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Stories of Beauty

4 week Sprint: E-Commerce ‘Beauty and Wellbeing’ platform
Role: Service design strategy, UX and digital design and build management

In 2011, Natalie stepped off the career ladder to start a family. It’s a story every mum knows: baby’s bath before beauty, school runs before self care. By the time she’d reached her early thirties was determined to find her identity and purpose outside of family life but things weren’t that simple. Faced with techniques she’d never heard of and standards designed for a select demographic, she was unable to see herself or her situation reflected anywhere. Natalie made it her personal mission to help others rediscover their identity through self-empowered beauty. Enter: Stories of Beauty.

Stories of Beauty is a space for self-rediscovery through beauty and wellness. The business is built on a mission to empower those who have previously felt overlooked through stories of self-expression and education. There is no one-style-fits-all so stories of beauty set a brief to create a digital experience where women can reclaim beauty by their own standards.

Role and approach:
Following a deep dive into the market and a series of user interviews with the target demographic and experts in the industry, two clear mindsets and common behaviours emerged which provided the ingredients for our service strategy.

Stories Ingredient

Balancing a traditional e-commerce structure of ‘Browse’ and ‘Shop’ I mapped user needs against a ‘Discover’ to ‘Purchase’ transaction flow and developed a blueprint based on human behaviour on which to design service moments to materialise the concept of self-empowered beauty.

Service design foundations
Our demographic had two distinctive buying behaviours. Her daily needs were habitual, her standard suite of products rarely changed, she would seek advice for specific skincare products and felt uneasy at swapping her modest make up regime. During the pivotal moments in her life; where ideas around her identity was bought to the fore, she would extend her toolkit to a more holistic suite of solutions E.g Nutrition, fitness, therapy and brain fuel.

From this I developed to points of entry and propositions into the platform and experiences for each:

Entry point 1: Stories of self-care (Daily)
Building on our daily routines is the simplest way to create sustainable self-care habits. From morning skin care routines to relaxing evening rituals, choose the practices and products that suit you’

Entry point 2: Stories of self-discovery (Moments of transformation )
True beauty begins from within. Read stories of self-discovery and be inspired by our beauties and their SOS toolkits. From workouts, talks, playlists and podcasts kick start your next chapter’

Service design moments

Happy path and service moments

6 key ingredients, reflective of the customers needs, guided our user through the ‘Discover’ to ‘Purchase’ flow in order to create a service experience unique to Stories of Beauty.

Shop by Stories

Stories of real life people were integral to the brand and user. I developed 3 entry points and narrative structures for a user to discover products and services though ‘Stories’.

‘Stories of Self-Care’ invite users to share routines. Users can search by time of day / desired feeling. This designed in a structure to provide users with a kit of complimentary curated products for our time poor and cautious demographic.

‘Stories of Self Discovery’ allow users to share stories where their lives have pivoted and they have relied on a different kind of toolkit. This editorial structure was designed to give users a reason to return, to give the brand space to build a voice around self empowered beauty and the backbone of a comms strategy.

‘Stories of Founders’ allow brands to share the story behind the products and give the human story behind the product.

Shop by Routines
Our customer is habitual so we use the narrative structure of routines throughout the service.

Shop by Feeling
Our customer has reframed beauty to focus on an ‘inside out’ approach so we have designed a search by feeling versus search by external look structure.

Shop by Education
Our customer seeks education from experts on skincare and education from people like her on make up and sos toolkits. Stories channels service step by steps to introduce new products.

Shop by Curation
Our customer is time poor. We begin product pages with a ‘best seller’ curation and end with a routine of complimentary products.

Shop by Ethics
Our customer is a conscious shopper — we make it easy for them to shop according to her ethics through a clear badge system.

Next steps:
Stories of Beauty will launch in 2022.




Stories re-told

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Nicola Wilson

Nicola Wilson

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