Hack Week: Yoda Don't Like

by Carina Kuhr - 17 Dec 2014

As Hack Week is the time to sit together in interdisciplinary groups and work on ideas, some teams use this time to find creative solutions to problems that they identified in earlier projects. Embedded in a long term design thinking project, some Zalando teams have concerned themselves with user observations and expert interviews in the last months. They travelled Germany, Sweden and USA to talk to all kinds of different people about shopping and fashion, which resulted in a lot of rich insights on customers behavior, needs and pain points.

Among these is the observation that customers do not always know what they want but instead often know what they don’t want when it comes to fashion and shopping. However, a lot of online shops ask users to filter for items that should be included in their catalogue searches rather than excluded from the long list. Customers often feel overwhelmed by the big assortments shops have to offer which makes it especially difficult for them to find the right product.


Under the project name “Yoda don’t like” (remember: Hack Week is Star Wars themed this year) the project members now try to find creative solutions for the question “How might we help the users to filter out the items that they don’t want?”. Involved in this project are product managers from different departments, graphic designers, conversion rate optimization manager and many more. Some of them have already been involved in the user research prior to Hack Week and others joined the group from different departments. They started on Monday with a discussion of the problem and the target group and went on with a brainstorming where they gathered all their ideas. Whereas the general options for a filter logic seem to be clear, the challenge of this project lies in the UI of the feature. “How can we design the feature that users notice the new filter options and understand what it does?” is the question that will keep them busy during Hack Week. In their discussion they also pointed out that it needs to work equally well on desktop and mobile.

As soon as everything they discussed was documented on good old post-its and clustered in different topics, they started drawing and sketching different ideas on paper as a basis for further discussion and refinement. These sketches then lead to different PowerPoint mock-ups for both desktop and mobile that look very promising so far.

The team is confident that they will reach their goal by the end of the week which is to have a first prototype that has ideally already been tested by users as well.

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