Head of User Experience, Katrina Taylor, on Armoire Closet Features Coming Soon
Armoire grew a lot this year, and boy were we excited about it. We expanded into plus-size clothing rental, opened a second retail location and added some new faces to our team. As we head into the new year, we’re ecstatic about what the next decade will bring. In fact, it’s hard for us not to spill the beans about some of the exciting new things we’re currently working on.
Last week, we asked members of The PWR Chat—our member’s-only group for Boss Ladies to share work advice, outfit pics and everything in between—what they wanted to know about their Armoire closets. Then, we sat down with Katrina Taylor, Head of User Experience at Armoire to answer all their burning questions. Here’s what she said.
Learn to make the most of your Armoire closet features with these 11 tips.
Scroll on to read Katrina’s answers to member questions, and learn more about what Armoire closet features are coming next.
How do you decide what Armoire closet features to build in next?
Our roadmap is driven by feedback given by members just like you. When you give us feedback, leave us a comment, or email us, we read all of that! We bring that back to the team and use that to figure out what Armoire closet features we’re going to work on next. I think that it’s really amazing to know that you guys are truly driving the future of this business.
Just know that when you ask these questions or give us feedback, it does not go into a black hole, we act on it. We are a startup; we are a small team, so sometimes it takes a while for these things to be built and get launched. Know that everything you ask and all of the feedback you give us is super valuable and super important to us. Thank you to our members! Thanks for giving us this great feedback.
Is there an ideal day or time to see new styles in your closet?
The nature of clothing rental means our inventory is constantly changing, as members rent and return their items. While there’s no one day or time that’s best, I’m going to give you a little bit of a hack. Our warehouse gets a big shipment from our dry cleaners every day. When that shipment comes in, the people who work on our operations team (who are amazing and super detail oriented, btw) inspect every single piece. We double check everything that comes back from our dry cleaners to be sure its been cleaned well, is in still in like-new condition, that there’s no damages and that it has not been worn to much. After that happens, the item gets checked back into inventory and will appear in your closet again. During the afternoon is a great time to log into your closet because there’s been a ton of fresh new styles, just checked in from cleaning. I usually tell people around 3 o’clock in the afternoon PST is a really good time to log in. You’ll see lots of new things we’ve checked in throughout the day, like new arrivals and the stuff that is quite literally hot off the press, back from the dry cleaners.
Is there a mobile app being developed?
We get asked this question a lot actually. What I can say is that we are currently taking steps to prepare to begin the process of developing an app. That’s something that I personally have been spending a lot of time thinking about, dreaming of, and setting up the framework for. It’s 100% on our road map. That being said, we have not started building the app itself yet, and we don’t have a set launch date yet. But still, we’re pretty excited to be on our way!
Could we possibly see all of our favorites? Even if they are not currently available?
I am really excited to tell you we are building this capability in as we speak! Right now, you’re able to see something you’ve favorited if it is available in your size (that you’ve set in your style profile) and if it is currently available in our inventory. That means that even though you may have favorited lots and lots of things, you’re not seeing all of them because some are currently out with another member, being cleaned at the dry cleaners, or whatever else the case may be. What we want to do in the future is make all of the items you have favorited viewable so you can see everything you’ve favorited, even if the item is not currently available. We promise we’ll be making a very clear distinction as to which items are currently available and which are not, so you can tell which ones you can rent right away and which ones aren’t quite ready yet.
Another thing we are focusing on this next year is a capability allowing you to receive notifications when something you favorited becomes available. This is one of the Armoire closet features in the very early stages of exploration. We’re dreaming of an opt-in notification feature that would send you an email when the item you’re looking for is available for rental. Then you can hurry and log in to snag it before someone else does!
We’re also considering showing, everything you’ve previously rented whether or not its currently available or not. You would see a complete history of everything you’ve worn in your Rewear tab. Again, there would be a clear distinction of which ones are currently in inventory and available to rent right away.
As you can see, there’s lots of new Armoire closet features we have in the works!
