Research into Creating a Feature for confidence when shopping online. A UX project.

Coming from the fashion industry I was excited to dig deep in to ecommerce and get a greater understanding of the shopper and their experience.

Profile Feature
The Persona


Understanding demographics and target markets is design 101. Women from age 30 -45 aren’t traditional size 36 is a hot button subject for the fashion industry. This issue appealed to me and I wanted to understand the whole thought and behaviour process.

The Mission

How might we ….“Create a feature that delivers confidence when shopping.”

First of all lets examine “confidence” and understand the context.

“A consumer’s motivation for purchasing a product is often related to maintaining or increasing their self-esteem and, in turn, their self-image” by Grubb & Grathwohl

Ok, I’m not going to get too deep into this area but I’ve read some interesting papers about the psychology of clothes and the relationship to their image.

So let’s start with what we know and examine the needs of our case study. So we can build a clearer picture of our target market and gain insight.

Lots of assumptions and assertions. No hard data, just experience and common sense used here.

My first Hypothesis: confidence is built up on trust. A tipping point of trust or confidence is reached before making a purchase. Guessing at the 3 features here, didn’t feel too far fetched because of my background knowledge. At least a direction could be set before 1 question has been made. (Yes there are more than 3! I edited later and I read alot more)

Prioritisation of Hypothesis:

This was actually a very interesting exercise because as a fashion designer I make a lot of decisions on the fly relying on past experience, without proper consideration of the user. Here I had to examine it from a different angle and reconsider my hypothesis and features.


There comes a tipping point where the customer feels confident enough to purchase an item. I believe these 3 features would add confidence to the shopper and the store would gain trust. We will examine them here below:-

Screener Surveys

I create a simple screener survey which was to the point and non intrusive click here : THESURVEY

I targeted woman I knew who have children and who have gained weight after their children.

What can be learnt from this?

It was much easier getting interviews than getting them to fill out the survey.

I wanted to cast a wide net in Norway. So, one person in based in a small city, one has a very high household income and 2 are single mothers. One introvert, 2 extroverts, 2 leaders and all from different industries.

The woman with the highest income (therefore depositable income) also fell into the lowest spender on clothing online.

From casual conversations mothers often talked about “constantly shopping online” because that’s the only time they have. The data reflects otherwise.


/3 Video Calls

/2 Phone Call with notes taken.

The fun part! Of course it would of been super nice to do it in person but then I had the opportunity to record the video and get a transcript.

The Question Guide was tailored around the 3 hypothesis. A dry run was important to iron out alot of issues.

HYPOTHESIS №1- Online Shopper are heavily influenced by Social media and influencers

My hypothesis was mostly incorrect, or at least on a conscious level. There is a strong distain for social media and influencers. But a pattern emerged: so I tagged on this question:-

Would you find a style guide helpful? (Online quiz designed to pick out items for you according to your style needs)”


Annette B: [00:05:03] I do like suggestions for things that looks similar to something that I’ve already purchased [00:05:12][9.5]

60% percentage style guide thought can be helpful and therefore a confidence builder.

PRINCIPLE — Targeted marketing is more effective and sometimes preferred.


A Stylist feature: create a tailored online stylist/shopper who can help quickly find suitable items.

Or: A Quiz feature :Create a short quiz that becomes a feature to guide shoppers. Create a Ai that can pick out ask questions and pick out items.

HYPOTHESIS №2 — Fit guides adds confidence before purchase.

What Did I learn from this?Basically Everyone agrees — fit and comfort are important.

Also comfort is more important than style.

But I felt something was missing here and a Ah-ha! moment happened when Anette H talked extensively about trusting comments made by her piers or similar women. She used the comments as a fit guide.


Anette H (notes)“Fit guide: I don’t use, but I follow comments a lot. Because people are very honest.”

Positive comments can be used for affirmation before purchase and a big plus for confident purchase.


Draw browsers to positive comments or similar customers who have purchased an item. Potential a very strong feature.


Research how and when to draw attention to the comments feature. Also when the tipping point of a suggestion from the store becomes an aggressive sale tactic.

HYPOTHESIS №3 — Customer Service add confidence when online shopping.

What I learnt from this?

Malin: [00:09:10] I’m not, I probably should be more bothered that I am about security and all of that, but I love it because it’s easy. So that’s more about that rather than security. [00:09:20][9.5]

My hypothesis was extremely open “customer service.” So I could learnt what to focus on for adding confidence for the mother’s who have full time jobs and no time. But I was expecting a lot of weight to be on internet security and fear of uploading lots of information. (card info, person info etc) but the weight was on delivery and the services around that.

Surprising, 4/5 weren’t worried about security but were more concerned about it being very easy and hassle free.


Annette B(notes)“I do prefer the shops where the return stuff is easy.”

Have an amazing simple hassle free “Return policy” Also speedy delivery is an important factor.


2 different big takeaways from here:-

(a) As a rule, an amazing simple, no fuss return policy. (b) Make check out as fast and seamless as possible.


Research further into what is the perfect return policy — make it happen.

Check out: Design the website to clutter free and stream line. Ideally make an app that integrates easy payment services like Apple pay and Vipps.


The 3 big takeaways: To restate my original hypothesis the combination of all these features will help the shopper reach a tipping point of trust or confidence to push buy button. The original hypothesis has changed as the users expressed their “needs and wants”:-

1.Target Marketing and Ai shop assistant.

2. Reviews and comments, can be used to build trust.

3. A streamline checkout with no stress return policy.

If I had more time I would love research more into all 3 discovery areas. I felt the research took me in an interesting direction which deserved more focus and time. I have other questions too, like “would having an App yield more sales?”

I think I could of used used more quant data. Created a 2nd survey and asked people for more data.

The interview, the questions didn’t always open up a dialogue. After establishing a new direction I think it would be easier to make a new stronger questionnaire.

Overall the journey of discovery was very interesting and the subtle nuances and methodology uncovered some new and interesting results.




UI/UX Designer, Mads is a accomplished digital creator with over 10 years experience in branding and fashion.

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UI/UX Designer, Mads is a accomplished digital creator with over 10 years experience in branding and fashion.

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