Chloe Finlayson
Photo-21-10-2016-12-00-24-1600x1200.jpg

Arkive Clothing

Arkive Girls is the female clothing branch of Dundee based fashion retailer Arkive Clothing. I was called in to help re-design their struggling e-commerce website, improving usability and communicating designs effectively to the development team based in Poland.

Along with creating new graphics and artwork for their banners and headers, I worked with members of their target audience to create a more user friendly, responsive journey through the site, which I went on to prototype using Axure. This prototype was not only for testing purposes, but to help communicate interactions and animations effectively to the development team who were based in Poland.

Research

At the start of my journey with Arkive I decided to try and map out the obvious - what is the users objective when they arrive at the site? We came up with many user goals, from window shopping, to comparing prices, to sharing items of clothing with friends to gauge opinions, but the main user goal being to buy an item of clothing. From that point we mapped out all of the things we thought a user might want when making a decision on buying clothes. Some of the points were simple - seeing the clothes photographed on a model, knowing the price or the size, saving an item for later. Other ideas were more complex features, such as creating an outfit by piecing more than one item together, having an exact screen to garment colour match so you know that when it arrives it will look the same as the photographs, or seeing the garment in video so you can get an idea of how it moves and how the fabric sits. Once we had an idea of all of these features we carried out a MoSCoW analysis to decide exactly what was necessary for the new release of the site.

Design

After researching in to customer wants and needs I got some data about their current selling patterns, finding out the items that they sell most of and the types of behaviour currently exhibited on the site. I noted out my proposed information architecture, and began to put together wireframes for the home page, sub pages and product pages.

Wireframes of marketplace experience on mobile

Wireframes of marketplace experience on mobile

I started to mock up these wireframes straight in to Axure, creating interactive prototypes of the site for mobile and for desktop. These prototypes were then passed over to the development team in Poland to communicate user flows and interactions throughout the site.

Finally, I tried to bring a more current visual style to the site. While staying in keeping with their existing brand and colour palette, I created some new, more modern artwork for their home page banners and marketing sections.

Summary

Arkive Clothing was my first piece of real work outside of university, and a great opportunity to exercise some of my skills in a real-world design job. I was hugely fortunate to get such a collaborative and open client, though sadly the updated designs were never launched due to a complete overhaul of their e-commerce systems, merging their 'Girls' line with their mens clothing site.