Favoriting in the One Kings Lane iPad app

As a flash-sales website, the items listed on One Kings Lane are constantly changing. This is exciting for users because every day there is something new to see. It's great for the company because, unlike traditional brick-and-mortar furniture stores which update their inventory with the seasons of the calendar, OKL can tweak their offering daily to meet demand and the latest trends.

A problem arises when a happy customer comes to the site to buy a new chair and has to look through all of the available sales to see if we're selling any today. Or worse, they find a chair they like, but decide they'll buy it later when they have more time to look at it. Unfortunately, there is no way of saving an item for later. They have remember how they found it and retrace their steps to find that chair. That's ridiculous! 

Traditional e-commerce sites use a wish list to solve this problem, but they usually have a constant inventory. I wanted to rethink the concept from the perspective of flash sales. I called it Favorites.

I started with a lengthy competitive analysis of e-commerce sites to understand different ways to save an item for later. Some were as simple as tapping a button. Others had a more elegant solution. Zappos would have a drawer pop out from the bottom and an animated robot would bounce the product inside. It was by far the most creative implementation I saw.

Early brainstorming on the whiteboard.

I started breaking down the different screens in the current OKL iPad app to see where my concept might fit in. I started with the Product Description Page (PDP). This is the page where users can see all the product photos, description, and where they can add to cart. However if they don't add to cart, they bounce. Adding a save-to-favorites button here would capture some of that interest. As a user, familiar with similar features on other sites, this placement should feel natural.

Moving up the funnel, we get to the Event Description Page (EDP). All the items for a particular sale or collection are listed here. The purchasing intent on this page is not as strong as it might be on the PDP; this page has more of a browsing mindset. For this reason, adding to favorites might not be as important here. However, if present it would offer a helpful data point on the items that people find most interesting. For power users, this would allow the ability to scroll through the collection, favoriting items for refinement later.

An easy way to add this is to slap a button on top of every image in the EDP, but I wanted to avoid the visual repetition. Instead, I thought it would be cool if holding down on an image would produce an animation that, once completed, would favorite the item. It would have to be short (no longer than it takes to double tap an image on Instagram) to allow users to get back to browsing. While initially a hidden feature, I felt as though people would hold down on an image naturally as they scrolled and the animation would make it discoverable. After experimenting with a javascript prototype, I liked it.

I settled on the heart icons instead of the "Favorite" buttons. It was between a heart or a star because I believe both communicate "favorite" equally well when placed in the context of an item in the app. Stars would be more androgynous, but I liked the hearts better. I didn't worry about potentially turning away a male audience because most of OKL's users are female anyway.

I drew up several different options and layouts. I considered placement and empty states. Eventually I kept my changes small and consistent with the current design language.

As part of this project, I also wrote and presented a business case for the development of this feature. I pulled from recent user surveys and usage data. My argument was that the inclusion of this feature would increase engagement within the app and that was worth a sum of additional revenue every month.

Not long after my internship, they began developing and launched this feature across the site. Their final implementation is a little different from the design I proposed, but it's exciting for me to see it live! Check it out on the iPad!