AWAY

background

AWAY is a direct-to-consumer luggage company  with a strong following among young travelers. The brand also launched a travel magazine titled, Here Magazine. Until now, the two brands have had separate identities, despite efforts to cross-reference, and it hasn't been clear that they are related.

How might we create a unified brand identity for both AWAY and Here Magazine?

CHALLENGE

AWAY and Here have two distinct personalities.

OPPORTUNITY

AWAY represents the joy of travel. Here represents the thrill of discovery and culture.

SOLUTION

Create a new brand identity, design system that emphasizes exploration.

CONTEXT
Student Project
DATE
Sep 2019, Dec 2019
TOOLS
Sketch, Figma, Principle, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator
Team
Solo Project
role
UX/UI Designer, Interaction Designer, Strategist
skills
Strategy, UX/UI, Prototyping, Interaction Design, Design Systems

Challenge

Audit an existing brand and re-imagine their brand identity and product extension

Opportunity

At its core, AWAY is a travel brand that offers premium products for the seasoned traveler. They've capitalized on this identity with the expansion of their sister company, Here Magazine, but currently the two brands have separate personalities. What if there was a way to combine the power of the two to create a more cohesive and enjoyable experience?

Target

Demographic: Young people, ages 18-35
Primary countries: United States
Interests: Travel, photography, creative fields, influencer marketing

Solution

Create a unified design system that can be used for both AWAY and Here Magazine and emphasizes the aspect of travel and exploration. Implement a more intuitive navigation to simplify finding information. Introduce a new creative content piece that showcases the inspiration behind AWAY's color palette based off of Here Magazine's curated travel guides.

Additional context: This project was completed in Fall 2019. AWAY redid their design system and web interface in late winter/early Spring 2020. Elements of this project have been revised to fit within AWAY's current design system.

target
Young adults, ages 18-35, income $45K+
regions
United States
Interests
Travel, photography, creative fields, influencer marketing

Become a better traveler. Become a better you.

Luxury made affordable

AWAY's average luggage prices for roughly $200 per unit. That's a steal compared to $1K+ for a competitor item from Tumi or Rimowa. Yet, compared to other mid-priced competitors like Samsonite or Delsey, AWAY presents an alluring image of exuberance, refinement, and luxury.

Designing for exploration

Here Magazine creates custom city guides for famous locations such as Jaipur, Ubud, Madrid, and more. Every city has its own flavor and flair that presents itself through architecture, color, and pattern.

part one

Design System

Elevated brand principles and color naming based off of Here's magazines city guides

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part two

New Navigation

Eliminating nested pages, creating four nav tabs: Shop, Personalize, Discover, and Get Inspired

view details

part three

Color Passport

Interactive lookbook exploring new color-ways with links to matching Here city guides

view details

Establising brand principles

I created four brand principles.

For typography, I applied light changes to AWAY’s existing typefaces, specifically choosing ModernoFB as my primary serif font to add a little bit more personality to my design system. I also chose Roboto Mono as my mono font for additional headings and Avenir as my primary sans serif font for heading, subhead and body.

As it exists today, AWAY's color palette is very basic. The primary colorways are Black, Navy, Green, Asphalt, Coast, White, Sand, Blush, and Brick. After establishing my brand principles, I decided to revise AWAY's color palette to have more flair and be more aspirational. Because one of my main priorities was to create tighter integration between AWAY and Here Magazine, I decided to take the city names from Here Magazine's city guides and apply them to my colorways. My main nine colors are Jaipur, Lisbon, Shanghai, Monaco, Cape Town, Madrid, Mexico City, Ubud, and Dublin. This initial decision heavily influenced my idea to build a feature around my color palette.

Make a set...should be simple, right?

AWAY's current navigation flow operates via two main channels, Shop and Explore. In my first user test, I asked individuals to try to "Make a Set", an existing feature of the site called "Travel Uniform". It took users over three minutes to find the right page.

view user flow

Redesigning the Menu Nav

I redesigned the menu bar to feature four channels - Shop, Personalize, Discover, and Get Inspired. With this architecture, I sought to eliminate the number of clicks needed to get to crucial product and service pages, specifically the "Travel Uniform" service that allows shoppers to create combo luggage sets.

