— American Eagle Outfitters

UX / UI design to assist AEO with multiple objectives.

— Details

American Eagle Outfitters
Retail Website

— Role

UX/UI

— Overview

Partnered with a small team of 2 other UX / UI design professionals, we assisted the team both off and on site with the redesign of important sections of the company webpage, introduced and implemented a design pattern library and developed new communication paths in support of an organization wide effort to provide customers with an omni-channel experience.

— About AEO

American Eagle Outfitters is a leading global specialty retailer offering high-quality, on-trend clothing, accessories and personal care products at affordable prices under its AEO and Aerie brands.

The company operates more than 1,000 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom and ships to 81 countries worldwide through its websites. American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie merchandise is also available at 141 international stores operated by licensees in 22 countries.

— Challenges

The main goal was to update the website for the holidays – the busiest season for retail stores both in-store and online. This would require new layout and design ideas for the homepage which would directly affect various other pages as well.

  1. Add 10% more product on the Homepage
  2. How to increase user sign up by 15%
  3. Integrate sister brands on homepage
  4. Increase online gift certificate sales
  5. Improve OmniChannel experience

— Process Refined

One of the challenges with the project was the actual process – which was a classic waterfall method.

AEO is a large organization with an established process. That process was put in place in the 80’s and a lot has changed since then and waiting for approvals, meetings and change requests can take weeks.

Our team came up with new ways to keep things agile and moving while designs were waiting approval. We worked closely with engineering and content providers early on and kept in constant contact with each department while stakeholders reviewed.

This change allowed us to develop a few directions in anticipating the change requests.

— Establishing Behavior

As a team, we hit the streets and conducted user-research in stores around Pittsburgh, PA and San Francisco, CA.

We isolated 20 customers in total into 3 different groups who shared similar influences and attitudes about shopping, clothing and technology.

— Habits & Desires

We developed two sets of touch points within the customers journey. One was created with the leadership team of AEO and the second for each user-type.

This approach allowed us to keep both user and organizations need in perspective while developing solutions.

— Working Towards a Solution

We held a number of different exercises from our UX toolbox.

Methods Used

+ Card Sorting
+ Round Robin
+ Whiteboard Sketching

— Sketches

This was the unofficial kick off meeting. A small team of UX designers, UI designers, UX researchers and product management spent a day early on generating ideas for all the goals we needed to achieve.

— Wireframes

Selecting the best ideas with the team, we moved into creating detailed wireframes and in some cases creating interactions within Axure.

— Area of Improvement

+ Project Management process
+ Content first design process — earlier in the process
+ Leveraging Pre-Made Web Patterns
+ Allow more time to validate ideas early on

— Outcomes

The teamwork on the project was extraordinary — it had to be with such a large amount of personnel dependencies.

One of the challenges with the project was the actual process — which was a classic Waterfall Method. AEO is a large organization with an established process. That process was put in place in the 80’s and a lot has changed since then and waiting for approvals, meetings and change requests can take weeks.

Our team came up with new ways to keep things agile and moving while designs were waiting approval. We worked closely with engineering and content providers early on and kept in constant contact with each department while stakeholders reviewed. This allowed us to develop a few directions in anticipating the change requests.

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