ribot were approached by entrepreneur and co-founder of Style Counsel Sophia Matveeva. Sophia and her developer co-founder had a clear idea for their start up, which they had researched. Their original idea was to create a mobile app that would offer a safe, fun space where people can ask for feedback on their fashion outfits and receive answers from both style experts and other members of the community. Their eventual goal is to become the method women use to decide what to wear and buy, receiving personal style advice on a mobile without having to pay a stylist fee. We suggested a design sprint approach to take the team from an idea to prototype in a quick, lean and iterative way.
The Style Counsel app is like a personal stylist in your pocket. Take a selfie or a photo of an outfit and get immediate feedback from fashion bloggers and friendly female community. The fashion bloggers in the community have huge followings on other social media platforms. Using Style Counsel the bloggers will provide personalized style help. The aim is to help other women & make shopping fun. Sophia Matveeva, founder, says “I’ve sat in a changing room in my underwear for ages waiting for my friends to get back to me, I wanted their advice on the outfit I was thinking of buying, often we’d be in different time zones and the answers would come too late.” This kind of fashion dilemma gave her the idea to help women crowdsource advice for stylists and other fashionistas.
ribot follow a user-centred, product design sprint process, based on the Google Venture design sprint. This approach can increase speed to market and reduce risks along the way. Our team worked together with the Style Counsel team to facilitate them through this process. We put the Style Counsel customer at the centre of the innovation, so together we could design a product users would want to use. Together we mapped a core user journey through a series of design thinking exercises. During this process we use behavioural insights using Coglode Nuggets.
The storyboard provided us with a user journey that we were able to design screen by screen into a working prototype. For Style Counsel we created a prototype using InVision. The prototype allowed user testers to walk through the journey and get a feel for what the final product would be like.
Together with Style Counsel we recruited testers for the last day of the sprint, where we allowed real users to walk through and test this working prototype. We also worked together to create the interview script. Testers could vote on the look to reveal the results, making them feel like they were using a real app. The qualitative feedback we collated, gave Style Counsel the insight to iterate the prototype. Sophia and her team were also able to use the prototype and the results to secure future funding for the next phase of their journey.
We held two design sprints with the Style Counsel. Having immediate feedback within a short period of time, allowed Style Counsel to make changes quickly without huge investment. The realistic prototype showed how fun and useful the real product was likely to be. It enabled the team to raise the money they needed to build it. Style Counsel were able to raise further investment and were able to take the designs in house to move from prototype to product. Style Counsel is an app for women to get immediate feedback on their outfits from other women, fashion bloggers and stylists, now available in the Apple App Store.
In November 2017 the Style Counsel app was named as Mashable App of the day. So far around 17,000 people have downloaded the app, and more than 125 stylists are on hand to dispense advice. Photos are being uploaded from North America and Australia, as well as the UK. Want to know more about design sprints and prototyping?