Reflector: The Future of Retail

In a short three and a half weeks, my team and I defined a design challenge, conducted research, developed a concept and business model, and presented a vision of the future to Target executives and industry leaders.


Web recommendations with favorite items as an anchor

The Rotman Design Challenge is a business design competition hosted by the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. This year, Target posed the following question to participants:

“If you were a Target executive, how would you disrupt your own business model to compete in this new environment?”

Participant sorting retail categories

Participant sorting retail categories

My team interviewed modern families to understand shopping behaviors across a variety of categories. We found through our card sorts that the stylistic and aesthetic research phase is unsupported in current shopping models. Users spend considerable time and energy determining what styles work best together in apparel and housewares.


We developed Reflector, a service that assists users in creating inspired combinations of new and favorite products. Researching products based on an aesthetic is a long and arduous process. Our solution relies on social data and smart image analysis to provide smarter product recommendations. Target upsets their current model by listing their products alongside their competitors and shifting their business focus to online research, not in-store checkouts. This enables Target to position themselves as the go-to source for style research as opposed to an big-box errand destination.


Late-night analysis and storytelling session

Pitch preparation before the competition in Toronto

Pitch preparation before the competition in Toronto

I led the team in presentation and story development; I also designed the web, mobile and Google Glass interfaces.

Google Glass simulation

Google Glass simulation