This week’s assignment was to continue expanding on our venture using experience prototypes.
For me, the first step was to figure out exactly what parts of the experience I need to test. To start, I broke the service into touch-points and ranked them based off of importance to the service, amount of ambiguity, and ease of testing. I then brainstormed a few different ways to use prototypes to explore each touchpoint.
_01. Communicating with a tailor via different methods
I know that a big part of the experience of going to a tailor is being able to look at fabrics and talk with your tailor about what you are looking for. Communicating at a distance and through an app will surely change that dynamic, so I wanted to better understand how this conversation might be handled.
I sketched out three different possible prototypes.
- Fake website with me acting as a tailor, and passing on the messages to the tailor to see how he responds
- Phone or email interview with my tailor. OR get my friend in India, Parvesh, to act as an on-the-ground researcher for me.
- Use an existing tailoring website, and get feedback about what works and what doesn’t
_02. Collecting images of shirts you like, and designing your shirt
I think that one of the great advantages that can be gained by moving the tailoring experience into the digital realm is connecting fashion inspiration from the world around you and sharing it with your tailor to better explain how you want your cloths to look.
Again I sketched out three different ways of prototyping this.
- Use revelation or dScout to fake an app.
- Make a mockup app using AppCooker
- Use pinterest board
_03. Getting your measurements
Clearly one of the big hurdles of removing the in-person element from tailoring is finding a good way to make sure the that clothing made fits perfectly, without being able to try it on and adjust.
The one method I could think of for testing this would be to use a Wizard-of-OZ app that let you feel like you are measuring or taking a picture of a shirt.
_04. Joining the club
One growth strategy that I am considering is to get current customers to invite their friends. I this way the service would spread through social groups and help overcome the high barriers to entry.
To test this I could hand out fake business cards, and study the responses I get.
_05. Waiting and following the package
During the last round of testing one problem that arose was the issue of reluctance to wait for a shirt to get made and shipped across the world. Gubhub handles this waiting problem on a much shorter timescale by letting users closely track their food.
It would be straightforward to test a longer tracking timeline using texts and email, but in the scope of a week, it would be impossible.
One of the few physical touch-points of this service would be the unboxing experience. It’s one of those pieces, then, that is vital to get right. Packaging is fun and easy to test, but seemed a bit pre-mature at this point.
The first approach I took was to try and cook up a app mockup using AppCooker to give out to research subjects. However, after getting it roughed out, I realized that it would not help me understand the questions I needed answering. The people who were looking at it were commenting on the look and feel, moreover it lacked any ability to really interact with, you couldn’t post picture, enter text, etc.
Considering this feedback, I decided to change my tactic and be narrow and more tactial in the experience prototyped. I chose to explore touch-points one and two, using an existing online clothing store and pinterest respectively because they offered a very fast way to test without building my own platform.
I sent out a challenge to a dozen friends, and asked them to forward the message any anyone they believed would be interested. From emails I was CC’s on, I know it went to another 20 people or so. The email contained the following challenges:
Use pinterest to collect images that you think would be useful to show a tailor to explain what kind of shirt you want made (i.e. a shirt with cool cuffs you like). Pins can come from pinterest, other websites, or be your own photos.
To do this please make a pinterest board called Bespoke Club, and share it with me (pinterest name: Drew Raines)
I made a sample: http://www.pinterest.com/drewraines/bespoke-club/
Design a shirt using this online site: http://www.tailorstore.com/tailor-made-shirts
Please take a screen shot of any things that you liked or didn't like about the process.
Challenge 3: (The most important one)
Talk to me about the experience.
Email, phone, or I'll take you out to coffee. Whatever works for you. Whenever works for you.
The results are still out. not surprising in that I only sent the email out a few days ago, and I’m asking a lot.
This process feel a lot like a rushed version of traditional design research, and so less well thought out and thorough then I would normally want. At the same time think it might be a little slow and qualitative for the speed and numbers obsessed startup crowd.
I can’t tell if I found a happy medium between design and startups, or an ineffective compromise of both.