COVID-19 has affected companies in various manners. Given such situation, how could companies reposition themselves to motivate the users to come back to the service?
The goal of the project is to redesign Depop's existing service to align the users' values and the company's goals of Green Ethos and Human Interactions.
2020, 6 weeks
Ashley Burbano, Lauryn Patt
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What is Depop?
Founded in 2011, Depop is a mobile shopping platform designed for second-hand shopping. With over 18+ million users globally, it is a platform especially popular amongst millennials and genZ. The company targets young entrepreneurs and consumers who are interested in second-hand shopping and limited edition brand items. Like other shopping platforms, Depop users serves as both buyers and sellers.
Although it is primarily a digital platform, the company has recently been expanding to have physical pop-up shops and permanent photo studios in Los Angeles and New York City.
Business Model Canvas
To have a better understanding of Depop, we conducted company research to fill out the left half of the Business Model Canvas. We especially looked up articles on Forbes, Wall Street Journal, S&P Global, and Depop's website to gather information. We then conducted user research through interviews and questionnaires to have a better understanding about the user group. By filling out the BMC, we learned about the company's goals and the customers' values.
(This BMC has been updated multiple times throughout the project and the one on the top is the most recent version.)
Customer Journey Map
Depop users can both be the customers and the sellers on the Depop platform. In this specific case, we decided to focus on the buyers and mapped out their journey based on the information gathered for the Business Model Canvas. By filling out the CJM, we discussed the potential design opportunities to improve Depop's service.
(The CJM, like the BMC, has been updated multiple times through out the project. The one on the above is the latest version with the design interventions.)
Channel Touchpoint Map
We then filled out the Channel Touchpoint Map to visualize the channels the users would interact with. Since the buyers and the sellers of Depop would have different interactions with the channels, we have intentionally separated the users into two groups. Each interaction/channel is measured by high, medium, and low priority, which measured each channel's significance for Depop to gain and maintain the users.
(The touchpoint map has been updated multiple times through out the project. The one on the above is the latest version with the design interventions.)
Based on the maps we filled out and company/customer research, we narrowed down the opportunities into two key ideas: promoting community and sustainability within Depop. Hence, we decided to focus on community building and promoting sustainable fashion for the future direction of Depop.
How might we align Depop's message with its users' values and further connect Depop users?
1. Alter the branding language of Depop
2. Add community features to the app
3. Design a physical space for people to get together
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02. Altering the Branding Language
The website is the only place amongst Depop's touchpoint that reveals the values and purpose of the company. Given the purpose of the Depop app (which is to shop), we decided that it would be the most appropriate to alter the language on the website where the users can look up if they want to.
More Inclusive Language
Language promotes trend and designer fashion. We decided to alter the language on Depop's website to extend different styles and reflect green ethos of the company. We changed the main tagline from "Buy. Sell. Discover Unique Fashion." to "The Community Transforming Fashion" to highlight Depop's effort to promote sustainable fashion and create a fashion community.
The photos on Depop's website are also of fashion models and showed disconnect with the content that is actually shown on the website. So we changed to the images of the users promoting their own clothes and styles.
Meanwhile, we decided to maintain the original branding color of Depop, #fe2400. We kept this color because we fell in love with its not-too-dark nor orange red and figured it would be wise to keep some of its original branding. This color is later shown repetitively on the app.
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03. Adding Community & Local Shop features to the App
As referred in the Channel Touchpoint Map, Depop app is the hub for all interactions. The users purchase and sell items on the app and leave reviews if they dislike the buyer/seller, all on the app. Therefore, we knew that the app would be the place to add features that could digitally bring the Depop users together.
We decided to use Figma to create the app prototype, as one of my group mates did not have an Adobe plan. We were satisfied with some parts of the app, such as My Shop and Messages, but not so much with gender-based search section or the lack of community features. Hence, we decided to expand the app by adding new features: Combined feature of adding new items to the shop, revealing local items, interest-based search instead of gender-based items, and Depop community named "Depop Circle."
