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The launch of the new fashion sharing site todayimwearing.com is the latest contribution to a now established trend which has changed the way fashion trends are communicated and bought.

Joining an army of fashion bloggers, users of the site can upload photos of themselves, tag their outfits and check out what others are wearing.

We wondered how the experience on todayimwearing.com, with its user generated content would compare to a high street giant such as TopShop.com which has had many years to perfect the online experience for their customers.

Using whatusersdo.com we asked users, who are regular online clothes shoppers, to browse the sites for an outfit they genuinely liked and try to buy it. We then asked them which site they preferred and why.

First impressions: todayimwearing.com 

On first entering the site, users appreciated todayimwearing.com for being able to see what clothes looked like on real people, not models whose images have benefited from digital retouching.

They also liked seeing ideas on putting outfits together. It was initially a little overwhelming however and some users were unsure where to start as there is no ability to narrow the selection see different categories of outfits.

This is a shame and should be possible since users tag their outfits with a mood and occasion e.g. ‘laid back’ , ‘clubbing’. User can view editor’s picks and most loved but this is a collection of different types of outfits.   

Buying process

In the offline world, linking user uploaded outfits to the buying process equates to something like stopping someone in the street and asking them asking for a roll call of their outfit components.

This would be a valuable feature but instead, todayimwearing.com seems to have accidentally emulated a calculating fashion type who deliberately tells people the wrong information to stay ahead of the pack.

Users became very frustrated after repeatedly clicking on links from the outfit either to be taken to a blank page or the wrong item entirely. 

Clip one TIW: Primark page not loading

Clip two: user taken to different shoes

Clip three: user not shown boots she selected and taken to the wrong trousers

Some items uploaded did not have any buy links but still had the ‘Get the look’ title text which caused confusion. As one user succinctly put it: “if the link isn’t there then don’t show the title or tell the user that there is no link available”. 

Clip four: user is unable to shop for the items

Some users went to the ‘Shop’ section of the site and found this to be the type of product page they were used to looking at with item images and filter categories.

They soon realised however that each item clicked on would take them to a different retailer’s site for each piece of the outfit which caused disappointment.

Clip five: user clicks on dress expecting to be able to buy it on the site

Finding an outfit on TopShop.com

Users were comfortable with this site and liked the ability to see clear categories and product images. After having seen outfit ideas on todayimwearing.com however, users found the ability to do this lacking on TopShop.com.

Clip six: difficulties finding a look on TopShop

Despite this, users were mostly easily able to select items and add them to their shopping bags. They appreciated being offered free delivery and being told the delivery dates. 

Clip seven: TopShop Clip, summary two

 

Conclusion

Both sites have their strengths but todayimwearing.com is currently over promising and under-delivering in raising users’ expectations of being able to buy the clothes they see. Either they should fix this issue or remove the cues that make these false promises.

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Published 19 December, 2012 by Kathryn McDonnell

Kathryn McDonell is a User Experience Consultant at WhatUsersDo.com and a contributor to Econsultancy.

12 more posts from this author

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