WithMe Shopping Mobile App
‘Mobile first’ has been the slogan for a majority of businesses in today’s economy, including both old and new players. At WithMe, even though the focus has been placed on the innovative surface of the Big Dipper, mobile strategy still plays an important role in connecting the Big Dipper to other experimental fixtures in our lab such as the smart shopping mirror or the smart shopping table. Think of our mobile application as a virtual cart that shoppers can save and transfer their items from one fixture to another.
CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS
Along with the evolution of WithMe in the realm of retail technology, the business requirements for mobile application have changed constantly and there have been times when its existence was a big question mark. Despite this fact, our design team in collaboration with the mobile team were able to build an MVP (minimum viable product) from the early stage so that we could adapt the mobile strategy accordingly to each season’s deployment.
At the very minimum level, our mobile application has the ability to scan a product and display its information including images, brands, styles, sizes and other attributes. Our app also allows shoppers to create a member account to help them expedite the checkout process on the Big Dipper. Shoppers can also save an item for later. Currently we’re only supporting iOS platform.
Our design team started working on the mobile design back in the fall of 2014 to get ready for the Zappos Pop Up Store. We studied various design patterns from big and small companies who have been excelling in this race for mobile commerce. Anything from a basic Walmart app, to the popular Amazon, or sleek-looking Zara or Spring, we observed as much as we could to build an MVP for our unique needs. Since then, the app has gone through 2 rounds of redesign. I lead the latest redesign project at the beginning of this year and it took me three months to complete.
PROCESS & TOOLS
Working closely with our iOS developer, I gained a lot of knowledge regarding interface guidelines and general UX practices from Apple. I also learned the very basic of Xcode throughout this project working with the mobile developer as well as watching tutorials at home. For design, I used Sketch. Its light-weighted artboard capability allowed me to modify flows and update graphics easily. With Sketch integration, I could also quickly prototype in Principle or InVision.
RESULT & STATUS
This app redesign was released on the Apple App Store in May 2016 for the opening of the Century21 Department Store in Santa Monica. Since then we have had steady increase in the number of downloads as we expected it to be a secondary tool after the Big Dipper. Look for “WithMe Store” and you will find it on the app store.