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Wish ATL
and Zoo as zoo
A new kind of

Any general search for online consumer shopping habits and you’ll quickly note 
the frustration referred to as “tab hell”. A buyer browses an online store, opening up each item that catches their eye in a new tab to sift through later, a pattern that isn’t optimal but something that most of us still do. The online marketplace is also inundated with products and a simple Google search for Nike sneakers will yield millions, if not billions of results. Right from Google, before a customer even opens your site, they’re opening up several other websites simultaneously and browsing that same product across many other stores. Our first challenge, how do we keep customers engaged in Wish ATL and focused on the products on Wish’s site? How do we give them exactly what they’re looking for here and now and allow them to forget the other seven open tabs?  This is a challenged faced by many retailers today yet most stay true to the tried and tested patterns followed by all online stores, Wish ATL was trying to change the norm and lead the way to trial a new way to shop online, willing to learn and iterate as we went.


"This happens every time. I have never encountered an online shopping site that effectively deals with the issue of having to open products in separate tabs."


An audit of the current website experience

Knowing that we had an engineering team ready and waiting, I did an audit of their current site taking into consideration our goals for this project and improvements we’d need to make along the way, providing both short and long term adjustments that we’d need to make. For example, customers could only purchase a single pair of sneakers, however there was a quantity field on the item that allowed them to check out with multiple, regardless of the design direction this was one of the many interactions we needed to update. This helped prevent both our customers from feeling frustrated that their order was cancelled and saved employees time in having to cancel an order and explain why to the customer.

Existing experience
The existing experience lacked the uniqueness and creativity of the brand and it's in-store experience, repeating information and layouts between every page and quickly becoming static and losing a customer's interest.


How do we keep customers engaged with wish atl and loyal to the brand?

In parallel with the designs, Wish ATL was also trialing a rewards program to keep customers returning to the brand. Events themed around the next sneaker drop tend to attract celebrities and influences from across the country, meaning they were the place to be seen at for customers but also, events were sometimes the only way you could guarantee yourself access to the product being dropped too. Given the exclusivity of these events, part of the loyalty program planned to reward customers with tickets and presale options for future sneaker drops, keeping them returning to and purchasing from the store. Since rewards were becoming increasingly important for the brand, we explored ways to highlight its importance online too.


Where we brought traces of the physical store into the digital experience

Early on in the process I met with the team to walk through the store and experience all the intricies they’d weaved throughout. The blue wave in the carpet was a subconcious path that customers walked along and followed, flowing past the shiny metalic surfaces contrasted next to the overly fluffy display cabinents, the store was previously a library so the staircase is made entirely of books that were once there to be read, going down the stairs is as if you’re going through the books into another realm. There are also subtle illustrations in the wallpaper and a not so-subtle wall decorated with thousands of shoelaces, hiding the entrance way to the back office but also reminiscent of a tv screen and the pixelated view you’d see once the signal was lost. All these hidden elements (and more) the team had asked to be incorporated into the site, however I trusted my gut and working with them, realised they wanted this experience of finding small easter eggs throughout, with connections to the roots of the city and it’s customers, not a carbon copy from the physical to the digital.

The fitting room & custom backgrounds
We wanted this to feel like it belonged to the customer, that this was their corner within the company. We created a space for them to graffiti or paint the background on top of the illustrations and texture inspired by the physical store.

The blue path is represented in the navigation, the blue colour highlighting where you are and your next step (CTAs) and the various textures throughout the store translated into background patterns, utilising the same illustrations and a peg-board like appearance with both rigid outlines and free form graffiti pens. (The graffiti also paying homage to their physical location, where graffiti artists regularly paint over the side of the store). We had planned for the page to load in pixels too, replicating that of the meaning behind the shoelace wall and when customers navigated between the pages, we’d zoom out, weave through a “story”, and then hone back into a new area of the site, almost like passing down the stairs into that new realm.


“You wouldn’t immediately go try on the first item you like in a store without looking around at the other things you may want to try on.”


Where we brought traces of the physical store into the digital experience

The fitting room concept was an idea the team was drawn too and committed to trying, with a belief that in the future, this could evolve into an  AR focused experience with customers digitally trying on the products from home. My challenge was how to make this work in a world where AR isn’t quite as accessible just yet. The result was a place where customers could collect and share the items, rotating and resizing items to look at the details of the product and compare and contrast them side by side before adding them to the cart. An experience we hoped could replace the idea of opening multiple tabs to complete the same task. We also wanted this to be personal to the customer, so we introduced the ability to customise/graffiti the background, snapshot items or outfits to share to social media and to pull in previously purchased items to get a sense of how their wardrobe could look. There were multiple closets available too, for example Friday Night, Wedding Attire or Summer 2021 depending on the look or style the customer was going for and these could easily be accessed by an in-store salesperson to help curate and advise customers on new pieces if requested.

