Author Archives: Shiva Roofigari

Pier 1 Imports

Overview

Pier 1 Imports “Design Room” is a result of an intense 4 week user experience project that started from finding a business problem to developing possible prototypes for a decent concept.

In brief, Pier 1 Imports Design Room is an experience where young homebuyers would be informed about different design inspirations and assisted in finding their desired home furniture for their new house.

Introduce

pier 1 imports is known as the nation’s largest retailer of imported furniture and home decor. The company focuses on building a strong personal relationship with their customers by constantly responding to their needs, both in-store and online. The brand has a promise on providing decorative inspirations and guidance that help customers create beautiful and personal spaces in their homes.

Problem

However, Pier 1 Imports profit margin has decreased by -1.92% and this decline has started from 2014. Also, looking at the competitors such as Williams Sonoma and Crate & Barrel that have 52% and 44% ecommerce revenue respectively, the 24% revenue coming from ecommerce for Pier 1 Imports is not as effective as it can be.

Insights

We found two insights from the CEO of Pier 1 Imports, Alasdair James, that helped us to understand what the company is trying to achieve.

“There is still much to be done to build the business to its full potential.”Alasdair James, CEO of Pier 1 Imports, 2017.

“We recognize that we need to deliver top-line growth, while developing tactics to mitigate pressure on gross profit from our growing online sales channel to ensure the company can thrive in any future retail environment.” (2017).

Opportunity

We further looked to see where there are opportunities for us to intervene with design and help Pier 1 Imports to increase their e-commerce. Moreover, we found more quotes from the CEO of Pier 1 Imports:

“The real opportunity for us is to speak to the customers that we aren’t speaking to currently and to actually take a smaller share of a new group of customers whilst continuing to talk to our core”(2017).

“The core Pier 1 Imports customer is 45 years to 60 years old. We believe there is an opportunity for the brand to appeal to millennial’s between 30 and 40 years of age”.

And we framed this problem by asking how can Pier 1 Imports meet the needs of a new generation of audience while increasing their online sales?

We further looked into different markets to see that which ones are more beneficial for Pier 1 Imports and whether or not Pier 1 Imports could offer services for them. We found that ” 34% of home buyers are 36 years and younger, and 66% of them are first-time home buyers, we found out that they spend more than $10,000 worth of furniture and appliances in the first year after buying a new home.” Therefore, we decided to bring in first-time homebuyers as a new audience for Pier 1 Imports.

Customer Journey Framework

We created a customer journey framework to understand the frictions of a first-time homebuyers, and we noticed that in the engage phase, there are some frictions that customers experience, which Pier 1 Imports could resolve with their expertise in customer service. Therefore, we created a page extension called “Design Room” that informs and assists first-time homebuyers to buy furniture.

Role

UX design, concept development, video editing

I was mostly involved in the concept development of our project, user research, and video editing. Also, I was involved in the visual design of the interface of our digital product as well as the key interactions.

Into The Forest

One of my favorite projects that I did in IAT was called “Into The Forest”. This project was for one of my courses called IAT 222, which was about interactive arts. So basically, for our final project we had to create an interactive project and me and my group decided that we wanted to make an interactive project for the concept of “deforestation”. For this project, our focus was to produce an immersive environment that fosters human interaction.

We created this project by creating a hallway that consisted of two parts.First, an entrance part with grass on the floor and the sound of “birds’ singing” , and second, a middle to end part with the floor full of scattered papers, tree branches on the wall and the sound of chainsaws and falling trees.The idea was that one participant would first go through the entrance part of the corridor with the sound of “birds’ singing” playing in their provided headphones. This would give them a sense of pleasure and immersive environment of nature. However, by the time the participant would reach to the middle of the corridor, the space and sound would change. The sound changed into the sound of “chainsaws” and “falling trees”. This represented our concept of “deforestation” and caused a sense of fear, and an issue to think of.

Our project turned out great (not to brag about it), and also it was nominated for the open house of SFU. So we represented it again in the open house and got very good feedbacks.

You can see the interaction of our project by looking at the diagram below!

The Little Keeper

This week, for my body interface course, I had to make an interactive tangible object. The focus of this project was on the ways in which movement affects our experience of everyday tasks. One of the minimum requirements of the technical part of this project was that the device had to be portable. Also, the device had to use movement as its technical input and it could either use movement based or screen-based outputs.

Since I am a student, I did not have that much money to spend on this project. Therefore, I was limited with the tools I could use for this project and also to make a project that would meet all the requirements.

