The commander and chief (my fiance) was recently complaining about an instagram service called liketoknow.it that allows its users to like photos on instagram then receive ready-to-shop product links in their inbox. It's a brilliant idea, and I partially say that because I’ve worked on something very similar.
Wishing only to provide the most optimal user experience for fashion lovers around the world, and more importantly the leader of my free world, I asked for a brief demonstration of the product. As we went through the process I took careful notes on user journeys, pain points and opportunities in an effort to capture the core functionality of the service.
Ideally the service would have effortlessly walked me through each of the products payment gateway and I would have been down $1500 dollars for that outfit. But, instead I was pulled mischievously through a list of out of stock items.
She talked through the process with surprisingly more commentary than expected, quoting numerous design frustrations that began laying the foundation for romantic friday night of experience mapping. Experience mapping liketoknow.it allowed us to capture and present key insights into the user interactions throughout their platform.
I decided to tackle some pain points users are facing with the current liketoknow.it design. We sorted our findings, consolidated similar ideas and narrowed them down to the most import features to users.
“It drives me crazy when I see a cute skirt only to find that its sold out after I click it.”
“why are you covering the photo? I can’t see the shoes…”
“I want to buy this skirt but I don't know what size to buy.”
“Why can’t I see the original item after the blogger updates their post?”
You can then easily take these user pain points and invert them to create goals. Afterwards, rearranging them chronologically based on a balance of user and business objectives will allow you to prioritize your development moving forward
Reduce user frustrations with out of stock items
Increase visibility of IG source photo
Provide content creators with more data input options to tailor product offerings for users
Maintain consistency in products from original source with user recommendations added when content is updated
Customers are increasingly choosing products and services based on the quality of the experiences they have with them. When users encounter excessive failure their use generally declines. Creating a visual could help condition your users for products that may not be available before they click on them. Out of stock items are tricky, there can be a lot of backend work involved that may be not be feasible to support this feature but its worth looking into.
This could also lead to scoping new features like autobuy or subscription options to allow power users (fashion lovers) to set the parameters of what they need and purchases it automatically when they miss that hot new dress post from their favorite blogger.
The current design displays the navigation over the image, but the instagram photo is the source of revenue. Some users (myself included) are sensitive to the way image elements are introduced into a page, and it nearly always boils down to navigation.
While the navigation feature can add value for users, exploring other design options for the navigation may provide a better user experience. Currently, the design creates a barrier between the customer and the product. I've suggested a more tiled approach with the toggle nested in the upper left, this allows users to choose whether they want to browse or focus on the purchase.
Just as restaurants have challenges finding balance between the supply of ingredients and the demand of its diners, retailers too must accurately define customers needs or risk excess inventory due to sizing, style, season, etc.
Providing the users and content creators with more data input options, size for example, could offer businesses additional information to support purchasing efforts while providing users the information they need to purchase the products they like.
Its crucial to get the right size, especially from a website you have never ordered from or that charges return shipping. If these data options were available for users, ecommerce sites might not have to charge shipping because of the savings from lower returns.
After researching a random sample of bloggers and following their feed, I found them updating items when they were out of stock (sound familiar?). While they generally provide alternate suggestions, the original items disappear leaving the user with no way to waitlist or find the product elsewhere.
Retaining products from the original source provides the information critical for users to continue their search above the fold, while additional items curated by the blogger can lure users below the fold.
To illustrate the concept of Above and Below the fold, I positioned recommended items just above the bottom of the user's browser to prompt them with the content while staying clear of the original post.