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Shopping Center

Please send Chris your slides/photos/insights from the Shopping Center Project.  Great job on the presentations!



1. Bailey Richardson - April 27, 2009

I was really inspired by something we heard at IDEO (maybe from Dennis) which was to look for moments when people pause because it usually correlates to a problem in their experience. I noticed that people pause when trying to arrange the numerous hangers of clothes they are trying to hold or refold clothes properly. These insights led to a group brainstorm and a solution that seems relatively easy to apply in stores – have racks where people can store their clothes. When they drop their clothes off onto these they also grab a buzzer that will notify them when a changing room is available. This way they will be more likely to get into the changing room to try on clothes (as they won’t be bothered by long lines for the room) and they may even bring more items into the rooms with them and perhaps buy more clothing (a benefit for the sales person).

2. Claire Roscow - April 28, 2009

I loved seeing what other groups did on Thursday with the very same directions we had. There were such different interpretations, and all were right. That was probably my favorite part of the component- as a group we did not have to ask ourselves what the teaching staff wanted, because they did not WANT anything in particular, they wanted to see what we could do!

Every team did a great job.

Team Chumbawamba stands out in my mind. The broached an issue that is potentially not easy to talk about publicly, and made it fun and accessible!! Most guys have wanted to buy their lady lingerie, and yet after all these years, it’s still not the easiest process. The recorded conversation was HILARIOUS (I laughed multiple times at the interaction). You guys used so many ways to convey your message, and really engaged us as an audience. You even had your brochure prototype and website prototype, so show exactly how your ideas could be easily implemented. I think you guys are onto something 🙂 ….

Nike’s idea to integrate the internet with the in-store shopping experience is really smart. So progressive 😉

I also loved the Tiffany’s presentation. It was so visual and had a lot of cues to which I could relate. If all stores had a VIP back section, the Tiffany name would not be degraded and yet the customers looking for something on the lower end of the spectrum do not feel as though the Tiffany’s experience is snooty or condescending.

One thing I really learned through this is that having an outside consultant is almost necessary. When we were watching all the IDEO videos and going on the IDEO tour, I asked myself- is it necessary to spend so much money to go outside of the company, or could they just create an in-house team that serves the same function. But people inside the company are so accustomed to the way things ARE. To me, it sort of follows the mantra: you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. So everyone in the company is satisfied with the way things are, they aren’t going to be as creative, they aren’t going to be as innovative. When the five of us marched into Sprinkles, we came at the store with a mission. So I suppose this project highlighted the value of fresh perspective and how habituation and creativity are on such opposite ends of the spectrum.

3. jrdray - April 29, 2009

James Dray April 28, 2009

The Shopping Center Project really gave us all an opportunity to put some of the brainstorming and analyzing techniques we learned over the past couple weeks in to good use. It is easy to sit back and critique something and point all the things wrong with it but it is another to try and come up with useful, creative solutions to those critiques. This class and this project in particular makes me think in a different way when analyzing something. “How can I make this better?” is the question I constantly find myself asking now. For our team, it was great practice for our final project because we really had to pick a particular aspect of the company and “unpack” it so that we could find a solution to creatively fix it. For our final project I am sure we will pick a couple of aspects and “unpack” them to find out why we think they make the company so innovative.

4. atiqahnadiah - April 29, 2009

The best takeaway I took from the shopping center experience was the experience of opening up my senses and simply being aware of my surroundings. My shopping experience has always been centered around typical goals of coming in and getting stuff, or aimlessly browsing in a very self-centered way, so it was an interesting change to just go and do nothing but observe other people.

At first, I was skeptical of getting any insights from mere observing, armed with the typical assumption that the shopping experience has already been optimized as much as possible, and that if something was wrong with the experience, the store must’ve already noticed it and taken care of it. Needless to say, I was surprised at how wrong I was.

Another challenge aside from uncovering the problem was on how to present it as well as our proposed solution to the class in a way that is effective. How do you get others who probably did NOT go into the store (we were doing Nike and fitting rooms) understand the nature of the problem. Also, especially with a remodeling proposal, how do you convey the new layout without actually building a 3-D model (we thought about doing that, but it would’ve taken too much time)? I thought it was very difficult.

