Smart Mirror

Improve Warby Parker’s in store eyeglasses purchasing experience by providing an interactive way for users to select eyeglasses.

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Project Info  4-member Team Project @ Georgia Institute of Technology

My Roles   UX Designer, User Researcher 

Date   Aug, 2017-Dec, 2017


The Challenge

When people buying eyeglasses in the store, they are always haunted by a question: "Which one is better for me?" They have so much to consider: Is the shape of this frame suit for me? Is this frame appropriate for my personal style?  Will my parents and friends like it? Since the frames are without lenses, the biggest problem they are facing is that they can't see themselves clearly through the mirror, especially for people with very poor eyesight. 

So, how can we make the eyeglasses purchasing process less time-consuming and more enjoyable?


Design Outcome

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Why Warby Parker?

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After careful consideration and comparison across different companies and platforms, we chose Warby Parker to focus on, as multiple people reported satisfaction from WP purchasing experiences, while also mentioned small pitfalls and general hardships of eyeglasses purchasing. We think WP is a great platform for us to find state-of-the-art potential in eyeglasses industry. If we can identify the potential room for improvement in WP, we can add to the most advanced research in eyeglasses purchasing.


Identify User Needs


How to find the problems?



The key information we wanted to collect was the general purchasing experience of users at the Warby Parker store. And specifically, what all pain points the user faced during this process. We interviewed 8 users to get to know about their own unique and diverse experiences. It helped us gain a more well-rounded understanding of the entire purchasing process and identified following insights specifically by making an affinity diagram (←click to view it ).

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In order to gain an in-depth understanding of the interaction between customers, store assistants and physical store environment, we conducted 2 contextual inquiries in Warby Parker store. It is pretty helpful for us to learn about unconscious behaviors of customers. We had 3 teammates present in each contextual inquiry. Interviewing, note taking and observation tasks were assigned to each person. However, roles were switched during the research process depending on the situation which improves the quality of data we got. Below are the notes and pictures I took during the contextual inquiry. 


Then I visualize the data we collected and marked user's path and touch points between users and store assistants below:

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Customer Journey Map

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Design Process

So what's wrong?


We observed that many people took selfies when they were trying on frames.However, taking photos and comparing them have too many steps and for users who need second opinions from friends, there will be much more steps.

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Given that situation, I was wondering how can I simplify the whole process? However, before that, I have to figure out a more important question:

Why people take selfies?


By interviewing our participants, I found out that taking selfies helps users to see how the frames really look on their faces. Also, it is a more effective way to compare frames or ask second opinions from other people to make final decisions.


How to simplify the whole process?


Based on the three user needs we identified above, we conducted a convergent brainstorming and came up with 28 ideas in total.

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Brainstorming broaden the way of our thinking to a great extent, however, while some of them do provide us with a potential design direction, some of the ideas seem just make the whole process more complex. Then I decided to go back to the original flow and tried to work strictly only with the essential parts of it.

I was considering: what if we get rid of the smart phones? Can we make a mirror acts like a platform that can take and share the photos?




Then I started sketching...


I tried my best to make the whole process simple and intuitive. Considering Warby Parker's branding impact, a "frame" function was also created to make users feel like cover stars. This function may be not that useful but it was fun! We interviewed several users about that function and found out that most of them like this "useless" function as well. 

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Can users with poor eyesight use this system smoothly?


The whole process above looks simple and easy, however, I still remember that I was designing for users with bad eyesight. Can they use this system without any difficulties? For example, can users see the "take photo" button clearly and press this button to take a photo without any friction?

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What if I simply combine the camera button with a countdown function? In this way, users can press this button with their perspective eyeglasses on and then try on the frame before the camera takes a photo. By adding a countdown function, users also have enough time to adjust their positions if they want to have a look at their side views.

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What is really needed here?

Let users decide themselves


We have decided three main pain points in the research stage and designed several functions to try to solve these problems. However, we were wondering: Would these functions really useful? Can users understand and know how to use these functions? What kind of information that users really need? With these questions haunted in our mind, we decided to build a quick prototype to get our answers. Before I started building a prototype I drew an information architecture diagram below to help me organize the whole user flow. Also, I marked questions on it to make our user testing sessions concentrate on the right track. 


Then I built a quick and simple prototype by Principle. Since this prototype was just built to test basic functions and get users feedback on our concept, I didn't put much effort to refine the animations and every detail. However, the fact I built the prototype really gave us an advantage that no other prototype sketched on paper can meet, because the feeling was much more real for users.

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What did we learn from user testing?



How to polish our design?

From the whole to the part


First of all, based on the user feedbacks on each function, we revised the user flow diagram to make the whole structure compact and organized. To be specific, we deleted the eye size adjustment function, removed dragging gesture on the mirror, added QR code to share photos,  and complete the information of recommended eyeglasses. 


Then we carried out three design iterations below:



Comparing Function



Recommendation Function



Sharing Function


Final prototype