Brand Experience

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Universal Standard is a brand that I do like, but don’t LOVE. I appreciate their mission to dress all bodies in size 0-40, because that isn’t happening enough, but I do wish that there were more items available and that they had a bit more variety in style.

A further exploration of that is for another time. For now, I wanted to briefly explore the size dropdown menu on Universal Standard product pages.

Here is a typical product page. This time for these cute Sava jeans.

On the right are the typical buttons, for selecting your size and then to add the item to your cart.

Here’s where I get confused. How is this the choice that they have made regarding the size dropdown? With so many sizes available, why has no effort been made to abbreviate the effort to find a larger size? There is clearly plenty of space to create columns in order to avoid this.

I was especially surprised to see this clunky presentation of size choices when I saw this “quick shop” feature on a page with a number of products:

This DEFINITELY needs to be replicated on the individual product page. It’s much cleaner and more concise than the incredibly long, space-wasting dropdown that is currently on the website.

Let me know how you would improve this dropdown on Twitter or in the comments below.

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DogTuff.com Design Issues | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 22, 2019

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My parents have a newish puppy, and when I visited recently, became acutely aware that the toughest toys ever are necessary for even a 12-pound Boston Terrier. More interest in finding toys that will take longer for him to destroy led me to DogTuff.com.

I have some thoughts based on the screenshot above.

  • Logo
    • I find it a bit hard to read and wish it was bigger. I do understand that with the other choices made in the header that there is not much room to increase logo size.
  • Header Offers
    • I absolutely understand the reasoning behind putting information about free shipping and a discount in the header so that it appears on each page, but there is a LOT of information here, and it might be too much for someone to stop and read instead of skipping to the shopping part.
  • Need Help/Phone Number
    • If the phone number is in white font over a black background, why have the messaging above it in grey? It seems like a weird time to suddenly be subtle.
  • ‘Top Picks” and “Hot” Flags
    • Something else I think is crowding the situation and isn’t necessary. I think that if a customer has made it to a website called DogTuff.com, they probably have an idea of why they are visiting. There is already so much happening in this header, I think the labels could be sacrificed and the customers will still be able to navigate without issue.
  • Show (number) Dropdown
    • How is there not an option to show all?! If not show all, there should be a review of the average number of items per category to determine the best options for how many items to view per page. I can attest from years of experience in e-commerce to knowing that many people prefer an option to view all results.

Here’s another screenshot to discuss another dropdown:

  • “Sort By” Dropdown
    • What does “position” mean here? There is absolutely no indication, and it is the default option on this main page for “chew toys.”
    • I am also not sure that Product Name and Color are best used as sorting tools in a dropdown, I would rather see a filter on the left side to choose a color or a product type.
    • Price is an obvious choice here, but I would like to see options for “Price Low to High” or “Price High to Low” instead of relying on the small arrow to the right for the customer to control that function.

That’s all I have on this for now. I love this website – toys that take your dog longer than 30 minutes to eviscerate are good! I am, however, generally always interested in creating the most value in terms of customer experience with the least possible amount of clutter on the screen.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or tweet me!

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CoverGirl Foundation Color Issues | Product Review

by Jamie Sanford on January 29, 2019

Check out all of my Product Picks here. If you want to see all of the products I’ve reviewed (not just the ones I like), click here for Reviews.

I’m adding this to the product review category, but it could easily be in the Brand Experience category.

I’ve been a fan of the CoverGirl 3-in-1 Foundation for years. I have repeatedly tried more high-end foundations to see if there is a better option, but I haven’t found one yet that I enjoy as much as the CoverGirl 3-in-1.

I recently decided to try another drugstore foundation after RawBeautyKristi raved about the CoverGirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir foundation. She looks great, so obviously I need to try it out.

So I quickly head to Amazon, find that they have it in Ivory, and purchase it right away. A few days later, my new foundation arrived and I tried it during my next makeup application.

My first impressions were great. The application and coverage were nice, and I liked the outcome. I find myself not always wanting 100% coverage these days, and this let my skin show through a bit, which was well-received. I then wore it again mixed with the Fenty Pro Filt’r Foundation, as I still struggle with the Fenty foundation being a bit dry on my skin. Everything was fine, or so I thought.

Cut to a regular day at the office, but a day in which I’m wearing a v-neck top. It turns out that the major downside of using a lighted mirror to apply my makeup is that I don’t get a wider look at myself before I leave my house in the morning. It turns out that this Vitalist Healthy Elixir foundation, in the color Ivory, is not anything close to the Ivory shade I have been using for years, made by the same company! Having not done a side-by-side test, I had no idea.

These are both Ivory. How disappointing. I am surprised that a company as large as CoverGirl would not keep consistency in the colors of their skin products. Especially when you are naming them! These products do have numbers that aren’t the same, but the format of the numbers is very different, so I’m not sure that seeing the different numbers but the same shade name would have made me think twice.

Once I noticed the error, I went back online to look further into the issue, and found a LOT of product reviews mentioning the same issues that I had, that the Ivory shade was not light enough, and that there is not a lighter option in this particular product. So it’s not just an issue for me, but many customers who wanted it to work, and like me, seem to really enjoy the product itself.

Ultimately, I do think that companies that manufacture makeup should commit to matching shades to their names, across all products. I’ll take responsibility for not attempting to find out some more about this product before buying it, but it still seems ridiculous.

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Tory Burch New Year Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on January 16, 2019

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In follow-up to my previous post about the Year in Review email from Lyft, I’m back now with a Tory Burch email to wish me a happy new year. Unlike the Lyft email, this is not personalized to me, but still feels like a personal note from the founder and namesake, Tory Burch.

The only issue I take with this messaging is that it is extremely top-line and vague. I would almost prefer more information in this email with some links to more information about their philanthropic projects, as I’m sure they’ve created content around those efforts. I do really like the message of “here’s to a year of travel, color, and giving back,” as it feels extremely on-brand for Tory Burch, in aesthetic and company reputation.

I’m including the whole email below, but everything under the happy new year message is fairly standard e-commerce email content. I do feel that it takes away from the overall message of the email to include such basic content after such a specific message at the top. Ultimately, I would have preferred that this email be paired with more content about the Tory Burch Foundation, and for them to have left the shopping links for next time.

Take a look at this Tory Burch email below.

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Lyft Year in Review Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on January 10, 2019

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It may be too late to say “happy new year,” but it is not too late to talk about new year content.

Today I wanted to share the email I received from Lyft, with a recap of my use of their service in 2018. I’ve seen these from a number of brands, but the content of this one really struck the perfect balance of personalized information about my own use of this service and company information. Included here is information on how to better use Lyft, what Lyft is up to in terms of their philanthropic efforts, where Lyft service is available, interspersed with specific information about my stats for 2018.

I don’t get a lot of emails from Lyft that aren’t related to specific usage of their service, but I opened this one as it totally played into me wanting to know more about me. The personalization of this email was super effective at pulling me in, and in the meantime, taught me a bit more about Lyft as a company.

What I do notice and appreciate is that nothing here is about money spent on this service. Why bring you down with a reminder of how much money you spent? December is generally a spendy month for many people, so a reminder about having spent $X over the course of the year on rides isn’t going to help anyone. Good move on Lyft’s part.

I would like to see other companies create this kind of recap of my own activity with their service or store. I am slightly concerned that for some customers, it would backfire into letting them know that they might be shopping a bit too much, or taking Lyfts a bit too much, but the avoidance of including dollar amounts is a key point.

Scroll down to take a look.

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