Case Study: House of Fraser — Bonanza



House of Fraser has decided to expand its services to include additional planning and buying options for its customers. It wants to make it easier for people to organise and pay for themed parties, and to encourage more regular parties.


The challenge

The challenge is to create a web-based product which will help plan a party. We want to bring the fun and collaboration back into party planning. The users have problems with splitting payments and having a smooth RSVP process.

I needed to create a microsite which takes the user through the process of planning a party. This process and experience must be hassle free.

After distilling the brief I broke it down to one core human centred challenge:


Concept Mapping
Business Analysis
Competitive Analysis
User Flows
User Journey
Card Sorting
Paper Prototyping
Digital Wireframes
Low Fidelity Clickable Prototype
Open and Closed Card Sorts
Paper Prototype User Testing
Iterating Digital Wireframes
Clickable Prototyping


The Process and Insight

Here I deployed some techniques to learn the core truth about House of Frasers customer. I studied everything about the existing market space to distinguish UX possibilities that can be exploited. This enabled me to find ways to create a leap in value by allowing something that makes the party planning experience more efficient.

I firstly looked at House of Fraser’s website to see what they currently offer regarding the party planning experience. Viewing the competitors, (John Lewis, Selfridges, Debenhams) it was apparent that very few are delivering fundamental features planned to be developed toward the new House of Fraser microsite.

Looking at the indirect competition gave me the chance to:

• Identify the key experiences
 • Take advantage of UX influencers
 • Do feature comparisons

One of my main competitions I found was squad up. I was able to gain much insight from seeing the features which worked for them and also looking at possible places where they failed.

I used google play store reviews as a source of free and unique user research.

Contextual Inquiring

Interestingly, the brick and mortar store offered great insight into the physical user flow. I found the staff what unhelpful, and the whole experience of being in the store was very unsophisticated. It turns out there is no dedicated party process to help customers when planning their parties.

Pain Points

It was so hard doing all this by myself and having to plan a surprise birthday on FaceBook

Pain Points

Man I hated it! I had no idea where we were with the progress of the party

Key Takeaways

Digital Wireframe

Once users were consistently navigating the sketches, effectively I was able to turn them into wireframes using Omnigraffle. These wireframes went through a number of further iterations before being turned into a clickable prototype.

The Supplies section was renamed to Basket to bring the site in-line with commonly used terminology as it caused confusion.

Initially, users were only able to track confirmed guests. They wanted to have more choice when it came to tracking invited and declined guests, this option was added to the wireframe.

I also found that users were unsure of what a host was, I added a tooltip with a brief explanation during the invite stage, as well as on the dashboard and a reminder at the checkout to remedy this.

Myself and a few other students then took part in a design studio session. We agreed on a specific part of the site we felt might be a more complex problem to solve and each started rapidly sketching out potential interface solutions in quick succession. The results were rough, but it was a remarkably useful process in gathering ideas for the UI quickly.

I then moved on to create sketches for each page on the site, using a number of the ideas from the design studio as a basis for this.

These sketches became paper prototypes that I was able to put in front of users and test to find out what worked well and what needed refining. By setting specific tasks that were centred around Carlotas journey I was able to ensure my attention for iterations were focusing on the right areas.

During the design studio i was able to quickly iterate a few of my ideas ready for testing in paper prototype form.

Through testing i found that users didn’t have an obvious over

Low Fidelity Prototype

After iterating the wireframes I put them into Invision to create a low fidelity clickable prototype. It follows the key screens involved the user journey from choosing a party theme, inviting guests, tracking RSVPs, sharing the cost, budgeting, providing tips and the checkout process.