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the makeup whirl

Customer Experience Design

Project Overview

My thesis project was inspired by my time working in Female Beauty at P&G. I was exposed to the vast world of makeup for the first time and saw an opportunity area when it came to product organization in the drug/grocery stores.



SolidWorks, Keyshot, Photoshop


Research, Design

It's just overwhelming...

During a store visit with my manager, we were discussing the problems shoppers face in the grocery/drug stores. A woman comes up to us and talks about her frustration with the shopping experience there. That's when I knew there was an opportunity to make an impact in this space.


User Persona


35 y/o - Chicago, OH - Writer

"How am I supposed to figure out which is right for me?"


Monica is a writer in the city of Chicago. She loves yoga and her walking around the city with her dog. She is fan of makeup, but doesn't like spending a lot on it.

What she's looking for

She's looking for versatile makeup, that she can use to put together multiple looks. 

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The 3 stages of makeup shopping

shopping 1.jpg


She has made it to the store, but there just so much information being presented

at once. she doesn't know where to start! Everything blends in together.

shopping 2.jpg


Since everything is so scattered around, Monica is finding it difficult to find the right products for her. There's no information being presented that informs her of each product's benefits.

shopping 3.jpg


Feeling overwhelmed, Monica says, "Why can't this be easier?!"

Key Takeaways

1) There needs to be a way to make things less overwhelming without removing choices.

2) More areas for graphics are necessary to explain the features of each product.

3) Uniformity would help with finding the types of products you want more easily.

Japanese Influence

While brainstorming concepts, I thought back to my trips to Japan. The vending machines in Japan fit a lot of my criteria for this project. They have plenty of area for graphics and information. They also show each product that's in the machine, but only one of each. The rest of each product remains hidden, but that doesn't decrease the machine's capacity. This started me down the right path.


Inspiration Board

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How the system works

Each Whirl has eight sides alternating between graphic panels and products. They site on a pole and can be rotated to see each product.

This makes it so there is no shortage in the amount of product facings, but doesn't overwhelm with too many visible at once . This first version is the larger size for products like mascara, and features hanging hooks. The second version is a smaller size for products like lipstick. This features spring loaded pushers to keep the products accessible.

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1) Open the front panel. This allows access to the graphic panels and the whirl poles.

2) Pull down the whirl poles. This allows you to remove each whirl in order to alter product arrangements.

3) Remove the whirls from the poles. Simply slide the whirls off the pole to easily swap them out.

Now let's bring it all together

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What I learned

I really got to flex my research muscle with this project. Doing research in the field with store visits, and talking to customers gave me a lot of insights on what was needed most. I also learned a lot about modeling complex assemblies in SolidWorks. 

Check out my next project

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accessory collection created in illustrator through trend spotting

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