Art direction, Design, Business Analysis, UX Research
With an emerging "luxury" market, the Herald Weekly Times were seeking to create a high end lifestyle brand, that could pair current editorial pieces from sister sites like Vogue, GQ and Body and Soul with an e-commerce platform
Understanding our market and users (or potential users) was the first challenge. Looking at the current user profiles, demographics and behaviours highlighted that our user base was predominantly male, and predominatly older (over 55). Part of this design would be to undertake extensive competitive analysis and research to explore what the younger (18-40 year old) female audience were currently consuming, what their goals and pain points were and how we could make the experience better and more rewarding to attract them to our digital space
"It wasn't looking at just our current user behaviour, it was looking at the users we WANTED to have"
We started off with a collaborative lean approach. Through competitive analysis, analytics and pairing insights from the CX team (such as current Nielson Norman ratings, and user funnels) we developed 5 key personas. Each persona had the common thread of using the internet or social media as a platform where they discovered brands and took inspiration or made a purchase. We discovered that there were different versions of luxury and while some personas would spend highly in one area (eg homewares) they would not necessarily spend highly in others (eg travel or beauty). What they did all have in common though was an interest in editorial pieces and reviews on items that were of interest to them and a convenient way to find sales and discounts on preferred items.
With the idea validated, that a centralised location of editorial pieces and an e-commerce platform was one users would enjoy, we got to work rapidly prototyping "Luxe for Less". A mid-range luxury site with a focus on luxury homewares, skincare and experiences. A place with genuine reviews and the ability to purchase their favourite luxury brands at a discounted rate. Conducting remote usability tests on the prototypes allowed us to refine and validate the idea before development began. The estimated rollout date is mid-2018.