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What is Shein?

Founded in 2008, SHEIN is an online store that earns $16 billion annually. It offers women's, men's, children's, and home products, using a fast fashion model to swiftly replicate current trends.

Their target audience includes females aged 12-21 and parents of young children.

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Project Overview:

To solve users issue by redesigning “SHEIN.CO.UK"

ROLE:

UX Designer, UI Designer, UX Researcher

DELIVERABLES:

3 mobile apps and desktop screens. 

PROJECT DURATION:

3 Weeks. 1 week of research + 2 weeks of design

TOOLS:

Figma, Canva, Freehand

METHOD:

The Double Diamond Method

  • Discover: What is the problem?

  • Define: What are the needs of my user?

  • Develop: How many ideas can I think of?

  • Deliver: What is my final solution?

Discover: Why are users having issues with SHEIN.com?

User Research

In the discovery phase of my process, I used an online questionnaire. Since it was a case study, I had a limited user pool from social media but if this was a real project, I would aim for a larger candidate pool.

 

To minimise bias, the survey was anonymous, had neutral language, and avoided leading questions. The goal was to gather data on user experiences with SHEIN.CO.UK and its competitors.

 

Here are some findings from the questionnaire:

Q1 :What is your first action when using an Ecommerce store?

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Q10: Is there anything you would change to improve SHEIN.COM? 

"The Layout"

"Clearer search names"

"Reduce flashiness and pop-ups"

"Mute the colours"

"The colours of the website"

"The order, it's messy"

- 6/35 Respondants

Findings:
  • SHEIN is seen as messy and confusing

  • SHEIN have too many options to browse through

  • The discount/voucher pop-ups are distracting

  • Most users browse through the category tabs first

  • "Filter by" and "Product Reviews" are the most important factors

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The Problem:

Users reported that the homepage of SHEIN felt like a large ad—filled with visual clutter and lacking organisation.

 

I, therefore, did my own browsing of the website to pinpoint the issue which had arisen.

I found that the website is cluttered with many call-to-action features and discount banners. The copy lacks a consistent brand identity as fonts, buttons, and graphics are designed differently.

 

Overall SHEIN is a visual mess that causes unpleasant browsings for users.

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SHEIN's Homepage August 2022

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Define: What are the needs of my user?
The Goal

 To simplify SHEIN.COM with a clean-cut redesign to improve clarity and functionality. A focus on search options which need to be displayed to create easy navigation.

Competitor Analysis

To identify any missing features in SHEIN, I conducted a competitor analysis.

 

I selected Prettylittlething.com and Boohoo.com as direct competitors due to their shared target audience with SHEIN.CO.UK. Additionally, I included Bershka.com as an indirect competitor, despite catering to a different audience, because of its popularity as an eCommerce site.

Competitor Analysis Findings:
  • SHEIN lacked brand identity. I wasn't able to say "that (X) is what SHEIN is about"

  • SHEIN was promoting too many fashion lines at once.BOOHOO/PRETTYLITTLETHING were explicitly promoting summer/spring wear. SHEIN was promoting spring/summer wear, back-to-school clothes and a sale they were having at the time.

  • SHEIN'S large catalogue led to slow navigation. It was difficult to browse through the website in under an hour.

  • Filtering was complicated. BOOHOO'S dress filters were labelled; midi, maxi etc. While SHEIN'S filters were: preppy, boho etc. It wasn't clear what each of these dresses where or what they looked like.

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Click to enlarge

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User Personas 

Three personas were crafted based off common SHEIN users which I identified through the questionnaire. Thess are "the busy business woman","the influencer" and "the student". These personas highlighted the problem areas that needed to be improved.

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The busy woman
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The influencer
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The student
**click to enlarge**
Mind map

I decided to mind map my ideas for the SHEIN redesign. I aimed to brainstorm ideas which reduced the "busyness" of SHEIN to create easy navigation. I used the needs of the personas and the results from the competitor analysis to influence my decisions.

 

​I was able to see which features were required within the app to ensure all user's needs were met. I found that the mind mapping method was effective as it mimics the way our brain strings information together. I was able to expand and explore my ideas easily with this method, which helped with the ideation process.

** Click to Enlarge **

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Develop: "How many ideas can I think of to solve the problem?"

Ideations

My aim was to redesign SHEIN.CO clean-cut redesign to improve clarity and functionality. . As my target audience was vulnerable people, I didn't want the app to cause any further stress or worry.

Crazy Eights/Low-fidelity

Category page

Homepage

Item page

Mid-Fidelity

With my mid-fidelity wireframes I focused on which layout was most practical from my low-fidelty stage. I also chose my colour theme and icons.

APP PAGES

Category page

Homepage

Item page

WEBPAGES

Category page

Homepage

Item page

Deliver: "Was I able to simplify SHEIN'S mobile app and website with a clean-cut redesign to improve clarity and functionality. ?"
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High- Fidelity Final Interfaces

With my high-fidelity wireframe I fine tuned all my from the previous steps choices. I was able to:

  • Chose colours to create brand identity.

  • Ensured the mobile app and the website had synergy.

  • Chose fonts that were used throughout the website/app.

  • Created pages which where organised and informative.

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Category page

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Item page

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Homepage

>> UX Laws <<
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Hicks Law​:

The original homepage had too many discount options, overwhelming users. To address this, I relocated all discounts to a scrolling banner at the top of the page. This change allows users to easily grasp the requirements for each discount.

Progressive disclosure:

Subheadings are hidden until one of the main headings is hovered over.This was to declutter the header to create a clean homepage and reduce cognitive overload to enhance user experience.

Law of Common Region:

Borders and boxes have been added to separate different types of information and to indicate which areas are relevant to each other.

Jakob's Law: 

Through research, I found that respondents also used Prettylittlething, Boohoo and Isawitfirst, which all used similar themes, typefaces and call to action. Due to this, I chose a similar colour theme and general look to SHEIN's competitors.

>> Problems Solved <<

Product Page

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REDESIGN

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SHEIN 2023

Product details, customer reviews and delivery options have been moved to the same area on the page.

Users had to scroll up and down the page to find information on the products previously. This caused poor naviagtion, cluttered look and a negative user experience.

Category Page

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REDESIGN

SHEIN 2023

I changed the filters from ambiguous description such as "Notched and Mandarin collar" to clear labels like "Maxi and Midi" to reduce user confusion.

Product Page

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REDESIGN

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SHEIN 2023 

I explicitly detailed how many items are found at the top of the category page. This was a missing feature on the original webpage, that users found frustrating. Users felt browsing was tedious as they couldn't gauge how long they'd be shopping for.

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Reflection

For this project, I redesigned the current SHEIN website and app.

I aimed to improve the user experience by updating the interface. I changed many areas that were causing user issues. This was the layout of screens, filtering options and the overall brand identity.

 

I enjoyed working on this case study, as I was able to fix the problems of a major e-commerce brand. I learnt the importance of user research and competitor analysis, as I felt this was vital for the ideation process.

 

I do believe my strength was in the research processes however, I would have liked to have a larger size of respondents. Although due to time constraints, this wasn’t possible for this project.

 

I would use A/B Testing if I could launch this project. I need to understand and confirm what issues may exist after I changed the design. I'd be able to do this by further observing the user's journey.

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