Made by Women, For Women
A Peer-To-Peer Clothing Rental Place
Founder and director of Dressmate, Jennifer Simons, reached out to our General Assembly UX team, Ella Kaplan, Adam Klein, and myself, to review her existing responsive site and recommend design and branding evolutions to help improve the user experience.
Roles were shared equally across research and design.
“We're not about having you spend your money on a dress you're only going to wear once. Paying full price makes our eyes roll. So when we set out to create a platform to rent out clothing, we wanted something easy - easy for you to make money and easy for you to rent a killer outfit. The result is everything we hoped and dreamed it would be, and more.”
We started by crafting a first problem statement and analyzing Dressmate’s business structure. We then evaluated Dressmate’s current website platform, and interviewing current and potential users. From these insights, we came up with a design solutions to expand upon user engagements. We conducted two usability tests on the design iterations and a close-ended card sort for content structure.
We approached the story by asking ourselves a few questions. What is the reality for female college students? What does never-ending course work look like? How do the students find the time and resources dress up to an event? How can sustainability play a central part when choosing clothing when it’s time to dress to impress?
These questions let to the following contextual and problem statement:
Female college students struggle to find clothing they want to wear for parties and special occasions because of their limited budget and wardrobe. As a solution, they tend to share clothing with their friends, but encounter limited sizing options and don't fully trust their friends to return items in good condition.
How might we help female college students expand their clothing options in an affordable and reliable way?
In order to understand Dressmate’s business goals and structure, we broke down Dressmate’s business into its core components by creating a Business Model Canvas.
Dressmate has a large value proposition, ranging from being more sustainable to building a community
Customer segments are at the moment are restricted to universities, which has a pre-existing community but has a transient customer base
Dressmate is more of a tech company than a fashion or clothing company
Platform is suited to both renters and lenders
The competitive matrix is a visual analysis of where a brand fits in the marketplace. Showing Dressmate on this matrix alongside competitors helped us understand who is their direct competitors as well as discover the true value of what the company really stands in comparison to their competitors.
Dressmate’s most direct competitors in based off of range of offerings and in the renting space is DressedGPS, Gwynnie Bee and Rent the Runway
There are almost no competitors that are operating as both a rental company and marketplace that are targeting college students
In person usability tests were conducted with 5 undergraduate students, two from New York University, two from Barnard, and one student from Muhlenberg College.
5/5 Users liked the aesthetics of the website (pre-login)
4/5 Users wanted a better search function specifically for searching other users
2/5 Users said the following for task 3 (posting an item)
— suggested having pricing suggestions
— wasn’t engaged filling out form (i.e. felt tedious to fill out)
2/5 Users said the following for task 3 (searching for other users)
— Weren’t sure where to find college page (indirect)
— Felt annoyed scrolling through all of the users
— Suggested it to be in alphabetical order
— Commented that it suited a millennial/Gen z audience
— Felt it was well laid out
— Preferred the look of the website (pre-login) to the website app
— Liked Instagram integration
— Appreciated variety in selection and brand
— Felt more personal than competitors
Compared to all 3 competitors, Dressmate is missing search, sign-up incentive, chat feature, help guide, and member stories.
Features that Dressmate has that their competitors don’t have is price filter and owner ratings
Something that two of the comparators are offering is different membership and rental packages
There is a larger range of differences between the comparators versus the competitors
In order to evaluate the current website, we conducted heuristics to understand the effectiveness of Dressmate’s web-app for current users. We utilized the Abby method, rating the home page, the on-boarding process, browse listings page, checkout and create a listing in ten categories on a scale from 1-5.
Overall, the website scores in the higher ranks, between 3.4 to 4 (1 being lowest, and 5 highest)
The areas that need improvement are in delightfulness, findability, accessibility and credibility