiring designer and the successful fashion designer.
to fix the layout, content & features of current Wear Base
to verify the personas with data to figure out who are Wear Base users and who will use Wear Base
to add in a premium section targeted at student designers as a portfolio showcase
From remote user testing, I learned that although the website looked professional and trustworthy, users were not sure what they were supposed to do on the page. They knew that it was a fashion website, but they did not understand how the website would benefit them other than providing information and history on fashion. Because of this I wanted to keep the design as consistent as possible for the new feature.
After meeting with the client, my first goal was to do some user research since the personas provided by the client were not based on data, but rather, her idea of the targeted users. I needed to validate the personas. Since the portfolio would be an added feature to the existing website, I began to think about the information and content that fashion design students would want to share about themselves in order to stand out from their peers.
Fashion design student at FIDM
”It’s important to always have your [fashion] voice heard.”
Looking to work in the fashion industry
Using her portfolio to create her own voice and help her get an internship and/or job
”I hate bragging about myself, but it works.”
Wants to build connections to grow his business in fashion industry
Interested in collaboration with other designers
Constantly seeking inspiration from other designers
Instagram is undeniably a popular social media platform used by people with many different careers other than the fashion industry. Fashion design students use Instagram to connect with other students and designers. Instagram uses hashtags, which help users find visuals and accounts that they find interesting. Because Instagram has a wide spectrum of users, the platform is not fashion-focused.
Pinterest is another popular social media platform that is popular among fashion design students and fashion designers because of the visual layout and functionality of the website. Designers can gather and view many visuals in one space.
PORTFOLIO category page
While interviewing a fashion designer, I learned about artsthread.com, a website designed for fashion design students to create a profile page and upload images of their work. The visuals take up most of the space, highlighting the student's work.
portfolio profile page
My teammate and I discussed how to improve the navigation bar of the website based on our findings from the research. Since celebrities play a major role in fashion and trends, we added a Celebrities category under People. Also, we added categories for Portfolios, Careers, and Events. In order to people to have the ability to filter and sort based on their preference in location or product specialization.
At that time, I did not realize that we were missing the login and sign-up pages from our first draft of the site map.
Navigation Bar, Before & After
Design studio is a great way to get everyone involved in the design process, pulling in multiple perspectives to look for effective solutions and trigger discussions on what works and what doesn't work. However, in order for it to be most effective, design studio should be done with a group of people to maximize output and increase the number of quality potential solutions.
I drew out the wireframes with the new categories we agreed upon for the new navigation bar. These categories make it more clear to the site visitors what is available to them at the site.
In addition, I moved the "About Wear Base" information to the home page so that users who are wondering "What is Wear Base?" will be able to see information on the front page, who they are, and what their mission is, giving more dimension and personality to the website.
By the time we got to paper prototyping, I realized we were missing some major steps: a login screen for current users, registration screen for new users, and a page where users can edit their profile, upload their profile photo, and upload their portfolio pieces.
edit profile page
I felt that my teammate and I were not on the same page, so we wrote out the entire process along with key learnings for each step of the way. This helped me make sure that I was not leaving out any important insights or details, and it helped me better understand my teammate's thought process. Being on the same page as my teammate is important to tie everything together for delivery.