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FARFETCH design and user research 101

By Jasmine Meijer
Jasmine Meijer
Discover, synthesise and design, making the web dance at Farfetch. Style child of Saint Laurent and Reformation.
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FARFETCH design and user research 101

Who are you guys? 

Currently the team is an international bunch of roughly 80. We speak around 17 languages between us, from Armenian to Hebrew, through to Indonesian and Punjabi.

Our Design and User Research stretch almost half the globe. Five offices, four time zones, and three continents: from azulejos speckled Portugal to bustling China.

Teams Origins
Some of our London & Lisbon folks clockwise: Wai-Tai Li, Rafael Costa, Sam Hardy, Diogo José Nogueira, Inês Araújo.

What does Farfetch do?

We help people find luxury items curated across 190 countries, and get it to them no matter where they are in the world.

Latest Gucci loafer circumnavigating half the globe? 

Piece of cake. 

Last pair of Saint Laurent tassel earrings?

No Sweat.

These orders are facilitated by our marketplace. A curated global inventory made of brands and stores that enables people to express their unique sense of luxury style.

One such record holder was an order from Nueva Andalucia, Spain to Warkworth, New Zealand. It was a hand embroidered headband. That’s almost 20,000 kilometres for the love of fashion. 

But in reality, it’s journey began way before the customer even hits ‘add to bag’. 

It’s the behind the scenes coordination that serves as Farfetch’s backbone. To get that headband from Spain to New Zealand.

What’s Design and User Research’s role in shaping Farfetch? 

Since Farfetch does not hold its own stock, it connects suppliers with shoppers. We build tools to make that all possible - photographing, curating, displaying and managing merchandise, through to delivery and beyond. And, as the ecosystem within the Farfetch platform evolves, there’s a range of new actors and possible journeys to consider.

Shoppers for example, who use our website or app, are only one type of customer. Customers can also be merchants (brands, boutiques and department stores) as well as Farfetch’s own internal teams.

These varied collaborators give us a unique design and research challenge. We must discover and meet user needs while welding them intro a broader, luxury experience, internal or external, online or offline.

How does this translate into everyday life?

Our team collaborates not only with product, engineering and analytics, but also operations, content, marketing and customer service. These teams all help frame our users’ journeys. It’s the photos, the packaging, the interface and the words customers absorb. It is our delivery partners that shoppers use to gauge our punctuality.

Whether the opportunity or solution is digital, physical or a blend of both, our talents are as diverse as the problem space we’re tackling.

We have product and service designers, and user researchers with both qualitative and quantitative expertise. Individuals span a constellation of backgrounds, from print to architecture, through to journalism and development. Kaleidoscopic viewpoints and experiences are baked into the team’s DNA. 
Backoffice workshop
Platform team left to right: Eduardo Rossini, Mariana Martins, Yuval Cohen, Ana Santos, Alix Craig, Lizzie Joyce.

It is through these divergent ways of thinking that we magnify the way we discover, synthesise and craft solutions for different types of customers. And while the approaches and tools vary, we treat our insights like kindling, they light the way forward.

For now, here’s a sneak peek into how our team celebrate and creates along our journey ‘todos juntos’ style — Portuguese, for ‘all together’.

Clockwise left to right: How to celebrate product launches, thanks Simon Doggett | "Dream big but make it happen” a team principle | Annual European Party, we call ‘Our Gathering’ in Guimarães with Breno Baldrati, Mariana Martins, Tiago Rodrigues, Jasmine Meijer | London Summer Party | Lisbon Office Ballpit with José Ferreria | Christmas with honorary Santa, Jen Malone.

"Olá” Design & User Research, Porto 2018.
PS: Wanna join in the fun solving problems with us, or there’s a topic you want to read more on, drop us a line.


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