Contracted as UX / UI design consultant to assist AEO with multiple objectives during the summer in preparation for the following holiday season — which is retails most important time of year.
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.
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.
AEO is a large organization with an established process and one of the challenges with the project was the actual process – which was a classic waterfall method. That said, our team came up with new ways to keep things agile within our own process.
Phase 1: Requirements
Phase 2: Design
Phase 3: Approval
Phase 4: Development
Phase 5: Updates
Before dividing the project up into pieces, we worked as a team to get a good understanding on where the team had before (before we arrived) and where they wanted to go. We also took time to get to understand the users.
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.
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.
Sketching ideas with 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. It was helpful to have everyone in the same room all day in case a question came up or we needed access to a particular report or metric.
Selecting the best ideas with the team, we moved into creating detailed wireframes and in some cases creating interactions within Axure.
The effort was a success with all deliverables on time, technical issues resolved, user-testing and all within budget.