Consultation, Research, UX




SSENSE is an international online fashion retailer of over 150 luxury brands with over 2 million visitors per month.


My Role

I worked with their Design and Marketing departments to implement a wishlist function that would enhance the experience of their current e-commerce and support future initiatives. 

As this was SSENSE's first exposure to UX, it was critical for me to provide a thorough walkthrough with each deliverable and ensure that they were receiving what they needed to move forward with implementation.


Framing the problem / Deciding on the approach

In a consulting role, I had to properly scope the project given their business restrictions and individual needs. The project had an urgent due date and SSENSE wanted to insert the proposed wishlist solution into their development sprint as soon as possible. For deliverables, we settled on a lean competitive review/analysis, user flows, and mockups.


Research results

I compiled all the key insights and analyzed the research to discover three major problems users were experiencing when using Grailed.

  1. The app was not delivering a complete experience
  2. The experience of browsing and discovering items on the site wasn't meeting user needs
  3. The community of Grailed was interacting with each other in a negative way

After consulting the Grailed team, they decided to have me focus on finding ways to improve the community (3).


Opportunity for improvement

Community behaviour isn't something that can instantly be fixed. The approach would be to give users features and tools that would promote more positive behaviour.

Personas, journey mapping and insights from research helped identify elements of the service that were contributing towards the undesirable community that users were describing. 


Reducing anonymity

On Grailed, profiles only consisted of a custom username and country of location to identify users. Less information about other users lead to a less personable experience. This was identified as an important aspect of why users lacked empathy when negotiating purchases and sales. 


More human interactions

Grailed users felt an absence of community and connection with other users. Grailed didn't have the same forum experience they were used to, such as having avatars to identify other users by.


Better feedback

Grailed's feedback page lacked detail, information and felt unimportant to users. This deterred people from leaving quality feedback as well reducing their trust in the feedback ratings.




Designing the solution

Below are annotated mockups of proposed changes - feel free to click on an image to expand it.

Nearly every change was made for the goal of empowering users to interact positively in the community. Since shifting a culture is a gradual process with no direct solution, it was important to communicate the rationale and supported research on the proposed changes.







Balancing fidelity

I approached the project with the intention of delivering a solution that could be implemented using the existing Grailed design. As it turns out, leveraging the existing design allowed me to transition from sketches to high fidelity mockups without sacrificing detail or speed. This was beneficial in user testing as well as presenting to the Grailed team as they could visualize and interact with the prototypes much easier.

Finding the right solution

At one point, I was so focused on how to "fix" the negative Grailed user behaviour instead of designing ways to improve the community. I had to remind myself that human behaviour and interactions can't be instantly changed with a design. The real goal revolved around delivering features and improvements to users for better interactions.