Moving on from struggles of being a student, I came up with a concept that is called “The Little Keeper”. I’ll explain how I came up with this concept by telling you about my sister. I have an older sister that borrow my stuff, specially my jewellery, without telling me. There has been times where I can’t find one of my jewellery and I ask her if she has it. But she doesn’t know if she has it or not. I’m a very organized person and I like to know where all of my stuff are.

Therefore, I have created a doll that is on top of a box. I have a distance sensor on the left of the box and another distance sensor on the right of the box to have good range of sensing an object. The doll on top of the box is connected to both of the sensor with a servo motor. When the left distance sensor senses and object getting close, then the servo turns to left and the doll would be facing the object. Also, the green LED that I have in the dolls’ eye would turn on when the distance sensor would sense anything. If the right distance sensor senses and object, then the servo would turn to right with the doll facing to the right and the blue LED would turnon. Moreover, if both of the distance sensors sense an object getting close, the servo turns to the middle with both of the LEDs turned on.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By creating this interactive tangible object, my sister would be reminded that she shouldn’t take any of my stuff without asking me. Every time she would try to take anything from my desk, “The Little Keeper” would turn to her with scary red eyes and would scare her to not take any of my stuff.

On Your Own

One of my favourite projects that I ever made was called “On Your Own”. I took a course in fall 2016, IAT 202: New Image Design, where we had to make a short film for our last group project. Me and my other three group mates decided to create a short documentary for our project. Our project turned out great and it was approved by the FCAT conference and we showcased it at the conference in February 2017. Here is the logline of our short documentary:

In this inspirational documentary, we follow the life of Maddi, known as Maddi Mcfly Cosplay online, who dreams of turning her hobby into a career in special effects makeup. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, she had to move out at the age of 20, and was unable to afford or have time for school among her many new responsibilities. She details the events of the past year, which prevented her from getting there by traditional means, and how she plans to continue moving forward.

You can watch our documentary by clicking on this link.

Hope you enjoy as much as I do! Please feel free to comment.

Sonic Dimensions

One of the projects that I’m working on is called “Sonic dimensions”. I am making this project with one of my friends for the FCAT conference that is on February 24th. The topic of this year’s conference is “space”, so we have to create a project that is related to space. Since my friend and I are very interested in sound, we decided to make a project to increase people’s consciousness about their surrounding acoustic space. An important characteristic of any space is its acoustic qualities. So many of the information that people receive from their surroundings are perceived through their sense of hearing and the way they are interpreted in their mind. However, in this modern world, there are not many people who are aware and conscious about their acoustic space in urban cities. They mostly isolate themselves by listening to loud music through digital devices, specially headphones, or act as passive listeners of their soundscape rather than being its active participants.

For our installation, we are going to have a projector projecting 4 different videos of different spaces including a church, forest, a busy street, and beach, on a wall. When a participant comes in, they have to step on a stand, put on the headphones and put on the special gloves that we have created for this project. We want the participants to feel that they are the conductors of those spaces in the videos.

The gloves that we have created have flex sensors on them and the participants can change the properties of our videos’ sounds by flexing their fingers. We have these flex sensors on two different figures and by flexing each finger, either the reverb or the volume of the sound would change. We have chosen reverb and volume because these two properties of sound are very important in defining a space. The participant can also try this with all four videos in order to understand that each space has its own unique acoustic and by changing them, the whole space and its atmosphere changes. You can get a sense of our installation by looking at the diagram below. I cannot wait to install this project and to see our participants’ reactions!

An Interesting Course

So today, I want to talk about one of the courses that I’m taking this semester. This course is called IAT 313: Narrative and media and is part of my program. I took this course because it was very interesting to me to know what are the important aspects of telling stories and also what are the important tools that need to be considered in telling stories. The focus of this course is to how to create a digital narrative and actually, we have to make a digital narrative project by the end of semester! Although this is going to be a very stressful, time-consuming project that would include a lot of writing, I am very interested in creating this digital narrative project and to learn how to make this project, a successful interactive narrative. As I have said, I’m into making interactive projects and engaging people. Another interesting aspect of this course that engages me is the readings we have to do each week. We have two textbooks, “Digital Storytelling” and “The Cambridge Introduction”. Both of these textbooks have really good discussions about narrative concepts. Sometimes, in “The Cambridge Introduction” book, there are historical myths mentioned, which makes me much more interested in reading the book since I love reading myths. Don’t you?

I will post my final project on my blog so that you can see what and how we have created it.