French designer Pierre Favresse joined L'Oréal in September 2019 to head up the beauty group’s first-ever UX Design Lab located at its Research, Innovation & Operations site in Saint Ouen outside Paris. In a preview of our upcoming interview in Formes de Luxe, Favresse gives Luxe Packaging Insight a glimpse into the inner workings of this new user experience center.
What is the UX Design Lab’s role?
Our aim is to put design back at the heart of product development by reinventing and reenchanting the user experience, while implementing the sustainable commitments laid out in our program L'Oréal for the Future. We systematically adapt packaging innovations according to each brand, but our first target is to identify and address the needs of the consumer to create a new experience.
If I had to sum it up, the UX Design Lab is about understanding the user of our products: what does she/he expect from us?
How is the Lab structured?
It's a team effort. At L’Oréal, we believe that an industrial designer should no longer be working on his own, in isolation, as he did in the past. A product is more than ever today the fruit of multidisciplinary expertise, which for us includes CMF experts (editor's note: color, materials, finishing), innovation engineers, industrial designers, the CMI team (consumer market insight) – the group's "antennae" who detect trends, be they short or very long term. Thanks to this collaborative effort, the creative team can transform concepts into finished objects at a very quick pace.
The UX Design Lab has a specific purpose: to think up, create and design innovative packaging experiences and identify consumers’ future needs and expectations across different geographical areas, in particular Asia, the United States and Europe, but also in those emerging markets that we are monitoring closely.
Our constellation of experts collaborate on to give new perspectives; we share the results with our entire community.
The UX Design Lab also works to define brands’ visual territories.
Absolutely. Our CMF team works with the brands’ marketing teams to create or update their brand books, a document that defines the DNA of each brand across all divisions. The marketing teams determine their brand’s “sense of purpose”; they tell us where they want to take it in the future. It’s essential for the UX Design Lab to closely identify a brand's profile and sensory environment so that we can select the levers for product development, especially in terms of implementing our sustainability targets. Redefining a brand's territory means knowing where it came from; creating a new product usage won’t be the same for each brand in the group. Our job is to reflect the brand's expression as closely as possible.
With our multidisciplinary teams we transform this “sense of purpose” into a comprehensive creative language that expresses the visual and sensory facet of each brand. The result of this creative process will bring global coherence to the brand. And since each one is present in a multitude of different countries and markets, it is an indispensable tool for our teams around the world.
See the upcoming issue of Formes de Luxe for the full interview