We’ve designed an experience that allows guys to think differently about shopping. At Trunk Club, our mission is to help guys build killer wardrobes, without putting in all of the work and eliminating the paradox of choice. Each member gets matched with an expert stylist that takes the time to understand his needs and puts together a wardrobe for him, one trunk at a time.
We’re just beginning to scratch the surface. There are so many complexities behind undesigning long established shopping patterns. We’ve gotten rid of the checkout process and replaced it with a curated shopping experience. How can we establish new patterns that allow stylists to pack thoughtful trunks? I’m continually learning how to keep myself in check on making the right design decisions.
Creating a focused experience is every designer’s biggest challenge. Here’s some ways I’ve learned to maintain clarity:
Spend Time with the People You’re Designing For
Close that Sketch file, drop that pencil, and step away from that white board. Before diving straight into a solution, the best place to start is with the very people you’re designing for. Don’t wait for a user researcher to get a grasp of your users’ situation.
Catalog what people currently use to solve their problems. What works well for them? What doesn’t? Make a list of these observations. Once you get a clear understanding, identify their biggest pain points, and let that inform your design direction.
Before diving straight into a solution, the best place to start is with the very people you’re designing for.
Challenge Business Requirements
Yes, every great product is connected to business requirements. However, it’s our responsibility as designers to focus on making experiences that are useful & enjoyable.
Designing around increasing a certain metric would be a huge oversight. How would this affect users in the long-term? Does it align with your mission?
The bigger question is, are you focused on achieving your users’ goals? When you put your users’ needs first, business needs will naturally be met.
Designing around increasing a certain metric would be a huge oversight.
Start Recognizing Half-Baked Ideas
Sometimes it’s nice to get ideas from passionate coworkers, your boss and even your users. Whether an idea comes from you or from someone else, be receptive, take note of it, and then ask yourself: Is this idea useful? Does it address the core problems? What do we gain? What do we lose? Is this what we need now?
Don’t just run with an idea because it sounds cool initially. It could become one of those old, useless features that will haunt you and your team until the end of time.
Whether an idea comes from you or from someone else, be receptive, take note of it.
Get Feedback Often
Recognizing problems is only half the battle. Anticipating what people actually want to use is the other half.
Don’t assume your first iteration will be perfect. Test it out with a few users. Are your ideas still worth pursuing? If so, how can you improve the original? Then, test it again!
Also, get feedback from other designers. The strength of a product grows exponentially when two or more designers bounce thoughts off one another.
If you want to design with laser-sharp focus, work with another designer. When you have someone to continually challenge the direction and validate ideas when they make sense, it’s easier to arrive at a strong solution sooner.
The strength of a product grows exponentially when two or more designers bounce thoughts off one another.
When You Find a Moment of Clarity, Never Let It Go
Keep connecting with your users, keep getting feedback, and keep iterating on your designs.
There will always be distractions, but a clear solution will surface. Once you get it, never make compromises, break long established patterns, and keep pursuing that new way to change peoples’ lives.