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L’Oréal needed a new site to reflect their commitment to smart, personalized beauty for all women. In 2013, the old Flash site was replaced by clean, responsive site with updated tools, utilities, and a personalization engine.

I was an Experience Designer on a small, nimble XD team for the project, responsible for the beauty Consultations and the concept behind the site’s core personalization experience, My Signature Beauty.


Understanding the shifting landscape of beauty

L’Oréal was the first beauty brand I ever worked on, so I began the project by conducting a number of competitive site analyses across the industry, researching digital beauty trends and tutorials, visiting kiosks at department stores, and conducting informal interviews with women about how they discover beauty products. This research fed a series of brainstorms with my team and interviews with key business stakeholders.

One guiding theme I realized was that beauty had become increasingly style and trend focused, as opposed to something used to “improve” one’s natural self. Beauty recommendations had been previously been driven by knowing your coloring and making recommendations against that. Modern consumers had much more aspirational beauty goals overall, driven by mood and fashion.


Framing a system for consultations

Making smart recommendations for products would require knowing the right information about a consumer and being able to hang onto it. I knew the first step was to restructure the existing system for Consultations completely. The old site’s Consultations were essentially microsites inside the larger site, a series of questions to answer without the answers having any impact on the rest of the site.

In thinking how to make a smarter site, it was clear that the Consultations would be a key part of the larger personalization engine. After brainstorming these ideas with my team, I mapped a system where Consultations were modularly designed so that questions could become individually engaging content pieces on other pages. These modules would act as easy entry points into the personalization system and provide alternate entry points to the Consultations themselves.

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A mobile first design approach

At the time, a responsive site with real utility was rare. Taking a mobile first design approach, I experimented with multiple layout and UX/UI options to find a realistic blueprint for the visual design team to work with.







My Signature Beauty: an updated beauty hub

We wanted to create the digital analog to a beauty and fashion magazine for this cornerstone of the new site. My earlier research on the trend and emotion-driven nature of beauty made me aware of the need to make this section effortlessly refreshable. This led to the design of easy-to-update beauty settings that could be simply tweaked to reflect a woman’s shifting moods and beauty interests. The system linked data from Consultations to create a more relevant exploration and discovery center.





Live site and business impact
The new site launched to great press and saw:
  • a 47 % lift in monthly visits
  • a 20% increase in time spent on the site
  • a more than 35% increase in consultation completion rates
  • My Signature Beauty became the basis for an ongoing series of digital evolutions