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UI/UX

Case Study: Mobile Self-Checkout App Design Concept


Fashion Retail and E-Commerce App Redesign


All iPhone Mockup Template by TranMauTriTam
The UI/UX case study documents the processes involved in a redesign of a fashion retail and e-commerce
app. The app includes a product scan feature for customers to perform a self-checkout at a physical store.
This design sprint took 11-days to complete and is submitted to the UXDI course at General Assembly,
Singapore.
Project Brief
Work in a team to identify problems and/or opportunities with an existing mobile application and utilise
your knowledge to design a solution.
For this project, my team selected the Uniqlo, Singapore app to redesign. For this documentation, the
brand name will not be mentioned again below. The ideas below apply to most fashion retailers with an e-
commerce presence.
Overview


The 11-days group project (3 members) includes the following processes and methodologies:
#1 Discover
• Background research
• Contextual inquiry
• User Interviews
• Online surveys
• Competitive analysis
• Heuristic evaluation
#2 Define
• Affinity mapping
• User personas
• Customer journey mapping
• Feature prioritisation
• Design studio
#3 Design
• Wireframe
• InVision prototype
• Visual mock-up
#4 Testing
• Usability testing
• System Usability Scale study
#5 Deliver
• Interactive prototype
• Visual mock-up
• Research report
• Presentation
The Context — Competitive Retail Scene & Mobile Payment in Singapore


News clippings from The Straits Times and Channel NewsAsia
It is increasingly difficult for retail businesses to remain competitive in Singapore. This is due to the high
rental fees to maintain a physical store and the difficulty in hiring lower-skilled sales assistants.
In addition, consumers are increasingly shopping online on platforms such as Taobao, ASOS, ZALORA for
their fashion fix.
In the recent Singapore National Day Rally Speech (Aug 17), the prime minister pushes for consumers and
retailers to adopt mobile payments. This will be done through initiatives such as ‘PayNow’ and a common
national QR code.
Based on this setting, my team picked a retail outlet with a physical and online (mobile app) presence as
our project.
Heuristic Evaluation


Screen grab from heuristic evaluation report–Consistency and Standards
First, we started by analysing the existing app to identify key problems and issues. This was compared to
online reviews on Google Play and the App Store.



App reviews on Google Play and Apple App Store
The main issues discovered was the app is a hybrid app, i.e. it is pulling information from a web page. This
creates potential issues:
1. Slow loading as most of the information is downloaded only when needed.
2. The experience is not catered to mobile. Fonts, buttons, and images appear too small on the mobile
phone.
3. Navigation is inconsistent throughout the app.
Competitive Analysis


Competitive Analysis–Comparing features on the Home screen
Next, we compared the app to the competitors’ apps. The competitors are determined by these 4 points:
1. Fashion retailers with a physical store in Singapore;
2. Has an e-commerce mobile app;
3. Similar price range and demographics;
4. Fast-fashion retailer.
Key findings identified were:
1. Most shoppers do not know of or use the apps;
2. No in-store signages were found to encourage its usage;
3. Competitors have a barcode scanner to provide additional product information. This feature
integrates the in-store and mobile experience;
4. Competitors have a significantly better app presentation as it feels less cluttered;
5. App approaches may be different — one is more editorial, while the other is focused on e-
commerce.
The Big Questions — How Might We…


At the start of the project, we had three main questions in mind.
How might we…
1. adapt the physical store experience into a mobile experience?
2. use a mobile app to further enhance the physical store experience?
3. adopt mobile payment or a mobile self-checkout at a physical store?
Defining the In-store Experience
First, we define the unique experience at the physical store to adapt it to the mobile app.
• Greeted with ‘Welcome to (the store)’ every time you enter the shop;
• Same familiar shop layout at every outlet;
• Wide open aisle, bright lights, neatly stacked shelves;
• Sales and promotions throughout the year for different products each week;
• Easy to find the right sizes without help from a sales assistant;
• Strong visual branding from clothes tag to signages.
Contextual Inquiry/Field Study

