picThrift header image. Camera library screen and a clothes that match screen in white iphone mockups

Overview

Duration: 5 days

Tools used: Miro and Figma

Team: Ryan Untalan, Leyla Kaplan, and Laura Muñoz

Project Context

Design Challenge

How might we empower people to make clothing choices that are beneficial to human and non-human agents?

Design Response

Our 4 core screens: profile, camera library, matches, shopping bag review

picThrift helps…

  • give new life to second-hand clothes by facilitating a relationship between second-hand clothes and a new owner.
  • make it easy to second-hand shop by streamlining the process for finding second-hand clothing alternatives that fit you.

Problem Setting

Team Alignment

Problem Space

Research

Research Questions

  1. What products currently exist that promote shopping sustainably?
  2. What are the barriers to shopping sustainably?

Formative Research

Insights

  1. Common motivators to sustainable shopping: Through our interviews, common motivators to sustainable shopping include people caring about sustainability, prices are lower, and an interest in vintage fashion.
  2. Existing products prove demand: With our competitive analysis, we found many existing products within this problem space, which proves demand. There are thrift stores such as Goodwill, online thrift stores like Thredup, Social media clothing swap groups, and clothing companies that focus on creating sustainable clothing products like Patagonia.
  3. Several perceived barriers to shopping sustainably: Through our interviews and competitive analysis, we discovered that thrift shopping online or in-store is a time-consuming task and that it’s difficult to find clothes that fit. Sustainable clothing brands such as Patagonia are expensive. Also, in some cultures, there are negative connotations to second-hand clothes shopping.

How might we?

How might we empower people to make clothing choices that are beneficial to human and non-human agents?

Ideation

Braiding

Concept Suite

Our top 4 concepts:  Thrift Finder, Light Style, Paperless Doll, and Green Baby
Our top 4 concepts:  Thrift Finder, Light Style, Paperless Doll, and Green Baby
  1. Thrift Finder: A mobile application that allows you to take a photo of a clothing item then find the second-hand clothing alternative.
  2. Light Style: A browser extension that displays a sustainable and ethical score for clothing items at any online store.
  3. Paperless Doll: A web app where users can create a doll with their shape/size/height and face to digitally try on sustainable and second-hand clothing.
  4. Green Baby: A service, tool, and network that helps parents and their babies live sustainably, affordably, and conveniently.

We shared our concepts with our classmates for critique. Thrift Finder received the most interest, and we learned that people liked how easy it seemed to integrate into their lifestyle.

Down-Selection

Prototyping

Information Architecture

Information architecture for the picThrift mobile application
Information architecture for the picThrift mobile application

Figma

Wired up frames on Figma
Wired up frames on Figma

Usability Testing

  • The app can use more guiding text. It wasn’t immediately obvious what our application did. One participant suggested that we implement an onboarding or add more guiding texts to highlight how to use the app.
  • Not used to buying items on the phone. Both participants mentioned that they do most of their online shopping on a desktop, so they weren’t used to buying things through an app.
  • The name Thrift Finder was confusing. The name Thrift Finder made it seem like that the app would find local thrift stores. I suggested that we change our product’s name to picThrift to highlight the photo feature.

Final Results

Here is a gif of our prototype. The prototype goes through the user flow of creating a profile and purchasing an item.
Here is a gif of our prototype. The prototype goes through the user flow of creating a profile and purchasing an item.

Reflection

Future Work

  • Search/ Filter UI. One key feature that we want to add in the future is the search and filter interface. We believe that this feature will help streamline the process for finding the perfect second-hand clothing alternative.
  • Explore browser extension feature. People don’t normally buy clothes on their phones. Based on our usability tests, we found that our participants prefer to shop for clothes on a desktop interface. So one potential way of integrating picThrift onto the desktop is through a browser extension. While browsing through an online clothing store, the browser extension can notify the user if an item has a second-hand alternative.

Takeaways

  • Collaborate with multiple perspectives. Shoutout to Leyla and Laura! I greatly appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with them. Throughout the design process, each of us brought a different perspective that allowed us to learn and build on each other’s ideas. I believe our unique experiences and skills helped us to design a more informed product. In addition, getting critiques from my classmates helped me refine the concepts and understand how to communicate my ideas more clearly.

Master's student @ UW MHCI+D

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