How to create a try-on experience that seamlessly connects app UX to the store experience?

Reserve & Try in Store was launched in 2016 on Nordstrom’s iOS and Android apps. Shoppers could browse products in the app and reserve them to try on in a nearby store. Customers could try what they reserved in a pre-set fitting room that would be ready for them within 2 hours.

Store Reserve highlightsStore Reserve highlights

My role

My main responsibility on this project was creating the content for the customer and store employee experience. I was responsible for the language, notifications, and errors

I worked closely with a Senior UX designer that focused on the iOS and Android apps, and an internal tools UX designer who designed the in-store point-of-sale devices used by store employees to know what items the customer reserved and when they were close to the store — what they'd need to know to prepare the fitting room for the customer.

Reserve Storyboard copyReserve Storyboard copy

How to make customers see the value of sharing their location

In several rounds of usability testing, it became clear the location services requirement flow needed extra care and consideration. Users were reluctant to share their location. Sharing location was a core requirement for letting the store know to prepare the fitting room ahead of customer arrival. The experience depended on it. The message we presented customers had to work double duty: let them know their location unlocked the experience, and that they could head straight to a pre-set fitting room when they arrived at the store.  We tested numerous language options for the location services notification.

Language bridged the app and in-store experience

As we defined the experience in the app, we quickly realized that we needed to have alignment on terms and wayfinding in the store as well. This need for consistency and alignment helped our team build a relationship with the store design team. It was very energizing to work on an experience that connected the digital to physical customer experience.


I was so fortunate to work with some of the best designers and researchers I've ever worked with.

This project was also a great example of why language matters and should be part of the full UX design process. Testing language proved critical because we were asking shoppers to do something new—to reserve an item in the app and then head straight to a fitting room upon arrival to the store to give it a try.

I also believe that had we used a map of the full end-to-end service for all stakeholders, from development to store design, as the blueprint for collaboration, it would have smoothed out our communication.

I created the below service diagram as an example.

Reserve IA service diagramReserve IA service diagram