Contextual inquiry at the physical store
We conducted a field study at an outlet by speaking to customers and shop assistants. Also, we showed
the product scan feature found on our competitor’s mobile app.
What we noticed and found out:
1. Shoppers do not know of the app even though they frequently shop at the store.
2. The current app is for e-commerce only.
3. Shoppers will consider shopping online after knowing of the app.
4. Shoppers are wowed by the product scan feature as the technology is fascinating. The same
technology is already available at a kiosk at the flagship store (in the city). Other smaller outlets (in
the neighbourhoods) did not have this kiosk, probably due to space constraints.
5. The same product might be cheaper in the app as there are mobile exclusive discounts. This,
although they may incur additional delivery fees ($6 for spendings < $30).
6. Various products are available only at the flagship store or on the mobile app.
7. Long queues were observed at the store during peak hours.
User Interviews

Sample interview questions grouped by topics
We interviewed 7 users to find out what they think of the current app. The questions we asked were centred
on various touch points common to fashion e-commerce apps. For example, we asked questions related
to:
1. browsing for clothes,
2. making a purchase,
3. waiting for the delivery,
4. receiving the items,
5. and making returns.
Key findings from the interviews:
1. The app is easy to browse, hence there are no major issues with the navigation. The only issue is
with ‘dresses’ being classified under ‘tops’.
2. Frustration comes from the lack of filtering and a complicated check-out process.
3. The app lacks clarity in the delivery options and fees.
4. The app presentation is messy.
Affinity Mapping

Existing App User

Shopper–Potential App User
After conducting user interviews and contextual inquiry, the next step we did was to organise the insights
into groups in an Affinity Map. With this map, we could identify common habits, problems, and pain points.
The map also helped us to identify 2 key personas (elaborated below) where the same coloured post-its
are usually grouped together. Eg. Red and pale blue posts-its are existing users.
User Personas and Customer Journey Map
Based on the patterns identified in the affinity map, we came out with 2 personas — an existing user of the
app, and a current shopper who is a potential user of the app. These personas describe a typical
user/potential user, their habits, problems, pain points, and other details about him/her.
Persona 1 — Existing user of the app

User Persona–Existing user of the app


Customer Journey Map–Shopping on the App
Katie prefers to shop online and is an existing user of the app. She wants quick access to all the discounts
and finds it difficult to find the size and availability of the items she wants. While she is familiar and
comfortable using the app, she hopes the user experience can be improved.
Persona 2 — Existing shopper and potential user of the app

User Persona–Shopper at physical store/Potential user of app


Customer Journey Map–Shopping at a physical store
Natalie shops at the physical store and is not aware of the existing app. While she enjoys shopping at the
store, there are often long queues at the payment counter. She may be a potential user of the app since
she uses other e-commerce apps to shop for clothes.
Potential project approaches:
1. The redesign should not affect current users of the app. Navigation should be kept similar to the
existing app and website.
2. New features can be added to the app for current shoppers to use it in-store.
3. Users should be able to access ‘Promotions’ quickly since it is a major feature of the brand.
4. Increase awareness of the app through in-store posters and other marketing efforts.
Feature Prioritisation Matrix

Feature Prioritisation Matrix–User Needs vs Business Needs


57% of users surveyed rated a 4 or more, that is important to have a self-checkout counter in-store
Through a design studio process, we came up with various new features we intend to include in the new
app. To come out with a Minimal Viable Product (MVP, or Minimal Lovable Product, MLP) we conducted
an online survey to find out what users want on the app. We looked at the features from the business
perspective and organised them according to our user and business needs. Features at the top right corner
(the box in red) are the ones that should be included in the new version of the app.
Storyboards
The new features are illustrated in storyboards, detailing the environment, scenario, and context where
the app may be used.


Storyboard by Parul–Receiving a push-notification when user is near the store


Storyboard by Parul–Using the barcode scan and self-checkout function
Mid-Fi Prototype & First Usability Test

Mid-Fidelity Prototype by Parul
Since my team comprises two visual designers (myself included), we skipped to a mid-fidelity prototype
after doing quick sketches. Visuals of the clothing may be important in helping users visualise the actual
app.
The version was used for testing with actual customers on our second trip to the store. The purpose of the
test is to determine if customers are receptive to the new scanning and self-checkout feature.
Key findings from the usability test:
1. Customers are able to identify the scan feature and its uses.
2. Most customers are able to expect what will appear after scanning the product.
3. However, they questioned the need to know more product information when they have the
physical item on hand.
4. Customers will use the self-checkout ‘only when there is a queue’. This is to be expected since most
Singaporeans are more comfortable making payment by cash at a counter.
5. However, most highlighted there they are slowly accepting mobile payments and self-checkout
systems as part of the future retail experience.
6. The wishlist feature was removed subsequently as users do not require the function.
Hi-Fi Prototype
From the usability test, we iterated a high fidelity prototype. The branding was also enhanced in the design
by using the right fonts and colours. The interactive prototype can be viewed on InVision.