Can we have a temperature or season option? No need to show me winter coats in August, but I’d love to see some thicker blazers and jackets now that it’s colder.
We actually get this question quite often. We see you. We hear you. We’re working on it! Yes, I’m excited to say this is actually something we are currently building. The way we want to do this is to allow you to apply seasonal filters directly in your closet, so you will no longer have to leave and adjust seasonality through your style profile page. Currently, our algorithm takes into account your zip code and serves you weather appropriate options based on that. We know that even if you live in Chicago where it’s cold right now, you might be going on vacation next month and need something summery in the middle of January. We want to let you be able to customize that to fit exactly what you’re looking for. We are currently building this, so keep an eye out for it in the upcoming months.
Are there any updates on the roadmap for more customization when filtering or organizing the closet? For example, I would love to filter out specific brands or aesthetics I know I don’t like. As it is, I just dislike the items I don’t like as I see them.
First of all, it’s great that you are disliking the pieces you don’t want to see anymore! That will help the algorithm to better understand your style preferences. To answer you question, yes we do have a couple of things on the road map to increase customization. The first thing we are working on this quarter is updating our product catalog so you are able to sort your closet into more detailed categories based on item type. For example, we are currently working on separating rompers and jumpsuits from dresses.
Currently, our algorithm does take brands into account when creating your personalized closet. The best way you can train the algorithm on what brands you want to see is by liking and disliking as many things in your closet as possible.
We know that brands can be an important factor when deciding which items you want to rent. If you find a brand you like a lot, we want our algorithm to show you as much of that brand as possible. One of the things we’re dreaming up is potentially being able to favorite not just items, but brands themselves. On the list of things we are working on: the new categories and the ability to filter by brand. In the meantime if you want to control the brands you are seeing, just continue to interact with your closet as much as you can.
I hit the dislike button when I don’t like an item, but continue to see the same items popping up as an option. What’s the deal?
The way dislikes currently work is that if you dislike something you will not see that item in your closet ever again. It is permanently removed from your recommendations. This is why, you should only dislike items you know you would never wear, and leave those you’re feeling so-so on as neutral.
If you are seeing something you disliked previously, I think one of two things might be happening. First, is that we have just recently added the ability to select multiple sizes. Now, you can select a range of sizes to appear in your closet instead of only one. When you dislike an item, it’s done at the size level. For example, If I see a dress that I really don’t like and its a size M, I dislike it so that I will never see that size M again. What might be happening is that I could see that dress again in say L, if I have selected L as one of the sizes I want to see in my closet. That’s a loophole we’re working on to ensure that doesn’t continue to happen. Multiple sizes might be interfering with your likes and dislikes a little bit, as our engineers continue working on a remedy.
If for some reason it is not the multiple sizing feature it may be a small bug in our technology. Like any tech company, we have these from time to time. If you ever have issues that you think may be a bug, please send us a screenshot at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our tech team works closely with our member experience team to fix members’ tech issues.
Would Armoire consider adding a feature for filtering dresses and skirts by hem length? My mini skirt days are over, and it would be great to filter those out.
Girl, my mini skirt days are over too! We’re currently figuring out ways to make this filtering possible both in your style profile and within your closet. I’m actually conducting some research as to how this might work. This will be something that isn’t coming immediately, but hopefully within the next year. It’s certainly something we see being built into the future of our filters.
When adding items to my case is it possible to hold them for a certain period of time. When I asked to see more items, by the time my closet was replenished I had lost the items in my case as they were selected by someone else.
I’m so sorry that happened! Yes, this is something we are hoping to implement in 2020. What I would like to know is, if you decided you wanted to have something held for you, what is the ideal time you’d like something to be held for? What we’ve heard from members is that 10-15 minutes feels like an appropriate amount of time to hold something while you continue browsing. If you request a stylist, we would like to be able to hold whatever you have selected until you hear back from them with your new closet, so that you don’t lose those things you selected from your closet. This is something we’re definitely focused on improving and would love to hear your feedback on.