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SWISH

Comprehensive application design:
safeguarding our future and wardrobes through blockchain innovation

Timeline: May - June 2023, 6 weeks

Tools: Figma / Miro / Photoshop

Role: UX / UI Designer end to end

End to end app design for securing our future and our wardrobes with blockchain technology

Swish helps users to safely and securely buy, sell and protect their clothing within the second hand cloths market. Swish services are inline with the 2020 EU Green Deal to promote circularity, sustainability and transparency within the fashion industry. This deal will be implemented in 2026. Swish achieves this by using blockchain technology to provide incorruptible open access information to both users and fashion brands.

Background

With a value estimated between $100 to $120 billion worldwide, the apparel, footwear, and accessories resale market has nearly tripled in size since 2020. Recent surveys have shown that sustainability is an increasingly popular driving force for purchasing second-hand clothing, as is the thrill of the hunt and the opportunity to barter with sellers. Product variety remains important and is still the second biggest driver behind second-hand consumption, no doubt powered by the increasing popularity of resale apps.

The problem

As competition in resale platforms increases, secondary markets must remain relevant to their existing audiences and provide services that will increase their reach to new audiences. Conversely the primary market has seen a decrease in sales and needs to develop strategies to compete within this booming resale market.

Critical consideration

The EU Commission proposed the Ecodesign Regulation in March 2022 as part of the 2020 EU Green Deal to promote circularity, sustainability, and transparency for all physical goods sold in the EU market. This will be implemented in 2026.

The process

Research

  • Secondary research

  • Competitor analyses

  • User interviews

  • Affinity maps

Define

  • Personas

  • User journey map

  • Task flow

  • Information architecture

Ideate

  • Wireframes

  • Style tile and Logo

  • UI design

  • Component library

  • Prototype

Usability Testing

  • Usability testing

  • Iteration

Competitor analyses

Through competitor analysis I discovered it is difficult to authenticate items, quality issues regularly occur and prices are increasing.

SUMMARY

Second hand market app for everyone.

“trend” led app that focuses on a younger urban “London” audience.

High end luxury fashion items for a high net worth audience.

Second hand market app for an older mature audience.

WEAKNESS

The authenticity of items can not be guaranteed

Brand conscious users drive higher prices for items.

Takes a % fee for the sale, authentication and quality control of the item.

Only operates in 4 countries US, Can, Aus, India. Has high selling fees. No direct messaging availability.

STRENGTHS

Buyer protection and delivery fees are included in the price. There are no other additional charges.

Strong foothold with a younger audience in a 150 countries.

Authentication and quality control services are available.

Has a number of different payment options. Sellers have promotion opportunities.

The solution

I asked myself if there was a simple solution that could guarantee shoppers of item traceability, authenticity and a fair retail price.

High level design goals

  • Guarantee incorruptible information on items.

  • Ensure the history of items is traceable.

  • Connect brands to the secondary market.

Research

Two areas of research that were critical to the project’s value proposition were identified.

Sharing of information, security and tracking with blockchain technology.

User pain points and motivation for secondary market shopping.

Secondary research

My secondary research was primarily focused on blockchain technology as I was already aware of its potential application. I sought out case studies of its application within the retail market. I also arranged several meetings with professionals working within the fashion industry, data science and digital technology industry to discuss the problems I was trying to resolve.

My research goals were:

Understand what issues shoppers face and why they buy cloths on the secondary market. I also wanted to asses their understanding of block chain technology, it's functionality and what they thought about it.

User research affinity mapping

I conducted five user interviews to understand why shoppers choose to buy clothing on the secondary market and what key issues they faced.

Key findings

Users want accurate information to ensure they are buying high quality authentic items inexpensively. Profit driven and easy reselling of items are the key incentives for users to recycle their cloths through the online secondary market. Traceability of the physical items is important for both the users of the application but also fashion brands. Users and fashion brands have little understanding of blockchain technology, how they want to engage with it and its application in the industry. Fashion brands reputation and earnings are affected by the secondary market through counterfeit products. Fashion brands would like to be more connected to their community who make use of the secondary marketplace.

“If there was a way of the application guaranteeing all the products information to be 100% correct then I would feel happy to spend even more money on a piece of clothing than I already do.”

Georgia, research participant #4

Defining the audience and application features

Shoppers want incorruptible, traceable information that they can easily digest and use to make reassured and well considered decisions.

Personas

Shoppers want incorruptible, traceable information that they can easily digest and use to make reassured and well considered consumer decisions.

Blockchain technology integration

Blockchain technology is being explored by top fashion brands Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Cartier.

 

Upon scanning the engraved QR code in Bulgari’s watches, owners gain access to NFT art work, along with information to verify the watch's authenticity.

 

Louis Vuitton has conceived a blockchain solution for proving the authenticity of their products.

 

Prada Group and Cartier have collaborated to launch the Aura Blockchain Consortium to reinforce trust and transparency in the fashion industry. The platform helps trace the source of raw materials, tracks the product during manufacturing, and provides immutable ownership certificates.

