Launching a new eCommerce department

Case Study: Applying Design Thinking and User Research to identify and prioritise key features.

Case Study: Using Design Thinking and User Research to identify and prioritise key features.

DATE: October 2017 - January 2018
ROLE: Lead UX Designer
COMPANY: River Island

Objective

River Island has committed to entering the homeware market in September 2018 with its own collection. In anticipation of this launch, the business wanted to investigate the impact on its current systems.
After an introductory meeting with different departments’ stakeholders, we decided to plan a series of workshops and conduct user research to produce a list of features specifically developed for the launch of the new department.

Role

I led a team of two, Amy Nguyen (UX Designer) and Sam Scott (Senior UX Consultant), with the goal of defining and prioritising key features and services through competitive analysis, business objectives and customer research.

I led a team of two UX designers, with the goal of defining and prioritising key features and services through competitive analysis, business objectives and customer research.

Identifying Business and Customer goals with the Value Proposition Canvas - Stakeholders workshop

Value Proposition Canvas workshop

For the first workshop, the Value Proposition Canvas has been introduced to identify customers’ needs in a visual and structured way. We reviewed customer insights collected through past surveys and interviews, as well as market research and strategic objectives.

Starting with exploring several Jobs-To-Be-Done (in order to develop empathy, ranging between functional, social and emotional), we quickly identified the pains that the customers face and the key JTBD that they are trying to achieve (positive outcomes). We explored how specific features can eliminate or reduce customer frustrations, while also optimising expected service-lead behaviour.

Value Proposition Canvas

The Value Proposition Canvas outcome for both online and offline experience

Upon successfully completing the workshop exercise, the outcome included a list of 30 JTBD. This created the foundations for further shopping behaviour research, and 60 “pains and gains” to be validated against a customer interview process.

Exploring Customer Journeys for the different typology of shoppers

Exploring Customer Journeys for the different typology of shoppers

Using the information and assumptions gathered around shopping behaviours, and pains and gains from the workshop, we started to identify natural groupings in the behaviours and customer mindsets. These came together to build the basis of our proto-personas. They acted as helpful points of reference to be cross-validated in the upcoming customer interviews.

With our proto-personas in mind and using the workshop findings, we started to map their goals, thoughts & feelings, and touch points on to each step of their purchasing journey from initial awareness through to post-purchase usage.

Proto persona

The customer journey mapping for the bargain hunter.
Other proto-personas we included are the gifter, the renovator and the impulse buyer.

The customer journey mapping for the bargain hunter.  Other proto-personas we included are the gifter, the renovator and the impulse buyer.

The customer journey mapping for the bargain hunter. Other proto-personas we included are the gifter, the renovator and the impulse buyer.

Identifying different user types can help design teams ensure that they build usable and useful experiences for all shoppers.

A good e-commerce user experience is crucial to all shopper types, but different elements take on significance based on the shopper’s goal. Designing with user types in mind improves the overall shopping experience.

Gathering information about Homeware competitors features and services - Competitive analysis

We performed a competitive analysis of Homeware specific brands (Zara Home, H&M, Next, The White Company, Urban Outfitters) in order to address their strengths and weaknesses.
The analysis identified the current features and services that competitors are already providing, which helped to highlight areas of opportunity for RI Homeware.

The list of opportunities was narrowed down to focus on key features that have a higher impact on the overall journey from a business and customer POV.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis for Homeware specific brands

Competitive analysis for Homeware specific brands

Prioritising features and services based on business value and customer benefit - Stakeholders workshop

Prioritising features and services based on business value and customer benefit - Stakeholders workshop

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The second workshop focused on prioritising the key features identified from the competitive research and previous workshop. The purpose was to understand the impact of the individual features and services on the business strategic objective while mapping them against the customer value on a prioritisation matrix.

The second workshop focused on prioritising the key features identified from the competitive research and previous workshop. The purpose was to understand the impact of the individual features and services on the business strategic objective while mapping them against the customer value on a prioritisation matrix.

The second workshop focused on prioritising the key features identified from the competitive research and previous workshop. The purpose was to understand the impact of the individual features and services on the business strategic objective while mapping them against the customer value on a prioritisation matrix.

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All the features were prioritised based on customer benefit and business value.

All the features were prioritised based on customer benefit and business value.

All the features were prioritised based on customer benefit and business value.

Validating customer benefit assumptions and finding further insights on shopping behaviours - User interviews

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We selected 8 Homeware customers with different demographics and shopping habits to perform a series of tasks in order to validate some of the assumptions and to collect further insights into the shopping experience.

The interview was split into three phases:

  • The first phase contained open questions on inspiration and awareness.
  • The second phase consisted of a competitor flash test to pinpoint opportunities, card sorting to prioritise features and services, and a task to highlight any pains or gains on the customer journey.
  • The final phase was a series of questions related to the post-purchase experience.

Conclusion

We have identified a prioritised list of 25 features from the findings of the research. We scored them based on their business impact, their customer validation and the competitor landscape. They also include detailed customer insights and considerations on the feasibility and dependencies.

We have identified a prioritised list of 25 features from the findings of the research. We scored them based on their business impact, their customer validation and the competitor landscape. They also include detailed customer insights and considerations on the feasibility and dependencies.

Feature card

Example of a feature card

Example of a feature card

The next step of this project included technical analysis and roadmap planning, which was carried out by the Business Analyst team.

© Gianluca Cherubin - 2019