Redesigning beyond aesthetics to context, utility and speed
My role: Research and Design Lead
Team makeup: One project manager, three software engineers, retail stakeholder
What I did: Uncovered pain points for retail workers through generative studies, created roadmap of opportunities, evaluative testing
Tuft & Needle is a mattress, bedding and bedroom company that’s always been online-first. When they began opening retail stores a few years ago, they relied on checking out orders through the system on their dotcom website. This process became slow very fast, so a specific checkout app was created for retail. Design-wise, they thought to continue to riff on the checkout on dotcom. No-brainer, right?
Wrong. Even as an separate app, checkout proved to be a slow and cumbersome process for the Retail Experience (RX) folks. Why?
Context matters. When you buy something online, most likely you’re looking on your computer or your phone, getting enticed by big images, discounts and possibly comparison shopping. As an RX-er, you do none of those things in the store.
Research Process and Takeaways
We knew we needed to streamline the checkout process, and we had a vague idea of the solution, but we needed to observe what was actually happening to empathize with RX. With the engineering team, we conducted contextual inquiries with the RX and discovered a number of issues.
- While large images and large type contrast on the existing checkout were aesthetically pleasing, they proved to be unnecessary and result in much more scrolling than necessary to find an item.
- The large real estate of each product also forces the RX-er to remember where exactly on the page they have to scroll to purchase a specific item. The navigation categories are too broad.
- Return customers are frustrated by having to give their shipping information all over again.
- Customers frequently request specific delivery dates for their items. There’s no ability to do that in the app, so RX needs race to a separate website and request a new date, all while a customer breathes down their neck.
We ran a kickoff with Retail and Engineering stakeholders to develop a roadmap for Retail Checkout opportunities.
Decreased the time an RX-er takes to place an order, leaving the RX-er more time to interact with customers.
Increased overall RX-er happiness. Seriously! They told us, unprompted: