Re*Think Your Impact

Designing an interactive experience to highlight the issues surrounding the Cosmetics industry
INTERACTION DESIGN | UX/UI DESIGN |FRONT-END DEVELOPMENT

Context

Ringana is an Austrian company that sells high-quality cosmetics that are sustainable, natural and fresh. This e-commerce was founded in 1996, following an ambassador model, and currently delivers products to 34 countries in Europe. The challenge they currently face is that they recently launched in the Netherlands, but the brand is not very recognizable in the Dutch market.

Brief

When we obtained the brief from them, we were in the initial stages of the pandemic, and since their sales models relies heavily on a face-to-face model between their ambassadors and their potential consumers, they were exploring ways to increase their visibility. We were asked to develop a proposal “out of the box” that could increase their visibility in the Netherlands while highlighting their brand values.

Qualitative Research

With the challenge to increase the visibility of Ringana’s brand in the Dutch market, we went to the streets of understand and executed 52 interviews with Dutch citizens between the ages of 20 to 55 years old. We chose this age range because is the one the actual consumers of Ringana have, and with the interviews we tried to understand their cosmetics habits and also get to know about their knowledge about sustainable cosmetics, since its one of the most crucial brand values of our client, and come up with ideas to promote their values.

Ideation Sessions

We started our ideation sessions with the design question “How can we make use of physical space to highlight the issues surrounding the Cosmetics industry, whilst raising awareness of Ringana’s brand values?” which was a reflection of the insights we got from our desk and user research.

Brainstorming

We visited the Fashion for Good museum to know more about the negative side of the current cosmetic industry, as well as doing more desk research about the topic. Afterwards we did a series of brainstorming sessions and affinity diagrams to come up with ideas that could solve our design challenge.

An Interactive Exhibition

After analysing and further iterating over the initial concepts that we created, we chose to propose of our client a moveable, interactive exhibition focused on the impact the Cosmetics industry is having on the world, and what people can do about it, while showing what Ringana is doing to cope with this situation. Since the goal of the project was developing a proposal, we decided to design the concept of the entire idea and develop one of the experiences that would take place in the exhibition.

During our research phase we found out that 120 billion plastic packages are created per year in the cosmetic industry, and the vast majority is not recycled, leading to an increase of microplastics on the sea. This was something that the citizens we interviewed were not aware of, and made an impact on them, so we chose to base our experience on this message and raise awareness.

Interface Design

We developed this concept as an interactive experience on a tablet. Interactive content requires the participation of users, and leads to a higher engagement rate, which would let to an increase in the chances of citizens been conveyed by the message we were evoking in the experience.

For the development of the experience, we initially designed a series of prototypes that we tested with citizens to measure the impact on them and iterate based on the feedback we obtained.

Users on the tablet can create their songs and then it gets recorded

Sound Design

After our exploration on how we could create an impact on users, we came up with the use of sound to raise awareness. Users are not used to sound experiences, so since they don’t expect this it makes a bigger impact on them. We started designing the flow of the sound experience interface, looking for a way to create a sense of scalation, and began creating the prototypes.

Interaction

We recorded the sounds of wellness products that we had at home and then developed many different tracks to generate the sound scalation. Also, the sounds were tested to many people to obtain feedback about how they felt listening to those sounds. The users at the beginning of the experience had to create their own song with these products, and then the experience would combine and escalate the sounds of these plastic creating an unpleasant sound to the user.

Then the sound experience stops, showing to the user that this is what 120 billion plastic products sound like, showing them that this is the amount of plastic the cosmetic industry creates.

Testing the experience with users

Conceptual Design

We designed the layout of the physical experience, as well as a walk-through each of the containers. The first container tells the history and rise of cosmetics and beauty, the second one the current situation of this industry and how it affects our ecosystem. Finally, the last container shows experiences related on the industry and the masses can take action towards a future that is more sustainable, circular and earth positive.

Reflection

Since this was a 4 week project, we knew that it wasn’t possible to develop all the experiences that this proposal would have, so we focused on creating and testing a fully working experience that could raise awareness and show the brand values of our client. This project gave me the opportunity of developing an experience with sound, which was something new to me, and I learned how we can use sound to make an impact on users.

Team & Role

This project was executed with 3 other digital designers: Beauchamp Bagenal, Luca Kler Lago, and Sophie de Haan. The main client of this project was Ringana, and the duration of the project was of 4 weeks. We executed this project under the Master Digital Design programme of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. My contribution for this project was UX/UI design, concept development, desk and user research, and sound editing.