Key Frames & Interaction Overview
Considering that Depop is a platform to sell items, the app is very photo-heavy. Therefore, we kept the UI simple and achromatic, allowing the users to focus on the photos of the items. For the UI, we used images that were used in users' actual Depop shops to keep the Depop's stylistic choices consistent and relevant to the items that are actually sold on the app.
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Local Shops & Inclusivity
Depop's current UI brings to the Explore page when the app is first opened. The page is redundant as the categories section in the Search page and it takes an extra measure to see the latest items from the shops the user is following.
We believe that incorporating local shops is important because it would promote sustainability and less greenhouse gas emission. As the Explore page and the search page are redundant, we replaced the gender-based clothing sections in the Search page with interest-based explore page, moved the Feed section to the right, and added a section to promote local items.
Current MyFeed of the app separates the selling and feed into two different sections on the navigation bar. Group mates and I found this rather unnecessary, especially when we could use one of the spaces on the navigation bar for Depop Circle. Therefore, we incorporated the camera feature for the shop to MyFeed and allowed the user to directly upload new items from Myfeed.
Depop Circle is a fashion community specifically for Depop users. On Depop Circle, the users can join or start communities and share opinions on shops, create polls, announce giveaways, tell stories, and learn how to alter existing clothing. They can also check popular posts by tapping on the Popular tab. Depop Circle serves as a community hub for Depop users, causing them to build a stronger bond with one another.
Depop circle has two types of UIs – text-based and photo-based. The two different types of UIs exist to aid the different types of posts people would post depending on the subject.
Walk Through Video
The video above is a walk through of the updated UI of Depop App. The video reveals how the interactions would trigger the actions among the screen.
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04. Designing a Physical Space called "Depop Swap"
Although the addition of Depop Circle spreads the knowledge and the reason to practice sustainable fashion, it does not actually help people practice it. Therefore, my group mates envisioned having a physical space for Depop. Depop Swap is a local pop up space for Depop users to swap clothings and take workshops on how to alter existing clothings. This one-day event will bring local Depop users closer and establish a closer-knit community.
Depop Swap Promotion in the App
Depop users will learn about local Depop Swaps on the Depop app. Depop will send a push notification for those who are geographically tailored in the specific location, informing users about the upcoming event. There is also Depop Circle community dedicated to the local Depop Swap. The users would register and add Depop Swap community to my community, posting and sharing thoughts on the event.
Given the lack of skillsets to render a 3D space and time constraint, we were unable to flush the space for Depop Swap. However, we envisioned Depop Swap being made up of two physical spaces: A workshop and a space for clothing swaps . If we had more time, I would love to learn sketch up or rhino to design the physical space.
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05. How would Depop Benefit from this?
New Brand Language
The altered branding language accurately promotes Depop's values and aligns with what the customers expect from their Depop experience. By having various styles, Depop will attract more users, reaching even greater demographics.
Depop Circle will promote greater user engagement on the app and encourage spending on the items. It would also position Depop as the only fashion app with communities, making it a unique and appealing app for newcomers. The community would also enforce the company's core value of human interaction.
Depop Swap would reach new users who are interested in attending workshops but not necessarily purchasing second-handed items. By charging people an entry fee, Depop Swap would also become an additional source of revenue. The pop-up event would also encourage users to interact in person and alter clothings instead of throwing them away.
Idea Notes for Depop Services
By enforcing new branding language, establishing Depop Circle, and opening up Depop Swap, Depop will be able to reinforce the company values: Green Ethos and Human Interaction.Not only that, the new features will also create new revenue streams and expand customer segments. The new features will also create a large value in Depop, since it will be the only company among the competitors with fashion community.
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If we had more time, I would like to further explore the concept of Depop Swap by rendering a 3D space. I would also like to conduct user research for the new app UI and ask if the design is intuitive and whether they would come back to the app.
Through Depop rebranding, I have learned to appreciate interdisciplinary teams a lot more. While Ashley and I always viewed the project from the designer's perspective, Lauryn mentioned the business side of the project. Without her input, the project would have been less well-rounded. I enjoyed working on this project because there were so many possibilities. I am satisfied with the outcome and glad that I got to work with amazing teammates.