Right size company — a revolution in shoe sizing & purchases
The inner volume of every shoe in the world is calculated the same way, a process that has evolved over 300 years. Moreover, since shoes are available in abundant options as a basic need, we rarely even think about this aspect. Most of us would like to believe that we know our shoe size well & the type/brand of shoes we wear. There’s a clear method to it — try and buy from a store, or order online by referring to a sizing chart. When it fails to meet our expectations, it’s usually convenient to return or exchange.
Right now, 6 out of 10 people are wearing the wrong size shoes, mostly due to not knowing their size accurately. Did you know that it is common for one foot to be larger than the other? Or that our feet evolve over the years?
The result is discomfort, compromised mobility and aching feet, and even neck and back pain. This problem has a huge impact on businesses and our environment, as well — with estimated cost of return deliveries estimated to a whopping 550 billion USD (Statista).
300 years The inner volume of all shoes in the world is calculated the same way, a process that has evolved over 300 years.
6/10 People don’t correctly measure their feet, hence wear wrong shoe sizes.
Girth (foot circumfrence) Is the most important measurement because it determines if your shoe fits.
The people behind Right size company (RSC) are the same ones that founded Left Foot Company (2000–2010), where they measured over 40,000 feet to create a patented system for mass-customised footwear based on foot scanning and an extensivelast-library. They created a system of made-to-measure shoes unique to your feet. As a first in the world to pioneer the solution, the innovation was perhaps too early in time. Finally, the year 2020 struck the perfect balance between technological maturity, accurate scanning using a mobile phone camera & a measurement kit — powered by accurate algorithms.
With this proof-of-concept in hand, RSC approached Nordkapp in 2020 to design a world-class experience around the eco-system they are currently building.
"There are several fitting systems for measuring the foot accurately. But knowing what to do with that information is the challenge – that’s where existing systems fail, and that is what we will revolutionize." Who said it?
User research & service design
The design team at Nordkapp started with user-research in 2 parts —
Targeted online-surveys to understand shopping behaviours & shoppers’s mentality on shoe purchases.
User interviews with key stakeholders, technologists and veterans to understand the complex domain of shoe measurement & sizing — from the perspective of traditional knowledge and technological challenges.
We mapped key drivers from the interviews and mapped all actions between the actors of the service ecosystem into a canvas, to establish the key touch-points & user-flows for the RSC Android application. The app-design process were guided by the following design-drivers —
A simple, guided & seamless experience for foot-measurement Your feet are just like your fingerprints — everyone has a unique shoe fit. Once measured, we use this invisible marker to tailor & transform your shoe-shopping experience online. No more converting between sizes or the need to refer to sizing charts. It’s like magic.
Empowering Personalisation & discovery We wanted users to be in control of the type of shoes they wear. After a successful measurement, a simple set of accessible filters controls how much, or how little you want to see. Since we know your perfect fit, you will only see shoes that will fit and are immediately available to order. This is the most crucial aspect to avoid returns due to poor fitting shoes.
The RSC story To enable change, establishing a sense of community is a must. It was important to raise awareness, both towards incorrect foot sizing as a common factor for discomfort & foot-diseases and the impact of return rates, that aren’t sustainable for the businesses and the environment. Our team worked hard to distil the core messages gathered from our interviews and play it on the first launch of the app. Instead of a traditional onboarding or value proposition, it is instead a promise for disruption and change — starting from something in our everyday lives.
The design team used Figma to jump early into the app prototyped in high fidelity, that was used to test and validate the expectations from both the client and app developers. Once the app progressed into the development phase, the design team switched focus on the RSC brand and the packaging for the measurement kit.
Designing the RSC brand
As a fast paced project with a limited budget, the scope for branding was focused towards setting a solid foundation forward. Our starting point was to explore a technology driven, futuristic & generative visual language. However, the final identity evolved to echo the simple values of honesty & trust. After all, the core of the brand was heritage and knowledge and technology was an enabler.
This direction also supported future scenarios of B2B partnerships, where RSC subtly enables the platform while the brand or manufacturer itself is lifted above.
The Right size kit
The Right size kit is a patented sizing tool for comparing your foot measurement with the inner volume of a shoe, resulting in a perfect fit every time. The free kit comprises of a smartphone app and a physical kit comprising of foot-scale & band. The app uses a smartphone camera, computer vision and machine learning to determine the length and girth of a foot.
While high-end modern smartphone cameras are extremely capable of complex computations in machine learning and computer vision, the physical kit makes this accessible to any smartphone camera with consistently accurate results. Possible solutions using augmented reality are also under exploration, for future.
With the RSC app and measuring kit, customers will be able to run their foot-measurements in seconds. This unique measurement data is stored in the app, making shopping a breeze.
At the time of writing this case-study, the app which is not yet public, has been successfully tested to deliver results with 80–90% accuracy meeting our target expectations. The remaining cases comprise of exceptional circumstances, where a foot may be narrower, wider or taller than usual, which requires manual interventions to solve.
We are creating a future where you can confidently shop your favourite shoes online, knowing you’ll always find the perfect fit, personalised to your preferences and available to order. Say goodbye to aching feet and returns shipping, while contributing to massive cost savings and a healthier environment. Find your perfect fit with the Right Size Kit.
80–90% Accuracy with which the system can provide the right fit. Perfect size is a myth in the real world as certain percentage of individuals have special feet, which require manual interventions.
~50% Expected reduction in the rate of returns, contributing to cost and environmental savings
40,000 Feet measured by Left Foot Company (2000–2010) securing a patented system for mass-customised footwear based on foot scanning and an extensive last-library.
Our collaboration with Nordkapp was a great experience. The outlining and the scope of the project was clear, so there were no confusion or unmet expectations. Each phase of the project was delivered in time and as planned. Nordkapp followed through the project testing phases to make sure the app was functioning smoothly. Communication was open and easy. Business Finland’s grant was also great help to get the project started. We are looking forward to work again with Nordkapp’s great team. Topias Fonsén, Pomarfin Oy
Jarno Fonsén, CEO Topias Fonsén, Concept coordinator Sari Lepistö, CIO
Shakti Dash, Lead designer Sami Niemelä, Brand & packaging design Liam Turner, User research Joska Pyykkö, App copywriting & VO script
Klaus Kääriäinen, Project manager Joni-Pekka Vesto, Android development Niko Rehnbäck, Android development
Simo Ahola, Computer vision & AI (Vimpain Technologies) Tero Nevala, Senior Advisor, Footwear specialist Humina, Video voiceover