Customer expectations for a retail app

Involving customers in product development

As the UK’s leading Multi-Channel retailer, Argos already offer 14 different ways to “Argos It”. From a mobile perspective, Argos has successfully launched apps for iPhone and Android, a mobile web site and an iPad app for the Christmas Gift Guide in 2011.

After developing their iPad app proposition to a functional prototype stage, Argos required user testing to gather feedback on navigation, user flow, general functionality and design. The aim of this testing would help to:

  • Understand customer expectations and overall reactions to the iPad app
  • Gain specific feedback on the interaction design through typical customer journeys / scenarios
  • Gain specific feedback on the visual design (initial design concepts applied to prototype)

Exploring a full range of scenarios on the iPad

We ran lab based user testing with 12 participants over 2 days. Sessions were ran using the prototype iPad app over 60 minutes, where users were asked to explore a full range of scenarios, from simple browsing to ordering a sofa for home delivery. Following this, users were asked to complete a survey to produce some quantitative data regarding their opinions.

For recruitment, we were tasked with finding a wide range of users who could give a good cross section of the Argos customer base. In collaboration with Argos we produced profiles that covered the majority of their users to ensure the app would be developed to suit a variety of users needs.

During sessions we used our mobile testing kit, which recorded both the actions of the user together with their reactions with a video in video screen capture. These videos assisted the design team by showing insights into user behaviour which could then be used to modify the design in their iterative design process.

Using video clips to support recommendations

Our results were presented to Argos through a thorough report that identified high to low priority issues, with video clips to support our observations. We identified areas of the user interface where users’ were finding it difficult to operate the app. One such recommendation was to provide product categories from the home page for users to easily narrow down their search. Through the use of one-on-one interviews we found differences between what users expected an Argos app to be able to do and what it was being designed to do, particularly surrounding transactional capabilities such as reserving vs. paying online.

Ben Logan - Director

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