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Re "n" Flip

A system offering immediate mobile return and exchange pop-up event for online shoppers' unwanted goods  

UX | Service Design

Overview

Overview

Problem

Online shopping experience has been inseparable from college student lives yet returning unsatisfied items involve a much more complicated process than purchasing products, epecially with returns on campus which is often troublesome, time consuming and frustrating. 

Goal 

Retain Revenue

Promote intelligent exchanges based on return reason and available inventory.

Boost sustainability with less logistics waste 

Timeline

7 Weeks 

2021.07- 2021.09

My Role

Research, UX Design, UI Design,

3D Modelling

Tools 

Photoshop, Illustrator, 

Figma, SketchUp, Procreate

Design Process

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Define

Ideate

Prototype

Emphasize

Desktop research

Field research 

Market Research

User Interview 

HMW Question

Product Goals

User Persona

Journey Mapping

1. Emphasize

Task Flow

Touch Point design

Service System

SWOT Analysis

Wireframes

Storytelling

UI Design

Service Blueprint

01 Emphasize 
//Research plan

Establishing a solid foundation of research outcomes, later stages of solution-building can be greatly enhanced. Developing a research plan is critical for me to keep research focused, and providing a framework for later stages of responsive design. My research plan should identified research goals, questions, methodologies, participants, and a timeline. 

Goal 

  • Understand the return logistics especially with returns made from online shopping

  • Identify the target audience of Re n' Flip

  • Learn about the main competitors of Re n' Flip, as well as their strengths and weaknesses

  • Get to know people’s current painpoints, needs and methods of return

Assumptions

SHOPPING 

MADNESS

SORTING

DELIVERY

LANDFILL

WAREHOUSE

BULK

PRODUCT

Methodologies

  • Secondary Research (Market Research, Competitive Analysis, Heuristic Evaluation)

  • Primary Research (Field Research, User Interview)

What is the problem with returns for online bought items? 

//Research Findings

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2019 student demographic of online purchase

Online Sales Volume by Month

Negative return experience resulted in not shopping with the retailer again 

Most Returned items after holiday

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Returns made from buying online vs physical 

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Returns made after holiday season by item 

Overall, young population contribute the most to online shopping and return especially during the holiday season.  More returns are made from online shopping and negative experience have been increasing

//Field Research

Since young population contribute the most for online returns, I performed a field research in University of British Columbia to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the return process done by the students.

Closest Canada Post- 15mins walk

UBC Campus Mail Center- organize received parcels from delivery companies

Student Residence- possible open area for return station

UBC Campus mail delivery trucks to residences

Marine Drive Residence front desk - only allows parcel pick-up

Canada Post parcel pick-up storage: staff can find parcels with some searches  

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Return Online Purchases

HOW

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NEEDS

Return Online Orders to Stores

WHY

Why Return Matters

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//Desk Research

HOW

//Market Research

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It is equally important to research other second hand and return companies, as their goals and targets will not only shed light on the key areas I should strive to maintain the high quality, but also help me identify any opportunities for my project to emphasize. Based on the knowledge I gathered from market research, I analyzed 2 direct case as shown below, one who is a major return service providers and the other being donation service which would be insightful to look at their business and operation metrics.

Big Brothers Donations

Happy Returns

It's a clothing donation service creates an innovative social enterprise that inspire positive environmental and philanthropic impact by generating revenue for empowering children & youth through mentorship in local communities.

Happy Return offers in-person returns for online shoppers, their national network of 700+ Return Bars allows shoppers to easily return items without printing or packaging in under 60 seconds and receive refunds immediately

//Understanding Users

Building on a general understanding of the market and the audience, it is time to dive deeper and build real connection with our user and gain direct insights on them by primary research.

I created an interview guide to facilitate the user interview process, with 7 open-ended questions listed to invite the participants to share their experiences with returns and exchanges. I set up a screening question to identify people that are frequent users of Venmo, who use the app at least a few times a week. In total, I invited 6 participants (2 males, 3 female) to participate in the interview.

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  • Front desk process all mails and parcels

  • Not aware of environmental impact for returns 

  • Students have to return to Canada post or arrange with delivery company for pick up

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  • Return to Staples -20mins walk

  • Hassle: Certain packages have to be returned to designated companies 

  • Accept 2nd hand good condition clothes but not makeup

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  • May- Aug packages are mostly from staff

  • Somestudents pick up packages, most are delivered to residences

  • Sometimes there are lost items and students have to contact delivery company

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  • I buy things online but rarely returns 

  • Suggestion: One person can pickup all student's returns at the end of the week and mail it off together

  • Not convenient to return

  • Hassle: the process of printing return label 

  • Accept 2nd hand clothes or textbooks 

2. Define

02 Define
//User Persona

Since I have gathered a bunch of knowledge of the audience, as well as their goals and needs, I use the user persona to represent key audience segments. It helps me focus on tackling the most important problems – to address the major needs of the most important user groups. It is both fictional and realistic. Every time I make a design decision, I think about how would it satisfy the needs of the persona.

