Sew Ahead is a retail website for home-sewers that provides digital and hard copy patterns that are tailored to their needs as well as informational and inspirational content to help them with new projects. This is in response to the way in which the hobby sewing industry has remained stagnant since the last century. Patterns are still largely inspired by industrial practices, leaving less experienced sewers confused and more innovative sewers bored. Patterns are also still based on standard sizing, a group of ‘average’ measurements that excludes and alienates large groups of users.
Ten women, of various sewing abilities and experience, were interviewed over three weeks regarding their experiences with sewing at home and their use of patterns. It was found that although there were differences between ages, two clear attitude segments emerged, irrelevant of age. These are Lambs: users who lack confidence based on their self assessment, often despite having a great deal of sewing experience, and Lions: those users who have fewer anxieties over their abilities and the consequences of their actions and a higher value for flexibility.
Customer Journey Maps
It was almost universally observed that those interviewed do not feel that their bodies are represented by the sizing of off-the- peg garments. This was not only in relation to the three basic measurements, but unexpected aspects such as arm length and the distance between bust and shoulders. This revealed that the one size fits all nature of patterns is a pain point for many, particularly those who lack the skills to make major adjustments to patterns and garments. This will be resolved by having the user input their measurements within the browsing process. The pattern will be shipped to them already adjusted and ready to sew.
The second major pain point revealed through research was skill level. The Lambs find this a major pain point, inhibiting some users completely from certain projects because of their perceived incompetence. Lions are also stifled by the way in which patterns do not offer much variation or challenge. This will be addressed by enabling users to set the level of complexity of a garment before shipping.
|Product page||• title
• hero image
• supplementary images
• complexity variations
• preview of method
• link to tutorials
|Category landing page
• large image
|How to||• build it- seams, pockets, collars
• finish it- hems, buttons, zips
• fix it- patches, repair a seam, replace a collar etc
|FAQ||• can I buy your patterns in-store?
• why are you asking for my body measurements?
• how do I print the patterns?
• how many times can I print?
• how much is shipping?
• what is your returns policy?
|My account||• My details
• payment details
• My orders
• complexity variations
• fix it
• My Profiles
• add profile
• manage profiles
|Log in/Sign up window||• name
|About us||• why did we start? • who are we?
• join our team
Walk Through Video
Watch a short walkthrough of buying a denim skirt on Sew Ahead.
Click here to open the full medium fidelity prototype, built using AxureRP. Try and buy a pattern for a denim skirt!