Sometimes simple still surprises

Posted: Tuesday 11th September 2012 in eCommerce Technology, Retail Strategy, Thought Leadership.

Finding the right recipe for usability is always a challenge.

I was admiring the shirt of a colleague earlier this week. It transpires he’d bought it online. But not just bought it – completely created it from scratch. He was delighted with the process, the shirts and the price, so I thought I’d take a look at itailor.co.uk.

And I can see why he was taken with the site. It really is a very, very simple concept and a very simple process. You start with a blank shirt template and gradually personalise every aspect of it – and I mean every aspect. Cloth type, colour (200 options), sleeve length, front style, back style, bottom style, collar type, pocket, cuff style, contrast fabric options (collar, cuff and placket), button hole thread, button hole style, button type, monogram and body type.

There are pitfalls in offering so much choice – particularly online. Too much choice can cause inertia to set in. The process can be too long. The multitude of options can lengthen the process unnecessarily and might cause you to give up. And what would be a fantastic experience in-store can become a frustrating chore in the absence of the assistance of an expert and a second opinion at critical points.

But the user experience is superb on itailor. You’re moved along – guided – as you go. You feel like you’re making progress at each step, not just chipping away at a near-infinite mountain of tailoring fussiness. I found the process engaging, memorable and enjoyable. And to top it all, the shirts are incredibly good value. The last part of this will be the quality of the shirt itself. I’ll report back when the shirt arrives.

I’d be interested to hear what you make of the usability.

Andy


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