Feature Demonstration
Scan Feature
We created a video to show the new scan feature on the app since it was impossible to prototype the actual
feature.
App Scan Feature Prototype Demo
Delivery Target Bar
Another feature on the app is an animated target bar for free delivery. This will encourage users to spend
more to meet the target while providing greater clarity to the users.

Animated delivery target bar
Geo-Fencing Push Notification
Users will receive a mobile coupon through push notification when their GPS indicates that they are near a
store outlet. This will encourage them to use the app for self-checkout.

Receiving a mobile voucher through push notification when user is near an outlet
Usability Testing


Tasks assigned for usability tests
Participants were given 4 tasks to complete. Task 1 was conducted on both the existing app and the new
app. The clicks for 3 of the tasks were illustrated below.


Where did the users click?


Time taken by user to find a dress on the current and new app
To collect quantitative data, we timed users on how fast they took to complete the task on the existing
app and new app. The new design allows the user to complete the task more efficiently.


Quantitative Data from System Usability Scale(SUS)
In addition, we conducted a post-test survey to collect feedback from the participants on their views of the
new app. This was done with the System Usability Scale(SUS) test. The results were tabulated and
calculated based on the method specified by the standardised test.
Results from system usability scale test:
• Users rated 69/100 (marginal) on their opinion of the new app.
• Although this is below the acceptable score (>70), it was not a bad score.
• The marginal score was due to the difficulty in performing task 4 (i.e. performing a self-checkout).
• Designing a self-checkout is a challenging task due to the lack of existing models to follow. Users
need time to learn and accept self-checkout methods.
Design Iteration — Improving the User Flow
After the usability test, we discovered that users were confused by the product detail page after scanning
the barcode. They assumed that the item was already added to the cart after the scan.
Scanning Products

Revising the user flow to provide more feedback


Providing feedback to guide users in completing their task
We made the process more informative for users by providing feedback on what is happening. First, we
prompt users if they want to add the item to the bag after scanning the barcode. Next, we gave them the
option to continue scanning or proceed to the shopping bag. This provides more clarity to the user as they
are provided with options to proceed to the next step.
Self-Checkout

Revising the self-checkout user flow to provide more instructions
This is a case where a simpler user flow, may actually cause greater confusion to the user. With more steps
inserted, users are more confident in performing tasks.


Providing instructions on what to do after self-checkout payment
The revised self-checkout user flow may seem a lot more complicated, but provides greater clarity to users.
This is because instructions are given to them to proceed to the Express Packing Counter to get their items
packed, and the security tags removed. Without these instructions, users were unsure what to do after
making a payment.
Promoting the App Usage
Through our app redesign, we created opportunities where users can use the app within the physical store.
Hence, to encourage the usage, this should be accompanied by various promotional materials around the
stores.



Clothes Tag and InStore Posters
For example, the clothes tag can include a line to inform users that they can scan and perform a self-
checkout with the app. This can also be included in the signages found throughout the store.


Express Packing Counter for self-checkout users
As users have to get their items packed and security sensors removed, we propose setting up an Express
Packing Counter lanes that will be quicker in serving these customers. This will help to bring about a greater
awareness of the app.
Future Steps
In the short term:
1. We propose to include features that will help users to find what they need. For example, we can
include an image search feature so that users can find a similar style.
2. Personalised feed for signed in users based on gender and body size to suggest the right style and
promotions.
In the long term:
1. Align the current website with the new app after collecting user feedback for the new app.
2. Rearrange products in the navigation based on knowledge of future product inventory.
Points to Note
The design of the app in the InVision prototype does not follow the guidelines listed in the iOS Human
Interface Guidelines. This was due to my unfamiliarity with iPhone app design. After studying the guide, I
redesigned the app to match the style specified for iPhone 7.
The main difference is in the system font choice (SF Pro Display) and in the navigation labels. This is to
ensure consistency throughout the iPhone.


Revising the navigation to match Apple iOS Human Interface Guidelines