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How Gap Inc. learns by using fast feedback

4 min read
Eli Woolery  •  Oct 11, 2018
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Gap Inc. and its brands Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Old Navy, and Intermix have been known for bringing accessible fashion to the masses since opening the first Gap store in San Francisco in 1969. Now, they’re facing competition from a plethora of online retailers, and the company is answering by investing more in customer experiences. This apparel company isn’t afraid of doing research to improve not only their online presence, but their in-store experiences.

In our latest Design Genome Report, we explore how Gap Inc.’s superpower—learning with fast feedback—is helping their team experiment and iterate, creating great experiences for their customers, both online and in-store.

“Our teams are constantly inspired with new and creative ideas – but that doesn’t mean every idea will work. What really matters is that they are good for the customer and improve their experience. We invest effort in small tests to see how the customer reacts and allow the customer to be the advocate.”
Greg Schuler, Gap Inc. Head of Design
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How to design like Gap Inc.

  • Incorporate non-traditional feedback. Building prototypes in Sketch and InVision for testing is a core part of the process. Tests are often set up in the “Gapateria” at lunch to draw people in, where employees are bribed with candy to get them to talk through a problem and show them a prototype.
  • Start research early. Many projects start with early research, which takes on a variety of forms: focus groups, guerrilla research, or just talking to people about their shopping habits.
  • Know your users. “We’re looking at the delta between how people finish the process of checkout on mobile vs. desktop,” said Scott Noblit, Director of Interaction Design. “We saw a big opportunity on mobile. It’s becoming the biggest percentage of our customers’ attention.”

The Design Genome Project, which explores the DNA of the world’s best design teams, gives you concrete examples of what drives the success of the companies you admire and helps you build a body of evidence for investing in design. Check it out!

Want to learn more about user research? Check out: