American Eagle Outfitters

Design consulting for leading global specialty retailer offering high-quality, on-trend clothing, accessories and personal care product.

#web-design  #ux  #ui  #design-consulting

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— Role Details

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.

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— Discovery

User Insights
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.

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Team White-Board Sessions
Although not very nice to look at, sketching ideas with a small team of UX designers, UI designers, UX researchers and product management is highly effective. It's 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.

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— Design

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

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Hi-Fi Designs
Team selected & user tested wireframes to drive hi-fi designs.

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— Reflection

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 a variety of ideas to make things more agile 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.

Although all goals were met working within older waterfall paradigms added a layer of complexity that took time away from in-depth user testing before launch. 

Ways to Improve

  • Project Management process
  • Understand clients-process before project begins
  • Content first design process — earlier in the process
  • Leveraging Pre-Made Web Patterns to improve efficiency and communication across departments
  • Allow more time to validate ideas early on

Edgar Fleming
Design Consultant
UX, UI & IxD

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