This presentation was given after a 2 week solo UX project during the fall 2014 UX Design Immersive in Boston. The client is fictional and the prototype is just a concept, but the experience of designing for the brief was fun and very real.
I set out on a journey to understand what buying
school uniforms was really like for parents…
…and if there were pain points in the process, or unmet
customer needs that might create new business
opportunities for a company like trueSpirit…
…in the next 8 minutes, I will show you how empowering
schools to directly influence what parents buy their children
for school might create increased value for parents,
schools and trueSpirit…
How is purchasing behavior for school uniforms different
from similar types of shopping experiences?
- A large purchase, once a year in a short time frame
- Very different mindset for customers than casual shopping
Sarah does not take purchasing her son’s uniform
“The way Josh looks every day is a reflection on our family. I don’t him looking
sloppy. His clothes have to last the whole year, and he wears (and is seen in
them) every day. I look at his uniforms as an investment.”
“I don’t have a lot of time during the week to do laundry. I buy five of each item,
one for each day, and do laundry on the weekends.”
“Shopping for school uniforms can be draining. Most school’s really only give
you a list and you have to do all the legwork. We’re new to St Lukes and I don't
know anyone. How do I know I got everything?
A Parent’s Perspective
What information do parents need to make purchasing
Up to Date School Dress Code Policy
Physical and online locations where uniforms can be purchased
Dates when uniforms become available
How do I know if a given piece of clothing will get my kid into trouble?
How do parents get the information they need?
Web - Info is often vague, many companies offer competing shopping services with varying quality.
Other parents - What if I’m new to the area?
School administrators + direct school mailings email - Most accurate
“The decisions I make about the school’s dress code need to work for
everyone because they affect everyone. School-wide meetings are a
constant reminder of that”
“The board wants the student body to look traditional, but kids are
always pushing boundaries, the number of vendors is increasing and
parents look to me for advice about what’s ok and what’s not”
“Mailers and email is the primary way I send parents information
about the school’s dress code”
The School Administrator’s Perspective
If direct communication between school administrators
and parent’s is so important, how might we make this
communication more effective/actionable?
Getting the obvious mistakes done early…
Project 1 Paper Prototyping Several Rounds of REALLY
Testing and Iteration
Giving More Control To School Administrators !
Find new vendors and options
that can be offered to parents
Create an “essentials” list for
parents who want a quick and
complete shopping experience
that St Lukes influence.
Create a broad “approved list”
that still fit the dress code
guidelines. Publish the list online
so that parents can use it to shop.
Provide administrators a way to
tell Parents that “approved” and
“essentials” shopping lists are
Find New Looks Narrow to Essentials
Decide What Works Notify Parents via email
Increasing Parent’s Confidence !
Make communication between
schools and parents more
meaningful and immediately
Educate parents about what they
need, while allowing schools
more influence over the options.
Setup An Account
and Find Your School
Receive St. Luke’s Email Browse Uniforms
Explore ways for parents to come
to the site have a personal
experience that allows them to
find exactly what they need for
their child’s school.
Increase shopper confidence that
they got everything they needed
in one purchase, that clothes with
last the year and make the family
proud, and that kids will “fit in” on
Key Insights from Testing Hi-Fi Prototype
Visual Layout Makes sets feel
“complete”, increasing confidence
Parents like to see clothes laid out on the page and
grouped the way that they think about them when
they’re dressing their children or packing for a
What’s the best one available?
Parents will work comfortably inside the bounds
of what’s approved, and want to comparison shop
when options are finite. “Best is subjective”.
Visual Layout Reduces Sticker-
Shock and encourages additional
Test subjects were willing to keep shopping, when
they saw that “everything” was not that much.
Although a lot of the prototype is throw-away, a few
elements yielded strong reactions and those led to key
If I hadn't prototyped the entire process (mostly
throwaway) I would never have had the eureka