What Role Might Machine Learning Ethically Play in Retail Spaces?

Last spring, grad students in the Master’s in Graphic Design Program at North Carolina State University partnered with an auto parts company to explore this question. The company was particularly concerned with protecting the privacy and agency of their customers.

The project research question:

How might an auto parts company ethically leverage machine learning in their Store of the Future to produce personalized, efficient, useful consumer interactions that allay user concerns? What role might the sales team members play in supporting such positive experiences?

The Deliverables: Scenario Videos

AUTO: The Virtual Store Assistant
Persona: Jenn, the Learner
Designers: Hannah Faub, Randa Hadi, Harrison Lyman, Matt Norton

Inspiration Wall
Persona: Luis, the Achiever
Designers: Ashamsa Mathew, Grace Herndon, Michele Pereira de Souza, Matthew Maharaj

How Smart Is This Store?
Persona: Craig, the Expert
Designers: Ashley Anderson, Katie Frohbose, Victoria Gerson, Dmitri Knapp

The Research Process

Store Observation and interview notes
Personas and Scenario examples.
Benchmarking examples: Amazon go, Tarte
A.I. Hopes & Fear Matrix populated by student research.
Example of "As Is" user journey map
"Thing from the Future" Exercise. Student playing card game and sketching ideas.
Rough interface designs
User testing of early prototypes
"To Be" User Journey Map example
Hi=Fi Prototypes
Student images of filming of scenario videos in The Store of the Future