The Rack

App Design for a Personal Styling & Closet Organization Brand
Styling and Closet Organizing App Concept, UX Case Study

Project Overview

Background

The Rack is an app for style lovers. It helps users manage their wardrobe, plan their outfits, and discover new sustainable brands to shop with. Inspired by Stylebook, The Rack wants to give a more user-centric approach to their app, adding features and flows that make it delightful for people to use. Finding something to wear should be fun and joyful.

Objectives

  • Design an app
  • Design a logo

PROJECT
App design, concept

ROLE
UX / UI Designer, Logo Designer

TOOLS
Figma, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Squarespace, Notion, Miro

TIMEFRAME
September - October 2021, 80 hours
TEAM
Self-directed, with feedback from mentor and peers

Problem

Most people don't wear half of the clothes in their wardrobe and often struggle what to wear on a daily basis.

Solution

Help users better manage their closet and get personalized outfit suggestions.

Jump to Prototype

Design Process

01 .Research

Secondary Research

I have also discovered how unfair and unstable the fashion industry in on the other side of the counter: for retail employees. Retail employment is down by nearly 13% year over year, as of June 2021, but it’s fallen by more than 50% for retailers that sell clothing. The retail stores employees have been furloughed and fired as lockdowns marched across the world. The changing dynamic of the brick and mortar industry, lack of stability and low wages make people leave retail.

So in the Rack I decided to also found a solution also for the retail stores associates that are out of work: have them pivot towards the career in personal wardrobe styling.

Competitive Analysis

There are a lot of apps on the market, most of them are paid or have paid features. They are all quite robust and have powerful features like outfit suggestions, photo background removal, gamification feature and etc. One of the biggest problem across the apps is a high starting curve - the user has to to take photos of their closet which can be time-consuming and overwhelming. That's where a lot of users drop out. I want to solve this problem by offering to have a wardrobe stylist come to your home to help you take photos of your closet, help you organize and chose outfits.

Key Research Insights

  • Despite the large number of items in the closet, people still struggle what to wear on a daily basis
  • Rising awareness about the threats of fast fashion consumption
  • The biggest user pain in the wardrobe managements apps is a high starting curve: you have to take photos of ALL the items in your closet to make the best use out of the service. It's overwhelming for the users.
  • Outfit suggestion system AI in the most closet management apps is underwhelming - it's either random or pretty basic, missing a human touch.
  • Employment in clothing retail is not stable and jobs are low paid, a lot of retail workers look for other gigs

User Persona

User persona Marianne was created after I empathized with my users in the research phase. She values comfort and wants to look smart when going to the office.

02 .Strategy

How Might We Statements

Product Roadmap

I wanted to empathize not only with my user Marianne, but also with clothing retail workers who struggle during the pandemic. This app could be an opportunity for them to be a part of the gig economy and provide their services to private clients.  

In addition, competitive analysis has shown that outfit recommendations done by AI often don't work for the user. That's how working with the stylist has become an important distinctive feature of this app.

Site Map

The black bubbles represent the bottom tab navigation and something that user will have access to almost all the time. Home tab would have a dashboard with different personalized features including The Stylist. It is also worth noting The Shopping / Selling section. Some apps on the market do have shopping suggestions, but none of them have selling suggestion, which I think is a big loss. Resale market is booming these days and selling something could be a great opportunity for the user to optimize their closet.

However, the most important section is Statistics. It is essentially the place for success metrics, where the user could see how they have improved their wardrobe.

03 .Design

User Flow

I created a user flow for the first time user to see how Marianne would go through her first experience of using the app. It was important to give her two options: hire a wardrobe stylist or take photos of her closet by herself.

See full User Flow

Wireframes

Closet management apps don't usually get combined with the professional services app. My goal was to create an architecture where it would be possible! I wanted my user to be able to not only see, organize and manage their closet but also to hire a wardrobe stylist to help the user through that process.

So in a matter of several days the idea turned from sketches...
... into wireframes.

The Designs

I wanted to make this design feel simple, relaxing, but also to have luxurious touch. I focused on presenting the images of the clothes first and foremost.

Logo Design

The logo for The Rack is meant to be simple, yet elegant. The app is supposed to  simplify the wardrobe experience, so I chose minimalistic approach and clean lines.

The Result

Style Tile

My goal was to use calm and friendly colors, that would also signify sustainability and eco-friendly approach. I decided to add a soft gradient to the base white to make the design a little more chic.

UI Kit

The challenging part of creating a UI kit was figuring out how to better show the outfits in the Outfit Generator. I decided to make cards, that the user would swipe through.

Outfit Generator

See full UI kit

04 .Prototype

Usability Test

Participants

  • 7 participants, 23-40 y.o, female, enjoy shopping and organizing
  • Method: Maze.co

Tasks

  • Go through onboarding and chose Shop Less as a goal.
  • Hire a stylist to help you digitize your closet
  • Swipe through your outfit suggestions and chose an outfit with the sweater
"The design looked nice and clean. I like the idea of generated outfits, wish I could swap out some pieces."
"Hiring a stylist to come to your house is a pretty new concept, would need to have more information on how the process is going to be like (perhaps a video of how the process goes) and how am I being protected like how Uber sends you driver's information etc. "

Key Outcomes

  • On the scale from 1 to 10 users assessed the ease of navigation as 7
  • 85% of the users were able to accomplish the tasks
  • Users likes the clean and friendly style of the app
  • Users appreciate the app catering to different types of goals
  • Navigation could be improved, like introducing breadcrumbs and multiple points of access to the same location
  • Users wanted to know more about the process of inviting the stylist to your house and how they are being protected

Key Takeaways

  • Explore other personas. If I had more time on the project I would also include a second user persona - the stylist. It would be interesting to explore the stylist's perspective in this service and empathize with them, since they are also the users of this app.
  • The importance of testing. Testing has highlighted certain navigation aspects, that I didn't know needed work.
  • Don't write off anything without research. When I first thought about the wardrobe organization and styling app, I thought that it doesn't really make sense because of the high starting curve. I have almost written it off as a concept, but then I did my research and realized that there is a demand for this and there is a market. Always do your research first! 

Thank you for reading The Rack case study!

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