Spring 2019

Sensable

Role
AI design
Branding
Copywriting
Motion design
UI + UX design
UX research
Voice design

Question

Can we create dynamic & inclusive experiences by targeting multiple senses as interaction points?

Often, the default in interaction design is to focus on visual experiences, but this leaves a lot to be desired for those who can't interact with those experiences because of certain impairments. Additionally, offering a single "flow" for all users further limits engagement. To combat this, I completed an exploration of how to design sensory interactions and utilize artificial intelligence to create personalized, inclusive experiences. To give this study real-life context, I created journeys for users who want to learn about sustainable fashion, an industry with a reputation for poor representation.

Need space

Inclusive educational experiences drive engagement

As the sustainable fashion movement has migrated from the fringes to mainstream markets, customers are searching for reliable resources to educate themselves. However, the sustainable fashion industry has a privilege problem. A lot of brands don't use diverse models in terms of size, race, age or ability, and price points are outside the budget of many shoppers. This contributes to a culture of shaming those who can't afford to shop "sustainably." Sensable aims to cast a wider net by focusing on inclusive interaction and representation to drive engagement across target users.

Sensory audit

Eliminate pain points by diversifying interactions

When comparing popular interactive experiences, most heavily rely on one or two senses. Amazon's Alexa uses sound. Most desktop web experiences use sight. But, by offering multiple ways to interact with the product and varying those types of interactions, a more inclusive, dynamic experience emerges. Employing AI shifts the pressure from users to define their experience and puts that burden on the algorithm, creating simplified, yet robust interactions.

Motivation

Access to resources encourages commitment

Pursuing sustainability in fashion is too important to alienate people who want to help. Sensable arms shoppers with reliable facts and resources to help them make ethical, sustainable choices regardless of economic status.

If you're interested, read the full research report HERE.

Competitive audit

Verify learning through quizzes

Learning does not end with awareness. After completing a competitive audit of Duolingo, I added a "quiz" function so people could track their knowledge growth as they use Sensable. I continued to explore alternative interaction methods so taking quizzes was delightful, not tedious.

Persona #1

Alexandra, 33

Goals Uncover the privilege and inclusivity problem prevalent in sustainable fashion

Alexandra is starting her own sustainable fashion line focusing on inclusive sizing. She's an expert on sustainable fashion, but finds the industry almost exclusively caters to women of a certain size, shape and skin color. She wants to skip the facts she already knows, and learn about the privilege problem.

Persona #2

Paulina, 65, Visually impaired

Goals Learn about brands and tactics that help her make more informed, ethical purchases

A conversation with Paulina's granddaughter sparked her interest in sustainable fashion. She has a median level of knowledge, but wants to find out more about the industry's social and economic impact. She's self-motivated, but often finds herself discouraged with mobile experiences of her visually impairment.

Persona #3

Sydney, 24, Hearing impaired

Goals Discover the best way to dispose of old clothes and learn about the impact of waste in fashion

Sydney is a model who accumulates a lot of clothing when she's doing photo shoots. She's a beginner in learning about sustainable fashion, so she wants to learn about the best practices when it comes to recycling, selling and reusing clothing. She's a digital native, but her hearing impairment limits her access to experiences.

Paper wireframes

Creating useful wireframes for a dynamic experience

When designing for AI, the experience can change drastically and quickly with each user, so typical wireframes would be unnecessarily time consuming. I rapidly prototyped the information architecture on index cards to help guide the development of hi-fidelity experience screens.

Visual identity

Developing a visual identity for multiple meanings

Sensable's identity is built on the idea of contrasts, so visual elements like the organic edges of the torn paper and the earthy color palette contrast with the ultra-technical typography. The logo mirrors those soft edges with the hand lettered "S" whose shape also suggests a needle and thread creating a stitch. This "stitch" can also be interpreted as a break, a call out to Sensable's emphasis on breaking the fashion industry's practices. Finally, the "S" evokes the visual of an infinity sign to emphasize the important lasting effects of shopping sustainably.

Next steps

Finding larger testing groups

The ideation phase of this project took the most time as I experimented with different potential ways to interact with this product. I want to complete a series of user tests with participants with a variety of impairments and those who feel under-represented in interactive experiences.

All rights reserved © 2019 Emma Comtois