Lingua Franca

The Challenge

Lingua Franca had no visual way for customers to build a clothing design online. They could only access options from dropdowns, or rely on customer support to help match their vision.

Our goal was to create an easy online tool for customers to customize something personal. Something one-of-a-kind.

The Outcome

The new product customizer is built to render handmade embroidery, with hundreds of available options. The customizer we built is an artist’s palette, a tool that easily empowers anyone to create a work of art.


UX/UI Design
Product Customizer
Product Strategy
Business Process Consulting


Shopify Theme Development
Shopify App Development

Lingua Franca store
Their work completely changed how we do custom sales on our website.”

kelly brabant

Sales Operations Manager


Customization is the essence of Lingua Franca’s shopping experience.

Lingua Franca’s line of sustainably-sourced, fair trade luxury cashmere sweaters, all hand-stitched by women in NYC, celebrates bold, beautiful self-expression.

Personal narratives and stories play an important role in the experience of Lingua Franca’s shoppers but they didn’t have the ability to easily customize their ideas and turn them into designs.

We uncovered the customers’ pain points and addressed them through strategy and design.




Handmade in NYC

Every piece of Lingua Franca apparel is completely unique. Different text, different placement, different art, different thread colors … you name it. 

Previously, there was no visual way for customers to build a design. They could only access options from dropdowns, or relying on customer support to help match their vision. 

We changed that. The new product customizer is built to render handmade embroidery, with hundreds of available options. Also, a Lingua Franca customer can drag, drop, build and edit an almost limitless number of decoration options.


A custom CMS integrated with Shopify

We built the frontend and backend experience and designed the admin tool. Our purpose-built CMS integrates easily with Shopify.

We added information to Lingua Franca’s fulfillment workflow, inserting customizer images into the work orders. Now the embroiderer has a printout of an image from the customizer showing exactly what phrase or artwork goes where, reducing the cost of re-work or mistakes.


Playful UX & UI

The UX design makes the experience feel fun and personal, whilst guiding the user to make easy decisions.

Customers love Lingua Franca’s signature styles, color combinations, and celebrity-inspired looks. Above all, we ensured simplicity as they recreate their most popular styles.

For example, we built in the ability to select default thread colors per sweater fabric color, giving users a stylish baseline to work from. Their most popular text embroidery styles were organized at the beginning of the experience to facilitate easy selection.

Our UX team also added a tab system so users can easily switch between decoration categories.


Extensive user testing

A key part of the development work was thinking through “overlapping conditions.”

How do you know if something is overlapping something else? Or if it’s outside of the designated area (the drop zone). Can we identify errors if a decoration is no longer available or a size change renders a previous design untenable?

Moreover, we did extensive user testing of customer experience wireframes, especially around how to present multiple decoration options. The user now feels excited, and not overwhelmed, by the experience. Plus, an elegant, intuitive UI makes interchanging them easy.

Ready to get started?

Let’s build something together.

Contact Us