Let's meet Vivian, a 20-year-old Biochemistry student at UBC. She lives on campus all year round and has a passion for creating positive impact on the community while enjoys try-on and vintage hauls. 

 

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//User Journey Map

To synthesize the qualitative data gathered from user interview, I created a journey map to identify touchpoints across different stages of return process and uncover opportunities and needs.

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//Gains & Strategy 

After gathering qualitative and quantitative data, I used How-Might-We (HMW) Questions to frame the ideation in the brainstorm session for solutions. I decided to focus on the following 3 statements,

Insights

Users wants to have shorter distance to return

​Users are not aware of the environmental impact caused by shipping logistics

​Users have items passed return date but no longer want

Needs

Users need to reduce time with item returns bought online

​Users need to be educated with their return actions of impact

​Users need to give/sell away unwanted items 

HMW Questions 

How might we reduce the time users spent on online returns?

How might we educate users their behavior consumer impact to the environment?

How might provide second life to products when it's no longer wanted?

3. Ideate

03 Ideate
// Brainstorm

Centering on these questions, I then brainstormed solutions. I spent 3 minutes on each HMW question, and moved on to the next HMW question when the time is up. I then did a second round for each question, and finally arrived at my brainstorm results. I envision a new return system on UBC campus with 4 segments: mobile ports, main terminal, pop up event and an application.

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// SWOT Analysis

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Based on my ideations I performed SWOT analysis to access the four aspects of my model

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Pop-up stores create canvas for retailers to experiment with new types of products and, in the process, narrate a brand story. As it only opens for limited time, this taps into our “get-it-before-it’s-gone,” fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) mentality which is great way of a revenue stream.

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// System of Reference

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Reverse logistics involves taking products back from customers and reworking those products to the seller or manufacturer. It can include returns from e-commerce and retail, as well as components for refurbishing and remanufacturing. The products may be resold or disposed of permanently

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End 
Consumer

Return
Claimed

Return
Collection 
Center

Distribution to Secondary Outlets

Product Recycle

End 
Consumer

Resale 

// Product Functions

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4. Prototype

04 Design
//
Touch Point Design

Main Terminal (Basic)
Main Terminal
(POP-UP Educational Message)
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Large bubble wraps hang from ceiling with numbers inside each bubble. After participants pop them, they enter their number to get a message from the machine next to 

Claw machine selling unwanted items for people to play

Participants type out items they bought around Black Friday and the printer will print items synchronizely. The receipts of all items are accumulative and on-going with all participants. The more items being printed out, the more green leaves wall will be covered up and fades in colours. Together people can see the environmental impact of item shipping visually.

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Main Terminal
(POP-UP Story Exchange)
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Users type stories on the app and will be transferred to the story wall for the event

Participants writes story and store item to be sent to their future self. The vertical retractable drawers have smaller cubes organized within them

Projection tunnel of logistic process videos in black and white. 

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All year round residences

Winter residences

Mobile port routes

Map of UBC

Mobile Ports Autonomous Vehicle
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Application

// Service System & Stakeholders

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// Service Blueprint

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Application

Mobile port

Main terminal

Pop- up event

Community post on apps

Refund back to account

Provide pick up info

Print return label

Return parcel to delivery companies

Refurbish & Display

Booking system

Image Identification

Hyper-accurate position

Automated parcel sorting

Human Resource

3rd party coordination

Recommend data

Invite artists for creation

Set up installation & interior

Marketing

Transaction process

Process transaction

Calendar booking

Autopilot

3D Scanning

Computational art

GPS tracking

Check schedule

Walk to mobile port for return

Shop sale/ exchange

Goes to event

Share post

Check account

// Usage Scenario 

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5. Reflection

Reflection & Takeaway

Final Thought

Considering the project goals, I believe I have met the goals that were outlined in the beginning of the design process. Although automonous vehicles for logistics haven't been widely implemented, the project is foreseeing a system in the near future with technology advancement. I changed the return system on university campus based the needs I summarized from user interview, to efficiently allow students gain knowledge with their consumer behavior and minimize return effort.

Next Steps

This project was designed on the larger scope of the entire service system, however if I had more time I would go deeper into user testing to gain valuable insights into the usability of the app and pop up events. With the valuable feedback gained from users I will be able to understand the issues from the users’ point of view and improve the design prototype. In addition I would want to add branding integration with the whole project

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