Creative Design Consultant + Speaker | Rolf Nelson | Design By Proxy | Macy’s Social Touch Wall
Design, design thinking, creative, creative thinking, creative leader, creative leadership, graphic design, Dallas, designer, experiential design, design evangelist, creative evangelist, creative speaker, design speaker, design judge, design consultant, creative consultant, user experience, user experience designer, ux, ui, user interface,
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Macy’s Social Touch Wall

Situation

Give Millennials a One-of-a-Kind Customer Experience

 

One of the largest department stores in the world had been partnered with my team for their in-store technology in Herald Square for years. Aside from unique screen configurations throughout the other levels of the flagship, most concepts were relatively homogenous brand marketing messages.

 

They came to us with a bigger, and somewhat open-ended challenge – create a truly unique customer experience for younger shoppers. Macy’s knew that a digital experience could help satisfy this need, and I was excited to help enhance the customer experience in such an iconic location.

Whiteboards and sketches are integral to my collaborative design process development of complex solutions.

Approach

What is your target audience doing?

The client already had in mind hardware that would make a huge splash, even if it just played content without interaction.  A 25 foot by 5 foot wall with a touch overlay was our canvas with which to work. We assumed the physical limitations of the hardware, and began to research the environment immediately surrounding the experience.

 

Some important usability thoughts we strived to solve at the start of this project were:

  • How wide is a comfortable distance away from other users? With 32 touch points, the interface needs to be truly multi-user friendly.

 

  • What height range do the interaction need to lie within? Does the UI exist where a touch engages, or is the entirety of the app the interface with which to interact?

 

  • What sort of content is viable? What sorts of experiences could stay fresh without having the client incur more of an operational cost?
Scale of the physical experience is important when deciding the content, comfortable viewing distance, and style of interaction

Our team surveyed the physical space and strategized on what actions may be taking place nearby. Due to the wall’s proximity to fitting rooms, we concluded they a)may be lounging on nearby couches waiting for someone to try on clothing or just charging their phone b)may just be passing through the area or c) they may actively be looking for an opportunity to engage with the Macy’s brand by snapping photos in the landmark tourist destination the Herald Square store has become.

Following the journey of potential users within the space, we created profiles that fit within the browsing habits of millennial shoppers. This resulted in experiences that could fit into one of three potential silos:

Utility

A digital outfit finder with endless aisle suggestions and filtering based on mood and purpose.
A digital outfit finder with endless aisle suggestions and filtering based on mood and purpose.

Inspiration

See what is trending in other cities and browse exclusive Macy's looks
See what is trending in other cities and browse exclusive Macy's looks

Social

Share your finds with #macyslove. Explore and interact with curated posts in a mosaic
Share your finds with #macyslove. Explore and interact with curated posts in a mosaic
High fidelity wireframe- How do we attract, interact, and assist multiple visitors with a utility style application?

We followed the path of the user from attraction through conversion of each silo. This helped us communicate possibilities with clients that eventually made the determination that the space and experience would be best received if it aligned with our social experience.  This would allow for the most potential concurrent users for our 32-touchpoint overlay as well as give us the ability to leverage a platform that Macy’s was already using to curate a feed on their website.

User Interface Testing

What does the experience look like when not interacted with?
What does the experience look like when not interacted with?
Will a logo be too low resolution to be legible?
Will a logo be too low resolution to be legible?
Would the grid work with full-frame photography?
Would the grid work with full-frame photography?

We began prototyping what the experience really looked like before interaction, the overall interaction design on a single-user basis and also worked towards solving the difficulties for a multi-user interface at the appropriate scale.

Results

At launch the Macy’s social wall helped to create a major PR buzz for Macy’s Herald Square location.  Articles in both print and web publications mentioned both the Social Wall and the Selfie Wall experiences as innovation in retail for the millennial generation.

TEAM
UI/UX:

Rolf Nelson
Corey Dunn

Development:

Adam Lockhart
David Kopaniky

Engineering

Chas Thornhill