Patterns and Flows

This is an article done for Designlab, UX Academy

Anthropologie Logo

About

Anthropologie is an inspiring place to shop for women’s clothing, accessories, and home decor. The brand and stores provide lots of inspiration with an abundance of creative attention to detail. Although their main business goal is to sell product to the user, they are much more than just that. They have said,

Anthropologie offers a one-of-a-kind and compelling shopping experience that makes women feel beautiful, hopeful and connected”. We invite you into our world — whether it’s our store, website or catalog — with the hope you take a deep breath and explore until your heart’s content.

Although you enjoy the clever details and fine craftsmanship of our products, you come to us for more than that. You come to escape and to connect, to spend time and to make time. Complex as you are, you remain our inspiration and because of this, we endeavor to bring you an unimagined experience.”

My Flow

More often than not, I will get email’s from Anthropologie, and I will enter their site through the link they provide in the email. This will either be for an article of clothing or possibly some sort of home decor. Usually it is on clearance or is a new item and I can view more of it’s details when I click on the link. From here I can add it to my cart and continue shopping through the store, checking out when I am ready.

Their site makes it very easy for their users to browse through the products. They have ten categories listed in their header, which all have dropdown menus splitting up into sub categories making it even easier for the user to find what they are looking for. I will go further into these patterns later in this article.

If I just want to browse their site, I will usually go to Anthropologies home page and pick a category that sounds particularly interesting to me at the time. Or if I am on the hunt for something specific, I can easily search for it in the search bar, or find it through their descriptive categories.

Patterns

Anthropologie demonstrates design patterns that makes their site more enjoyable for the user. These are just some of those patterns:

Navigation

For starters, Anthropologie has a fixed header at the top of their page. Users are given the ability to infinitely scroll through items, so having a fixed header makes it extremely easy for the user to change what they are browsing instead of having to scroll all the way back up to the top.

Auto-Fill Search/Filter Option

Auto-Fill Search Bar

As well as being fixed to the top left of the screen, the search bar has an auto-fill option that lets users know of the possibilities they can type in. Once users have hit “enter”, they have the option to filter their results to better fit their needs. Filtering by price, size, brand and color.

Cards

Cards are a great way to make your site look neat and tidy, they invite engagement. They organize content well, and help users quickly scan the page. Overall, Anthropologie uses them as a teaser to more detailed information.

An example of a card on Anthropologie

When the card is clicked in this example, the user is brought to a more detailed information page.

Card detail page

Carousels

Carousels are for optimizing screen space by displaying only a subset of content in a cyclic view, suggesting to the user that additional content is not currently visible and encourages them to continue exploring. Since Anthropologie has a lot of content, and they can’t display it all on one screen, they display arrows for the user to navigate to more items.

Final Thoughts

Design patterns are changing and trending, so designers have to be careful to pick the right ones. Essentially these patterns will determine their user’s overall experience, making it easier or harder for the user to accomplish their task at hand.