So, because of that, I was very impressed at how each team went about presenting their problems & solutions. Claire has already mentioned and commended some of the great ones, so I won’t repeat it here. I’ll just say it really opened my eyes to the numerous creative ways one could go about conveying a message. 🙂

5. Adrienne Norelle - May 1, 2009

I was really impressed by my classmates presentations of their experiences at the Stanford Shopping Center, but I was a bit disappointed by my team’s own performance due in large part to our technology failures. From this I learned that for our final team presentation we need to think outside of the realm of things that we are accustomed to doing for presentations and try to present material in a more creative fashion as not to be derailed by things outside of our control. This was definitely a valuable lesson though because from the other class presentations I formulated solid opinions about what would and would not work successfully for our final team project and was able to bring solid ideas to the table when my team met to discuss our action plan.

6. bw2009 - May 5, 2009

We identified multiple problems with the mall setup itself that we decided not to address at this time.

One of the biggest concerns was that often we didn’t know what stores were actually in the mall. The stores off the main drag got lost in the maze-like configuration. Although it makes exploration more fun and surprising, I would expect that those stores would miss out on a large portion of browsing clientele. I thought the mall could improve signage, offering arrows pointing down each corridor with the names of shops, similar to airport signs.

My mom mentioned her disappointment at the lack of areas for sitting with friends and relaxing. I suspect that may be intentional to keep people walking from store to store, so I’m not sure if it needs to be fixed.

7. mrmmann - May 14, 2009

I realize it has taken me far too long to get my reflections from the project posted…but I figured it was better to get them up here, albeit late rather than not at all…so here goes.

What I most appreciated about our team’s approach to the project is that we decided to address a problem for which we were able to formulate an easy to implement solution that could actually be very beneficial to Victoria’s Secret. I enjoyed the practicality because for me I really appreciate the opportunity to apply the techniques that we learn within class to the kind of real world situation that I could envision encountering within my own organization.

The following is a list of individual observations and conclusions that I found to be particularly interesting. Rather than try to formulate them into some cohesive prose I am going to make full use of the creative license afforded with a “blog” and present these as a stream of consciousness list.

1. How a guy buys at Victoria’s Secret: The average guy spends more than the average woman in the store, and completes his purchase within 10-15 minutes. This is some very interesting information because it indicates to me that with very little additional effort, the store could maximize the buying potential of this segment.

2. A woman’s assumptions: Both in interviewing the associates and in my “undercover operation” I noticed that they like to give a guy time to browse when they get into the store. In discussing this with them and thinking about it further, I have realized that this is due to a fundamental lack of understanding of how guys relate to the shopping experience. Women browse and guys dont, its really that simple. Add to it the fact that a guy feels awkward already, and leaving him browsing is not an acclimating activity…its protracted torture.

3. The presentation itself: The extreme time pressure of the project, plus the fact that I had to go to a conference, and the busy schedule of the rest of the team meant that this presentation to me became very much a trust exercise more than anything else. We had to divide the presentation, plan it carefully, and hope that when it was all assembled it worked out well. We didn’t even have the chance to practice before it was go time. From what I was told i hear it went really well…but man it was a nerve racking experience.

8. vivianywang - May 14, 2009

So these are the floor plans to Team EAR’s Redesigning the Nike Fitting Room Experience.

Working on the shopping mall project was a great experience! It was exciting to see the shopping cart project and to be able to implement a similar task over the period of a week. What I liked most about our “solution” is that we proposed changes that are not conventional to the current dressing room experience – across all types of retail products. In addition, we brainstormed around the idea of “If I could have anything in the dressing room to help me make a better decision, it would be..” Like many groups, we travelled around other stores to get a feel for what we liked about their fitting room experience and whether we could integrate it into the Nike experience. Ultimately though, we decided that Nike already had the best experience, we just thought it could be “taken to the next level.” Of course, designing our ideal fitting room experience is always different from designing Nike’s customers’ fitting room experience. I showed our layout and explained the changes to ten different friends. Some were hard-core athletes, and others.. well, let’s just say not so much.

While they loved the buzzer system, the waiting room experience, and the major, physical dressing room changes, (and of course, who doesn’t need a little space,) what they thought was not necessary was the minor changes in the room and the additional space and privacy in the “runway + mirror” part. See below:

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