Introducing a new contact lens that enhances the natural beauty of the eye, adding natural-looking definition to the limbal ring, a subconscious indicator of youth and vitality.
Women already wearing contact lenses that want the added benefit of enhancing their look with little to no additional cost to the contact lenses they already purchase and fashion forward women who are looking for new or innovative beauty enhancements to set them apart. They may or may not already purchase non-prescription lenses from less than reputable sources (e.g. small online stores).
Help launch a new contact lens in the UK, in a new category, that required consumers to visit an eyecare professional for trial. Drive interest and trial by showing consumers the product benefits in a meaningful way, including using potential partnerships with Boots and other UK drug stores.
I was the Creative Director of Design and a member of the creative leadership team on the J&J account at R/GA responsible for the mini-pitch to get the work, brief, concept, design, and launch of the 1-Day ACUVUE Define virtual try-on tool app and website.
I worked with a core team based in London, Buenos Aires, and New York. The designers I lead were split between BA and NY with a lot of the initial exploration and development being done in BA and a lot of the final design taking place in New York. In addition to the core client team, we engaged the R/GA’s Retail Group.
When we first got this assignment, a big part of our concept development centered around understanding the product. We were given samples of the product, renderings of its design/patterns, illustrations of the three types of lenses, and photography of the lenses on real people.
The first question everyone on the team asked, “can I try them?”
Product trial / simulation
It became clear that photos of the lenses on models would not be enough. To start we took the product samples and had R/GA employees across a spectrum of eye colors try them on so we could get a better sense of how they affect eyes and so we could use them as a reference to understand if we could successfully pull off a virtual try-on.
I discovered the best way to allow users to understand the lens effects was to allow them to toggle it on and off.
The process of photographing colleagues lead us to understand how important lighting would be to getting photos that showed the product in positive way and as I pulled together the photos in Photoshop to simulate the lens effect, I found that toggling the simulation layer on and off made it much clearer the effect the lens was having than doing a side-by-side comparison.
In a collaboration with our NY content and retail teams and our developers in BA we worked through how we could turn the virtual try-on tool BA had started to build into an on-site photo stand that would produce high quality photos. We quickly built a prototype. My team did a first pass of designs to give us an interface, we used work-in-progress software from BA, and retail assembled some lighting and two-way mirrors from the local photography store.
Within a week we had a proof of concept that could be produced.
Now that we had a prototype, we started to work with the UK team on requirements for in-store photo stands at Boots. There were a lot of challenges that we had to work through size, power, connectivity, and quality (i.e. lighting specs, camera specs, casing materials). All of that and the price point of ~$1,000 per unit for production.
I worked with the retail group and a 3-D architectural casing specialist in Berlin to create a design that would hold all the components necessary. As we went through this process, the requirements from Boots continued to shift and change. First it was stand alone, then it needed to sit on a counter. They said it could have dedicated power, then we needed to have battery packs that could be swapped. There was going to be connectivity through store WiFi, then we needed our own MiFi system. The retail group was amazing in finding solutions to every new twist, but in the end it seemed that the partnership was not going to happen. In the end it was decided that only an app would launch.
Even though we didn’t end up producing the photo stand version of the virtual try-on tool, we learned a lot that applied to the app. The major points we focused on in developing the app:
Encourage users to see the effect of the lens
After discovering that toggling was a key action in getting users to see the effect of the lens it became an important part of the app
Educate users on taking the best selfie
Without the lighting from the photo stand we needed people to be working with the best photo possible.
Make it easy to adjust lens placement
We automated the process of putting the virtual lenses on, but wanted to allow users a chance to adjust if it didn’t function correctly.
Encourage easy sharing of the virtual trial
A key component to the strategy to drive interest and trial was increasing awareness of the product and fostering positive feedback from friends
In addition to the mechanics and look of the virtual try-on tool, the Define product brand had not yet been clearly defined. My team and I looked for simple ways that we could keep the core ACUVUE branding elements, but give the app personality that leaned into fashion and sophistication a little more.
The results of our exploration led us to two simple elements. We used transparent elements to echo the subtle overlay effect of the lens and we created an outline graphic treatment the echoes the limbal ring defining element in the lens and has a sophisticated feel.