The Oscar de la Renta Immersive Experience

Overview

Our client, Next Retail Concepts captured luxury fashion house, Oscar de la Renta’s Madison Avenue flagship store, providing a new and exciting launchpad for the Resort 2019 collection. The experience allows users to walk through the boutique, interact with 3D products, engage with exclusive runway footage on monitors Next Retail created to showcase marketing assets. The immersive experience was shoppable and frictionless, providing a one of kind experience for the Oscar de la Renta consumer.

ROLE

UI/UX Designer

CLIENT

Next Retail Concepts +

Oscar De La Renta

The Challenge & Approach

Our challenge was to build an immersive e-commerce experience to launch and showcase the company's 2019 Resort Collection. Our store had a series of goals, the first being to make our immersive store feel authentic to the actual Oscar de la Renta flagship store. The store also had to be compatible on mobile, desktop and with VR technologies. Lastly, for brand immersion we built in digital displays to fill with content. Our approach was to breakdown our process into three phases; capture, design, and promotion.

My Role

On this project, I was brought onto the design team as multi-disciplinary designer. I worked on most of the visual elements of the experience including the user interface, onboarding, and navigation. I was also involved in the research and ideation phase, eventually helping to develop the information architecture. I prototyped screens by building quick layouts with HTML + CSS to display to the product team. Closing in on launch date I began to develop and edit runway images and videos to be displayed around the store as well as create promotional material such as video ads and banners to promote the store.

Why Immersive?

Insights

After conducting user interviews and gathering contextual data, we identified key insights to help understand user expectations and behaviors

High Return Rates

Traditional e-commerce has high product return rates due to product inaccuracy or not getting the full picture. Immersive technologies allow you to see products more accurately, close up details, and to scale.

Retaining Customers

Retaining customers can prove to be a challenge, often due to confusing UI and navigation. Users grow frusturated and leave the site; Designing simple UI was imperative for our consumers who were navigating through a non traditional environment.

Lack of Branding

What brick and mortar does better than e-commerce is brand immersion. From the music to in-store art work, physical stores are able to capture a brand better. An immersive store can bridge the gap between physical and digital.

Information Architecture

Using our gathered research and insights, i began working on the information architecture and low-fi concepts for our primary use case. After reviewing early concepts with the Product Managers, Developers, and Stakeholders - we began the transition from low-fidelity mockups to finalized high fidelity visual designs.

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Early Concepts IA
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Early Concepts IA

The Drawing Board

Designing the onboarding process was arguably one of our most important challenges. Accurately describing how to navigate the store was imperative, so users didn't grow frustrated and exit the experience. When I was developing the onboarding instructions, we had several rounds of debate regarding the language and design of our icon animations. My original onboarding animations:

The further we got along in the project, the more we noticed the original language and icons didn't quite explain the process of shopping through the store accurately enough. It also didn't account for the differences between mobile and desktop. So we went back to the drawing board.

Design Solution

After the UX phase began the process of finalizing lo-fi wireframes and building UI components.

3D Products

Our immersive store featured 3D Products that were identified by its own unique 3D product icon. Users were able to rotate, zoom and view up-close details on designer items. This feature was especially important with products that featured delicate details like Oscar de la Renta's Tulip Pave Necklace made with clear pave Swarovski crystals.

Digital Screens

Part of building the immersive store was building floor to ceiling display screens. Strategically placing these screens across the store furthered our goal of brand immersion. I edited video and image content of the Oscar de la Renta's runway collection to be featured across the store.

Data & Analytics

We gathered product analytics regularly, utilizing Google Analytics and Amplitude to prepare dashboards. The data helped us gather data about our users to influence future product iterations and improvements. We identified user paint points for post-launch optimizations.

Promotion & Marketing

In addition to developing the user interface of the experience, i was tasked with creating a series of promotional materials such as banners and social media posts using adobe after effects!

Project Learnings & Impact

Design for the user

As designers, it's important to check our egos. We must always remember the ‘why’. The primary goal is to develop a deep understanding of our users needs, their problems and come up with an iterative process that solves those problems.

The iterative process

When working on a project with complex technologies there will be mistakes, or as I like to call them- learning opportunities. Designing on this project meant that I had to constantly adapt and learn new methods. For example, learning best web practices such as using svg over gifs, pngs and jpgs when possible. Or, learning more effective prototyping methods. I've since used these project learnings on more recent projects.

The Impact

Our social media ads for the experience boasted a 300% CTR vs traditional digital content and resulted in 2x the average e-commerce session length.

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