Emily Yeung
Product Designer
Made with

Follow the Brand

A feature that allows customers to control what they see

THE ICONIC has a diverse customer base across Australia and New Zealand, and is constantly growing the amount of products and brands featured on their website and iOS and Android apps. With over 60,000 products and more than 1200+ local and international brands, customers have a wealth of options to choose from when shopping at THE ICONIC.

However, with an increased amount of choice, comes an increased amount of frustration. Shopping online is convenient - but when there is too much choice, and when customers do not know they want - there comes complexity; and THE ICONIC's role is to help to support our customer's fashion journey through the many stages of their life.

In the past, THE ICONIC's product teams had attempted to help customers find what they want quickly, by personalising their shopping experience through machine learning and an algorithmic approach. However, they discovered this process would not be able to deliver value quickly for their customers - so I was involved in pivoting away from this approach and working in tandem with developers, data analysts and a PO to create an experience where customers would be able to control what they wanted to see, as opposed to THE ICONIC trying to predict this behaviour.

"There's so many products on the site, I only want to see what interests me"

Project Background

“Follow the Brand” is a feature that was created in 2016 for THE ICONIC's iOS app. This feature allows customers to follow their favourite brands. Once a customer is following a brand they are able to receive information on new arrivals from their brands, and browse and filter their brands from a personalised catalogue.

The follow the brand functionality was featured on the daily feed as tiles, and in a brands page under the profile section of the app.

When the first iteration of follow the brand was rolled out, we found out having the follow the brand content as new arrival tiles had the highest overall engagement of any content featured on the feed. These high engagement results gave THE ICONIC confidence in taking follow the brand from an app only feature, to being featured on the website.

Follow the Brand
My Role

I was responsible for creating the "Follow the Brand" web experience. 

Project Goals:

  • Customers would be able to follow and manage their favourite brands on THE ICONIC website (responsive).
  • Customers would be able to to shop their own personalised catalog (filtered by their favourite brands) on THE ICONIC website.

Business Goals

  • Increase the amount of follow the brand users
  • Increase the average number of brands followed

  • Increase the amount of sessions per user

Agenda for Day 2 of the sprint
Agenda for Day 2 of the sprint

    A roadmap to North Star...

    "Follow the Brand" had not been touched since 2016 and there were many untapped opportunities.  I needed to know what we could do in a quarter, that was going to add the most value for customers. 

    My approach: Using Google's Design sprint as a structure I planned a 2- day mini design sprint to run with a cross-functional team.

    Our focus personas: Although this feature could benefit all customers. We focused on "Jess" who favoured shopping by brands over things like categories or style.

    The goal: To test multiple avenues of "Follow the Brand" and identify which one gave customers the most joy.



Workshop Format

Day 1: Discovering as much about the problem space as possible. Looking at company data, previous customer research & interviewing experts.

  1. Mapped the current customer journey & asked "what don't we know?"
  2. Experts reviewed the map
  3. Q&A with experts
  4. Cluster and plot "How Might We's" on the map
  5. Vote for critical moments in the customer journey

Day 2: A series of ideation activities and exploring possible solutions. By the end of the day we had agreed for myself to explore the following:

What will add the most value to our users?

  • Freshly updated editorial style content

  • Brand identities, stories/interviews and behind the scenes content

  • Notifications from followed brands

  • Brand recommendations based on user behaviour

Day 3-5: Wireframing, prototyping, and testing our assumptions.

One of many wireframe scribbles
One of many wireframe scribbles

Wireframing & Lo-Fidelity Prototypes 

The main purpose of these sketches was to draw out multiple flows and explore the different ideas identified in the design sprint. 

I created very low fidelity prototypes of the ideal flow for web & mobile site. These were discussed with the team and some adjustments were made to reduce scope. 

  • The main change; removing the feature from the main navigation and placing it under the user's profile for our first release. 

I tested internally to ensure there were no major usability issues. 

Feedback

  • There were issues with the feature's discoverability. 
  • There were no major issues with the usability of the feature.  

Team decision: We decided to build the feature and keep it under the user's profile where it wouldn't have much exposure but could still be discovered by customers. This would allow us time to build the  feature in the brands section and further test & refine future iterations.  

"Your Brands" housed under the Profile section

User Testing Sessions

Focus: Basic flow & functionality 

I ran user testing sessions to test the basic usability of the feature on desktop and mobile site and how easily users were able to discover the feature. 

  • The interviews were in person and ran for 45-60 minutes.
  • We chose a mix of customers who had at one point in time used the app and followed at least one brand.
  • They completed a series of tasks on the desktop and mobile site prototypes
Main Feedback
  • Users were not expecting to find their followed brands nested under their profile. 

"I never click on the profile unless I need to logout or make a return." - Rhys

"I want a really quick way to access my followed brands so I don't have to go digging." - Sally

Other learnings
  • “It would be nice if you could group your brands, like I would group Jewellery brands or clothing and shoes” - Brooke

  • "I'd like a way to filter My Brands by category" - Layla

  • "Show me new arrivals from a brands I’m following." - Stephanie

  • "I would expect to find the follow button on the brand's individual pages, not on the product page." - Ingrid

Next steps:
  • Adding "Your Brands" to the main navigation became priority 
  • I focused on adding functionality to the "Your Brands" page using existing components aiming to keep the design as lean as possible. 
  • Explore different executions of brand recommendations 

Revised designs housing
Revised designs housing "Your Brands" underneath "All Brands"
Customer feedback on 2 different executions of brand recommendations.
Customer feedback on 2 different executions of brand recommendations.
All brands page design concept
All brands page design concept

UI Design

The design was stripped back, iterated, and tested with customers until it reached a point where we could ship the design in a lean state.

UI Details

  • Category filters allowed users to navigate more easily 
  • A top brands section was created to showcase most popular brands and allow for the recommendation module to be visible above the fold. 

UI Challenges & Workarounds

  • Not all brands had supplied images or logos which meant some brand tiles had nothing to display. 
For this challenge I looked at creating banners that could be pulled in by default for brands with no logos or imagery. There was difficulty finding a solution that would satisfy our wide range of brand aesthetics. As well as this, browsers that did not support images would show broken brand tiles.

With over 1200+ brands, the safest option was for the brand name to be simply pulled through and displayed as live text, in the absence of a logo.

Content modules tested with customers.
Content modules tested with customers.

Content

From the interviews, it was evident that users were not interested in brand editorial content. The general consensus was people did not come to THE ICONIC for content. 

  • "Content has to be really well executed, that's why I'm always on Mr Porter, they nail their content strategy. I was reading an article about Mexico and then I ended up buying a floral shirt" - Luke

A very small percentage of users said they would check this page occasionally if they were bored.

Personalised Recommendations

Example: "We think  you'll like: P.E Nation"

This was the most favoured module as it provided users with brand recommendations based on products they had previously purchased or brands they already followed. 

Users loved that the module provided them with a brand image, a blurb about the brand and 3 products from that brand. It was enough information for them to decide whether they would want to follow the brand without taking them away from the page.

60%
increase of users
41%
increase in follows
5%
MoM organic growth

Learnings & Next steps

The main problem was users expecting followed brands to be as easily accessible as their Wishlist. Technical constraints meant we had to compromise and place most of the content under the main "brands" navigation - which still impacted discoverability. Despite this, the feature has been incredibly successful and seen a 5% increase in organic growth month on month.

My next steps would be to test the live implementation with customers & investigate whether it's worth creating a more visible place for users' saved brands or if strong on boarding and feature development would be enough to compensate for it's location.

Additionally I would also like to explore how I could add more value to the brand tiles by making them more informative, interactive and engaging for customers.