Magga Dóra

Magga Dóra

User experience designer with background in psychology and computer science. Loves anything and everything that has to do with user behavior. Also loves travelling, photography and teaching. Please refer to her CV for details. One of the founders of Arctic Girl Geek Dinner - Tæknitátur.

Watch me at TEDx Reykjavik in 2009

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The Victoria’s Secret UX

Victoria's Secret dameMany treat my (religious) loyalty to Victoria’s Secret as one of my many character quirks. I will not wear other underwear. There is however a very sound theoretical background for this decision which is that Victoria’s Secret have perfected the user experience of buying underwear.

Many of you (the ca 50% who are male) don’t have a strong opinion on the experience of buying underwear so let me explain.

Buying underwear is an unpleasant experience. You’re naked in a foreign place being measured against a popularized body image impossible to fulfill. It’s awkward, it’s uncomfortable and it can be downright humiliating.

I remember stepping into an underwear shop back home. I picked out an item that seemed to fit the criteria and was pointed to a fitting booth. The humiliation began forthwith.

The booth was very small. I kept on bumping against the sides. This made me feel like a beached whale. I kept hearing the person next to me struggle as well. The booth only had a curtain. The booth was cold. I stripped down to topless and felt exposed. The booth was lighted with strong white light which made all the flaws in my skin appear. I was pale, had shadows under my eyes, scars from acne, operations and other marking events stood out. All in all it made me feel overweight, sickly and vulnerable: Unattractive.

This is what Victoria’s Secret have perfected. The booths are warm, spacious and private. There lighting is soft and I’ll bet that the mirrors are tainted. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were slightly concave. There is a person dedicated to assisting you in finding the right model and size. When you’re trying on the merchandise you feel like a dame. Even in my very pregnant state I felt attractive.

And Victoria’s Secret was well compensated for their effort.


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