UI/UX Design

Gear Closet

e-commerce site offering personalized gear advice

Idea generation, UX documentation, user research, wireframing, onboarding design, UI design

The Challenge

Personalized Gear Advice

Skiers, rock climbers, surfers, cyclists, paddlers and other outdoor sport athletes are serious about their gear. Quality gear can offer enhanced comfort, performance and sometimes safety for an activity they may do every day. The best gear allows athletes to perform at their highest level, which presents opportunities for improvement, achievement and having the most fun. Sites like Backcountry have found success in outdoor retail by offering a community of consumers that gives each other advice on which products to buy. Gear Closet aims to take this idea of an advising community one step further by offering users personalized recommendations based on the gear they already own.
Research + Discovery

Outdoor Athletes

Personas were developed around specific user goals for an outdoor e-commerce site: browsing products, viewing details about an item, adding products to a shopping cart, paying for items, signing up for an account and submitting reviews for a product.
After creating the personas, I thought about how each one would navigate around the site. These user flows brought clarity to the site's architecture and the number of steps it takes for the personas to accomplish their goals.
Structure + Wireframes

The Shopping Experience

I sketched out ideas for several e-commerce user experiences including how users would browse, view product details, see and submit ratings and reviews, add items to a cart and then pay for them. I translated these ideas to digital wireframes to further explore the solutions, and then eventually designed the interfaces. The main experience I wanted to focus on, however, was the complicated onboarding process.
gear closet page
Onboarding Design

Keeping the User Engaged

Gear Closet gathers all of the information it uses to offer personalized gear recommendations during its onboarding process. Users add the specific gear they own to a digital gear closet where they can then rate each item on a variety of attributes to find the best replacements. Additionally, beginner athletes can see which gear is recommended for each sport to help them find what they need to get started. The challenge with such a lengthy onboarding process is to keep the user engaged and prevent drop-off. The setup wizard helps keep the user on track and motivated to finish. Additionally, the user is given the option to save and finish their closet later on each page.
I worked through many of the onboarding challenges in the sketching and wireframing phases. The design went through many iterations to figure out the best solution to a somewhat complicated process. In the end, focus was placed on the gear diagram and most of the functionality and interactions were shifted to within the diagram itself.
gear closet diagram
choose jacket
An Invision protoype was created to test the e-commerce idea and onboarding process. Outdoor athlete testers confirmed suspicions that there is some interest in this kind of product. Users liked the idea of the Gear Closet community where they could look up other friends’ (or even pro athletes’) closets to see what kind of gear they recommend. Gear Closet could be the solution outdoor athletes are looking for to get the best gear available.