The ask: Bring together an existing app, local info, and education widgets into one resource for the 360 Cafe Associates.
Team kicked off the project with some competitive research. We went to a few different stores to explore how they handled the first customer engagement. We regrouped after, and synthesized our findings. What we learned was: Customers like fun new technology, and they like to discover things.
A different research team did a broad analysis of the Cafe Associates on a past project, we reused sections and pared it down to work for our needs: Mental Models, Pain Points, Demographics.
I then facilitated a workshop to help us figure out: what we are making? Together we tackled various exercises and experiments to get us all on the same page. We defined goals, journeys and created personas. Everything went up on the wall so we could reference what we needed at any time.
Maintaining a war room helped us to 'work out loud' and keep all our findings and learnings in one place.
At kickoff we understood the user journey to be somewhat simple. After the first week of user testing in the cafe, we quickly learned the journey was much more complicated. There are actually 2 flows, 2 sets of tools and 2 different approaches. Due to scope and feasibility we chose to narrow the problem to one that could actually be solved in the 8 weeks we had.
Week 1 - Is this the right content?
We talked to users and presented a very rough prototype with a goal of learning is this the stuff you need to do your job? Right away we knew we were missing so much. We were way off. The next day we iterated on a new prototype and quickly got back in front of the users to ask again, is this the right content? This would continue to be refined every week, but at least we were in the ball park this time and could move forward.
Weekly Iterations & User Testing
We created a cadence of testing prototypes weekly. Working from low fidelity to high. We learned users needed to be able to quickly click to the content they needed, but also that we had no control over the presentation of that content. So we decided on a UI that used a left hand bar for navigation while allowing the content to be viewed on the right side. The best part is the associates started to ask "When can we start using this?"
Each week the team got together to synthesize all our notes and see what learnings we could discover. We learned different cafes have different content needs, so we adjusted our navigation to scale down or up, we added scrolling and fixed buttons for things that need to stay available above the working area.
We usually sketched ideas before jumping into Sketch, and we used the brand guidelines to start, but adjusted to fit the new challenges.
At week 7 we took a break from weekly sprints to take a step back and evaluate where we were. We created an audit and flow diagram on the wall, and from there could see the big picture again. We've come a long way from the content in week 1.
It was now time to step up our prototype to a higher fidelity. We had learned all we could from our low fidelity sprints. We needed more refinement and nuances regarding animations and flows. So we created storyboards and worked with the team to discuss what was reasonable and to make sure the effort matched the value.
We eventually ended with a pilot prototype that we could give to associates to work with in the cafes.