Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Niamh Kearns 

MSc User Experience Design

Hey! I’m Niamh, a Fashion Designer turned UX designer. For my major research project I merged the two fields to help user’s select their size when shopping online and draw attention to the impact fashion has on the environment. I currently work for LetsGetChecked, a company empowering people to take control of their health through at home testing.

Trusting your size selection when shopping online

The lack of trust in size selection can lead to high levels of returns which negatively impact the environment. Online shoppers often purchase multiples of the same size to find the right size treating their homes like changing rooms. A persuasive design strategy, eco-feedback and size recommenders were implemented to answer the question of whether these strategies and tools make any impact on consumer trust in size selection. It discovered that when eco-feedback is provided to the consumer when shopping online it increases their trust levels and when coupled with a reliable size recommender this could encourage pro-environmental behaviour by reducing returns levels.

Objective and Results

This research identifies a gap in research around the use of mandatory size recommenders and eco-feedback. It examines existing e-commerce techniques of persuasion (social proof & data visualisation) that have been established as improving consumer trust. This study followed a human-centred design approach and a mixed methods methodology to research and design three varying prototypes. The concept of the app is a multi-brand shop giving accurate and honest sizing which is fed into by a community of shoppers with the goal of aiding the user to select the perfect fit, reducing the need to return. 49 participants were tested to see how much trust they had in the app concept and what their thoughts were on it. By testing the effects that size recommenders, a persuasive strategy and eco-feedback have on consumer trust this study established that the inclusion of all these techniques combined has the highest impact on trust. This study contributes to existing research on size recommenders and persuasion in eCommerce.