Taking UX to the Next Level - Design Bureau

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Headquartered in Las Vegas, Burke Construction Group is well versed in building exciting new places for grown-ups to spend money. For the  award-winning Fixtures Living project, the company worked in close partnership with FITCH in order to produce a retail experience unlike any other. “This project was unique for us,” says senior project manager Steve Drew. “It’s not often you get to be a part of a concept that will change the industry.”

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Taking UX to the Next Level

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

By Ann Chou
Photos by Mark Steele Photography

From the outside, Fixtures Living appears to be an unassuming kitchen and bath showroom, but step inside one of the stores and you won’t see rows and rows of kitchen appliances. Instead, you’ll see a live kitchen where cooking demos are held. Forget about boxed shower heads hanging on a rack—here you can actually try out the shower. Christian Davies, executive creative director of FITCH, the London-based global design consultancy behind the Fixtures Living concept, explains the movement toward greater user experience.

Ann Chou: From the outside, Fixtures Living looks pretty standard. What sets it apart from the typical big-box kitchen and bath store?
Christian Davies: This showroom isn’t product-centric, it’s experience-centric. Rather than asking you what you are here to buy, we ask you if you’d like a handcrafted cappuccino. We don’t ask you what cook top you are looking for, we ask you how you like to cook. 

AC: What kind of research did you have to do get the ball rolling?
CD: Fixtures Living came to us with a clear idea of the customer they wanted to attract and the broad ideas around how the experience would be different. Our job was to bring that to life—to create a totally immersive environment and fill it with the unique moments that would deliver the desired experience.

AC: What’s one of your favorite aspects of the showroom?
CD: The elements of live theater, whether it’s a cooking demo or someone trying the shower in the Sanctuary, are truly engaging. I’ve watched people spend hours and hours in this store simply watching and learning. It’s a huge part of Fixtures Living’s mission to create joy through a place where people can shop.

AC: Is this the future of showrooms and stores in general?
CD: It certainly responds to a number of the trends we are tracking. We’re seeing a huge movement towards ‘real’ these days in response to digital fatigue. Stores like Fixtures Living, Eataly, and Lululemon are doing well not only because of their curated merchandise, but because the experiences are tangible with a real person who believes in the brand and really knows about all of the products in the store. So, yes, I think there is something deeper in that, something quite profound as we consider the future of retail.

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