Gap Inc. Direct

It’s in the bag

User experience and visual design


Swim Interaction Design

Gap and its sibling brands (Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta) needs no introduction: millions of people trust them for their everyday apparel needs, and their online presence has played a big part in this.

Swim’s multi-year UX engagement covered many aspects of the customer experience, from browsing and evaluation to purchasing or reserving. Investigative projects addressed broader issues (like navigation across multiple product categories at once) and more focussed ones, like fit and sheerness. Other initiatives, such as the creation of a mobile Point-of-Sale system, addressed operational changes in the face of changing technology and customer expectations.

Gap Inc. product page

Though highly regarded at their 2004 launch, Gap’s e-commerce offering had fallen behind the competition. This 2007 revision incorporated new features (such as zoomed images and alternate views), clarified the information hierarchy, and introduced additional content to each page. All this while maintaining the well-received interaction model, adhering to some very complex back-end demands, and keeping a distinctly flexible system that could adapt to each of the family’s separate brands.

Gap Inc. mobile sites

Very few major retailers addressed the mobile platform as early as Gap Inc. The online store was adapted for the iPhone as a web app, with large scale imagery and multiple views, full product details, reviews, and unified cross-brand checkout.

Gap Inc. universal shopping bag

Gap’s cross-brand shopping bag and checkout provided a single, streamlined transaction for customers of their family of brands. Primarily an information design study, the challenge was to maintain consistency from bag to checkout to order status, without deviating too greatly from the established transactional process or impacting the individual brands.

Gap Inc. customer service

A comprehensive reworking of the Gap brands’ customer service pages, to make the content more discoverable and easier to maintain. Material was streamlined and reorganized around a new architecture, while greater use of visual devices aimed to aid scannability (and assist non-native speakers). Closer integration with paper invoices was also achieved, where key details about returns had previously diverged from what was listed online.

Gap Inc. customer invoice

Revisions to the Gap Inc. customer invoice addressed discrepancies with customer service advice about returns, while also rectifying specific failings in information presentation.

Gap Inc. customer reviews

Deployment of customer reviews across Gap Inc. brand sites needed to strike a careful balance between individual brand integrity and systematic implementation, all while providing a manageable amount of information at multiple points in the shopping experience.

This example presents some of the different stages of the review process, from submissions to listings, rankings, and profiles. In a post-launch survey, more than 80% of respondents said that the information was easy to understand, and 58% said they would submit fully completed reviews.