User flows and navigation

The user flows were the most challenging part of this project. With little to no examples of blockchain technology integrated within the secondary market the user flows were consistently iterate upon as the project progressed. Each user flow had to incorporate the additional utility and functionality of blockchain technology. Three key user flows were identified and designed to create the minimal viable product that would enable the user to achieve their core needs. 

1. Onboarding

2. Buying

3. Selling

Wireframing + User flows

BUYING

SELLING

RECEIVING

ONBOARDING

Ideation and design

BRANDING AND STYLE TILE

The branding and style tile needed to feel markedly different from the current apps on the market. It needed to feel relevant to younger digital natives whilst not alienating older audiences who are currently engaged in the second hand markets.

COLOR PALETTE

Due to the colourful products occupying the majority of the screen space I wanted to use colour sparingly within the UI components. Where colour was applied I wanted to ensure that it caught the users attention immediately.

TYPOGRAPHY

Sans serif font was used with additional line spacing to ensure the text was easily read and understood.

LOGO EXPLORATION

The word “swishing” within the UK is the act of meeting up with friends to swap cloths. The word “swish” is also used in relation to completing a task or an action very quickly. The phonetical word play makes it easily interchangeable with the words switch or swap. All of these words and their meanings in addition to symbolism of the “recycle arrows” speak to the brands attributes and the applications key features.

BRAND ATTRIBUTES

Trustworthy, efficient, reliable, environmentally conscious.

Component library

The component library was populated as I created the high fidelity designs. This component library helped to increase the speed at which I created subsequent future screens and later phases of the project.

High fidelity design

After I integrated clothing passports and blockchain technology into a secondary cloths market I then began to create the high fidelity designs and a prototype. At this stage I revisited my user research key findings to ensure that my designs addressed these critical points.

Users can “Make an offer” on an item with guaranteed knowledge of how much the item has previously been sold for by looking at its blockchain passports traced resale history.

Users are encourage to recycle their clothing through a highly efficient design that makes it easy to enter a new passport into their wallet or upload an item and its metadata onto the market.

While users are brought onboard, they are simultaneously educated on the key aspects of blockchain technology.

Fashion brands can be fully integrated into the second hand market, by giving their clothing items unique QR codes that can be scanned with Swish, to generate unique passports on the blockchain. Brands will be able to update these passports with any information necessary thus connecting them to secondary market whilst retaining the anonymity of the shopper.

Usability testing

TESTS WERE CONDUCTED WITH TWO GOALS:

​1. Are users able to complete each of the 3 key user flows?

​2. Do users understand how blockchain technology is being used?

Findings

The QR code scanner button was initially unidentifiable by 4 test subjects. The “+” for adding a new wardrobe was incorrectly identified as the QR code scanner button. It was also felt that instructions should be given on how to add a passport to the wallet. 

 

When trying to sell an item from their wallet all test subjects ignored the “Sell” button and immediately tried to select an item from their wardrobe.

The delivery address of the passport was repeatedly queried when purchasing an item, as users did not know what it was or what it meant.

Users were unsure what details could be amended when trying to edit a listing from their wallet.

 

The interactive map embedded within the items passport showed a sale history, however, users were unable to identify which historical sale was being represented on the map.

Revisions

All the suggested revisions were considered to be priority iterations.

BEFORE

AFTER

The QR code scanner button was labelled to help make it more identifiable. The “+” add wardrobe button was placed next to the word wardrobe to increase their association. Lastly, a simple instruction to add a passport was included.

BEFORE

AFTER

The sell button and an additional three tasks from the user flow that were no longer relevant were removed . Users now simply select the item they want to sell and then continue to move through the flow.

BEFORE

AFTER

The word “wallet” was added to the address check out information to enable the user to identify what the address was for. Additionally the address was added inside the wallet so that users would be able to easily locate it.

BEFORE

AFTER

By highlight the historical sale that is being represented on the map, users are able to make the association between the two pieces of information.

The naming of the edit buttons were changed to differentiate them from the buttons that were available when selling the item. This change in buttons will help to guide the user when making changes.

BEFORE

AFTER

Conclusion

The incorruptible nature of blockchain technology has not gone unnoticed by the fashion industry as they seek to meet the requirements of the EU Ecodesign regulations, continue to battle counterfeit items and the boom of the second hand market. The solutions provided by Swish give users and fashion brands the ability to help organise and recirculate these digital certificates / NFTs / passports and their physical items within a platform ready to support new EU regulation and a circular economy.

Reflections and next steps

The majority of the revisions were around the use of buttons. The over use of these specific interaction points such as the "Sell" button was not intuitive to the user. Where as the QR scanner button was not well known and therefore needed labelling. More careful consideration will need to be made in relation to the need for these specific points of interaction and where perhaps other more intuitive interactions can be implemented. 

The greatest challenge of this project was sticking to a six-week time constraint especially considering there were very few examples of work that could be drawn upon during ideation. It helped me to approach the project from an agile perspective to focus on the minimum viable product to ensure that I could demonstrate the utility of swish. If this project were to be further developed the next feature would be focused on users ability to create positive social media content by using engaging statistics on the environmental impact of their wardrobe. The data would be collated from all the passports that they held. Lastly, a critical point to consider for the next stage, would be to ensure that the designs supported an open system approach with other blockchain technology. 

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