I spent the summer of 2016 working as a UX intern at Dollar Shave Club in LA. Toward the front end of the summer I was given the task of exploring brand opportunities on non-traditional interfaces. I knew I had to create an experience that felt like a natural extension of the overall brand experience. My goal was to create a platform which made it easier than ever to interact with the brand. Due to the fun nature of the brand and the endless possibilities that AI offers, I knew this had the potential to be something special. On my last day at Dollar Shave Club I was apart of a successful pitch to the Executive Team for this vision to become a reality.
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While Dollar Shave Club is a fun brand, it is also for the most part a utilitarian brand. The concept of signing up for a razor subscription is appealing because it allows the customer to put their product purchasing on autopilot. As Dollar Shave Club has continued to grow they have introduced various lines of grooming products, going beyond razors. These NRPs (Non-Razor Products) can be added to a customer's monthly box and shipped for free. However since customers cannot yet subscribe to NRPs, this opens up a unique opportunity to streamline the purchasing and refilling process using Amazon Alexa.
To keep my brain from exploding and cut my work time down by a couple of decades, I decided to break the main intents of the skill down into six categories, which could be expanded on if needed. These six categories would serve as the foundation of the skill and ultimately the be intents that are set to to be available at launch. These six categories include Purchase, Product Info, Help, Box Status, Content and Other.
I then broke down each of these categories, pulled questions in which I thought would be most common and created a “happy flow” for each ask. The flows can then be triggered by saying many different things, but essentially work the same using different variables. The "fun" part is trying to determine all of the different options that go into each variable, which quite frankly will never be 100% and will always be growing based on user testing/user feedback.
One day while testing conversational flows with a team mate, I added in one word just to prank him. Instead of the introductory message saying “How can I help you today?”, it said “How can I help you today, bruh?” It is amazing how much one word can change everything. From this point on we included the word “bruh” in our testing with coworkers around the office. It immediately sets a tone for the conversation and gets the user excited to interact with the skill. By saying “bruh” it automatically throws off the systematic mindset most people have with AI. It creates an immediate, memorable experience, which is really important when you are trying to get people to interact with a tiny robot that sits silent in corner of their rooms.
It is important to ensure the entire brand interaction is smooth while club members discover, learn about and adopt the Alexa Skill. I have created a flow that works hand in hand with Amazon’s skill setup to ensure the user is never lost or unsure of what to do. If a user fails or gives up on trying to setup the skill it is unlikely they will ever try again. The onboarding and user sign-in screen sync up with DSC’s current style of design, so after the user agree to enable the skill they are immediately placed within an onboarding process that feel familiar and safe.
The addition that may stand out the most to the user is the security passcode setup. The user is asked if they would like to set up a personal secret code word. A secret code word would ensure users that they are the only ones that could access their DSC account via Alexa. User will be prompted to say the code word whenever conducting any actions that relate to account information or spending money. It is important to present this code word in a way that emphasizes the significance of the security feature without frightening users away.