Interacting with items in the fitting room
Items in the fitting room are being added to the cart, noting the preselected size. Where we could we tried to streamline checkout, preselecting previously purchased sizes, suggesting colour ways based off order history and saving cart information and preferences.

Given how quickly sneakers can sell out, it was also important that we weren’t creating an additional required step before checkout, meaning adding an item to the fitting room was optional. Alongside this, we also created a more seamless buy now button for customers signed in to their loyalty accounts to allow them to  purchase an item with a single click.


Engineering implications and Halting the project

In the end, this result was too large of a project for the engineering agency that had been contracted from the beginning to be able to deliver. Based on early conversations and their portfolio, I had raised concerns to the team but was assured they'd signed a contract and promised they could complete it. We held weekly syncs with the team and documented updates and new requirements regularly, however ultimately the engineering team backed out, stating it was beyond their skillset and they couldn't outsource it further. Unfortunately this placed the project on an indefinite hold which is where it still stands today.

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Wish ATL

Introducing a new E-commerce experience
"Wish ATL is the heart of our city. It’s who we are, what our city is & where we come from. We embody our customers, the risk takers and their creativity, the forward thinkers and their knowledge, and the creatives and their thought provoking style."
with Wish ATL*/
Wish ATL
In Partnership
with Zoo as Zoo
Browsing Wish ATL store's full product inventory
Whilst customer's browsed, the client felt it was important for them to also be able to see what was both in their fitting room and in their bag already to help inform their purchasing decisions.
Previewing an item from anywhere on the site
We introduced both the capability to add an item to the fitting room and to 'buy now', mirroring the refreshed aesthetic identity for the site.
Curating a search list with  the customer top of mind
A global search that also utilised machine learning to suggest what's relevant to you as a customer in that moment, leveraging data from other customers and store shopping trends from customers with similar tastes.
Taking the fitting room into a digital space
The fitting room was the customer's own space for them to gather, compare and look at the details of every product that caught their attention whilst browsing. Note the mouse button expands on click to allow further customisation of the page.


Introducing a new E-commerce experience

"We have a story to tell & the way we tell it is thought-provoking, our ideas are new & first of their kind. We set the standard that others follow."

When Zoo as Zoo reached out to me to help design a new site for a local store, I couldn't wait. Having followed their work for some time, I knew what they were capable of and the standards they held their work too. I also knew the store, Wish ATL, was the cool, creative, hip place to shop in downtown Atlanta and so whatever we dreamed up, had to be cutting-edge. Their current store had been completely refurbished to reflect the artistic wave of talent deep within the city and the on trend products for sale at that location. I worked with the teams to update their site to embrace this shift in aesthetic, and to reflect the new store within their e-commerce site.
Product goals //
Establish a new way to shop online that's hands on and geared towards a future AR reality
Bring to life the spirit of the recently refurbished store into the e-commerce store
Work alongside the in-house team to develop a product roadmap to continue growing the store & the experience


The client and agency I partnered with are some of the most creative people I've had the pleasure of working with, but they were also creating with a purpose and a story to tell, something that I admired and was inspired by throughout this project. Because of that, this was definitely a lesson too in taking an imaginary concept and testing how we could bring it into reality using the limited resources we had. With their ability to think conceptually and my ability to understand and translate that story into something more tangible, we produced a project we are all proud of to this day.
This project was thought-provoking, overwhelming and exhausting at times, inspirational and challenging, but also the most creative freedom I've ever been given from client. Ultimately I think this also partially contributed to the project being placed on hold due to the sheer amount of work required to implement it and I regret not having stood by my gut and initial hesitations on the engineering teams' ability to execute. In the long-run, if we'd paused this project earlier we'd have saved time, money and the effort of everyone involved, and we could have pivoted and simplified much earlier on in the process. The designs were a success and received well by the CEO, owner and corporate with everyone being excited and anticipating the day it'd go live on the site, however unfortunately that day isn't yet in sight. Despite this, I do value the relationships I made throughout this project with the creative team though, and we're currently exploring our partnership further through other freelance projects.
What we launched & how we did it ** //
View the case study

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Please get in touch! I love hearing from others and always up to make a new connection. */