Digital Experience Design
How might digital products support and improve her experience and relationship with the brand?
lululemon athletica is a brand that knows its customers well. It invented the yoga apparel category by testing and iterating with a small community of yoga instructors (the first store was a design studio above a yoga studio) to create great apparel products that people love to use and recommend.
I got a first-hand experience of their approach to experience design when I did a stint working at one of their stores in Vancouver (see 10 Things I Learned Working at lululemon).
Years later, while consulting at Blast Radius, I got the chance to work on a design project to understand how digital products could support and improve the customer experience.
Role: I was one of two strategists on this project. I helped write the interview questions; conducted some interviews and supported with others; synthesized primary and secondary research into insights and ideas; wrote insight statements and created the final deliverable, including competitive analysis and brand positioning.
Getting Started with Stakeholder Interviews
We started by meeting with stakeholders from across the company. Our stakeholders were the people who worked on Digital, Brand, eCommerce, Merchandising, and Technology
The stakeholder interviews helped us understand three key pieces of information:
1/ Define the goals and objectives of the research by understanding the goals and needs of each part of the business.
2/ Define our audience by gather and source existing data on lululemon's core customer, and list assumptions about how their customers use and think about digital products.
3/ Learn about the existing product roadmap and how it mapped to business goals.
We wanted to understand what role digital products played in the lives of lululemon’s core customers. What were their motivations and challenges in life and how did technology support that? What were their attitudes and behaviors related to digital products and towards the brand?
We set up in-home interviews with 21 women who represented the core customer profile. The interviews took place in Vancouver, New York City and Los Angeles. By doing in-home interviews we got to hear from the research respondents in their own words and get a sense of their lifestyle. We took pictures of their homes and digital devices to build up context around what they told us.
The interviews started broad with questions about what they do for work and what they do for fun. Then we explored specific areas like social media, mobile, and eCommerce usage, as well as things like their community and fitness routines.
Before going into the interviews we did secondary research to understand the landscape and trends displayed by our target audience around things like social media usage, mobile usage, and health and fitness. We also looked at what competitors and tech startups were doing in the space.
We wrote down as many observations as possible on post-it notes and grouped them into themes.
Going into the interviews, we had made a list of assumptions about how lululemon customers use digital, and now we could start validating some of those and filling them in with color and context.
We used themes that emerged by grouping our observations to write insight statements about how and why our target uses technology. Using these insights, we brainstormed ideas and opportunities for how and where the customer experience could be improved using digital products and content.
"A key learning was that in addition to self-improvement, fitness is often a connection to a community. She uses social media to feel connected and she relies on her phone to plan and schedule her week; reminders and notifications keep her on track so she can fit it all in."
Deliverables and Recommendations
The final deliverable was a presentation and slides that summarized our findings.
Our insights and recommendations were used to inform planning for new digital products and content, as well as new features and improvements for the eCommerce site.