How Our Community Is Driving Product Development in Swimwear & Beyond November 2, 2016 – Posted in: Behind the Scenes, Community, Design – Tags: , , , , ,

We have a customer-driven product development cycle at Oola. As CEO and co-founder Haya Al Ghanim says, “We don’t design a piece without getting the insights of at least one person who participates in the sport or activity we’re designing for.” Currently, Oola has two product development feedback groups in action, focused around two separate products: Sports Abaya and Swimwear.

For this post, we’re excited to focus on our Swimwear product development group, as we’re just around $2,000 away from our ultimate crowdfunding stretch goal that would enable us to start designing modest swimwear.

If you’d like to back Oola on Indiegogo and be the first to try our products, find us here!

How Collaborative Product Development Works

Oola Collaborative Product Development

Product testers give our goods a try on the track. We also had the Doha-based ‘Run for Your Life’ Running Group test them out in a real race!
Our product development methodology always begins with the customer, and it looks something like this:

  1. Gather consumer feedback on key needs.
  2. Sketch various ideas and ask for feedback on the ideas.
  3. Build a prototype, based on key sketch feedback.
  4. Have users test prototype and describe experience.
  5. Integrate customer experience notes for final product design.
  6. Test production samples with larger customer base.

For swimwear, we’re in the very early phases of gathering consumer feedback, and we’ve created a Whatsapp group chat, so that these women can share their key needs and insights about what they’re looking for in modest swimwear apparel.

We’re excited that our group includes:

  • A businesswoman who is very passionate about a specific fabric she’s like to see swimwear made with. She found a sample fabric that would enable quick-drying, so that she could swim and then play beach volleyball, all in a short span of time. She wears hijab and optimal coverage while maintaining style and functionality is important for her.
  • A college student who prefers modest swimwear, but is disheartened by the way current options drag in the water and pull her down. She’s looking for an option that enables her to swim comfortably without the water weight that traditional fabrics entail. She doesn’t wear hijab but seeks modest apparel.
  • An aspiring Olympic swimmer who is training for a career in swimming, but who does not want to take off her head scarf to participate. She wants to be involved in the development of modest swimwear, so that she and other swimmers can choose swimming as a career path.

Join an Oola Feedback Group

Our customers are the best source for inspiration, and they are our most creative contributors.

We’re always looking for consumers interested in participating in our feedback groups. If you’re passionate about the future of modestwear — whether that be in swimwear or in specific product categories, such as with the sports abaya — let us know in the comments or send us an email at Make sure to include which specific product or sports category you’re interested in giving your insights on.

We want to hear from you and build your feedback into our product development cycle.

Finally, if you want to see us actually design our first line of swimwear, back us on Indiegogo, so we can reach out stretch goal to make that happen!