Introducing the Color Passport

The Color Passport is an interactive lookbook designed to highlight AWAY's color palette and the cities that inspired it. As mentioned above, I redesigned AWAY's color taxonomy to be based on Here Magazine's city guides. The Color Passport features all nine colors and cities — Jaipur, Lisbon, Shanghai, Monaco, Cape Town, Madrid, Mexico City, Ubud, and Dublin. Each color page contains an image of the location, short summary, link to the Here Magazine guide, as well as an option to shop the color in one of AWAY's four main sizes.

visualize

Color Match

Each page showcases the main color swatch, the product image, and a matching city image. This visual is designed to convey the character and personality of the city, visually explain how the color was inspired by the city landmarks.

learn

City Description

Each Color Passport page features a short summary blurb that is derived from the larger Here Magazine guide and highlights two to three main city attractions. Each summary ends with a link to read the full article on Here Magazine’s main webpage.

buy

Click to Shop

If a user is interested in a particular color, they can hover over one of the suitcase icons below the city description to shop in their desired size -- Carry-On, Bigger Carry-On, Medium, or Large. Once at the product page, they can return back to the Color Passport if they wish to do so.

On the road again

I animated my suitcase icons so the handles popped up and wheels appeared when a user hovered over them. I wanted to convey the feeling a traveler has when about to embark on a journey and the excitement that comes when you click your luggage handle up! I added a tooltip beneath each icon to make the feature more accessible.

Competitive market research and brand audits
I mapped out AWAY's position against some of its closest competitors in terms of price and brand positioning. Because I was very interested in fixing the flow of the shopping navigation, I also conducted individual audits of Tumi and Rimowa's websites to see if there were similarities or things to be improved in their flows.
Moodboards
To gather inspiration for my design system and my new features, I built moodboards featuring photography, typefaces, and illustrations. Two of my biggest inspirations were Unsplash travel photography and vintage travel magazines.
User Journey
I created a simple user journey for our target user that incorporated touchpoints for both AWAY and Here Magazine. There were other touchpoints and journeys that I considered but ultimately left out due to time limits on the project, but I left them for consideration in the future (e.g. adding better presence for Here Magazine guide links on the product page itself). The original project prompt asked us to choose a specific medium and design our feature for that, so I chose to design for desktop.
Wireframes
I sketched basic outlines for how I wanted my features to work. I used wireframes to layout the initial infrastructure of my prototypes in Figma and added more advanced animations in Principle.
Iterative prototypes
When AWAY introduced their redesign in Winter 2020, I was excited because their new aesthetic matched what I had designed in Fall 2019. However, this meant that I had a new challenge to tackle — how to ensure my prototypes stood up to this new redesign. While AWAY's redesign showed an aesthetic change, there was little change in general user experience and no solution to the pain points I had discovered earlier. So, for my second redesign, I kept the new aesthetic and adjusted my features to reside within the new infrastructure.

Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest impact.

This was my first UX/UI project at Brandcenter, and it was quite terrifying at first. I made a lot of mistakes early on, but I kept improving. Doing the project again a second time felt exhilarating, knowing now that I had the confidence in knowing I had done it before. If I had more time to dedicate to this project, I would love to consider building the feature out for mobile and also invite more user feedback to keep improving the navigation flows.

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3.1 Phillip Lim

background

3.1 Phillip Lim is a global luxury fashion brand based out of New York City. Since its inception, it has prioritized diversity and bringing awareness to social issues through its collections, collaborations, and media activities. However, many of these activities are disjointed.

How might we create a space for 3.1 Phillip Lim to celebrate and expand these efforts?

CHALLENGE

Digital and physical brand experiences don't align.

OPPORTUNITY

Individual projects carry strong brand value and deserve recognition.

SOLUTION

Consolidate all brand endeavors under one single program.

OverviewStrategySolutionProcessReflection