Solving pain points across the customer journey with Woolworths

One of the Australian App Store’s most successful apps with over 1 million downloads in the first few months of launch.

This success led to additional development for iPad, Android and responsive web and helped to make Woolworths the number one grocery retailer in Australia.

With the success of the iPhone app we were tasked with developing for iPad. At a time when common practice for iPad app development was to ‘…just make the iPhone app bigger…’ we were keen to define an engaging and meaningful use case for the iPad app.

Accurate wayfinding for 980 stores

With over 900 stores and thousands of product lines we knew we would uncover significant pain points in the shopper journey.

We soon realised that the biggest opportunity for Woolworths lie in helping customers navigate stores more effectively.

Analysing 100’s of store plans we were able to develop functionality that gave users the ability to sort their in app grocery lists not just by price or most recently added but by aisle order – this enabled customers to navigate their way around stores as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Shared shopping lists

User research identified a real need for various people in one, single household to be able to populate shopping lists.

We created a dynamic list that could be shared across app accounts and consolidated into one single list at any point in time.

A meaningful use case for iPad

Taking the existing in store print magazine ‘Woolworths Fresh’ we explored opportunities for digitising the publication for a simple iPad magazine experience.

When researching potential solutions for digital publishing we identified a vendor that had developed an InDesign publishing plugin for magazine digitisation and a software development kit that allowed for more in depth integration between iOS and the digital magazine.

This discovery allowed us to create a much more meaningful experience that allowed users to do things such as adding magazine recipe ingredients to in app shopping lists.

We also explored gesture based interactions, enabling users to move through recipes with just a simple wave of their hand.


Use case definition

Tasked with creating the app for iPad, we were initially asked to simply replicate the iPhone experience onto the larger viewport. Keen to define a more meaningful use case for the iPad experience I spoke to users (and the business) to uncover the value proposition for a tablet app.

Realising that the popular in store magazine ‘Woolworths Fresh’ did not yet have a digital experience attached to it I started to research the potential for creating a digital magazine experience on iPad. At a time when the only real solution to digital publishing was Adobe DPS, I realised the client would not have the appetite for such an expensive option.

I uncovered a much cheaper InDesign plugin based solution and through further research found that the vendor also had their own SDK for iPad – this allowed us to create a cheaper digital magazine experience on iPad whilst also leveraging native app capabilities within the existing iPhone code base – what this meant for the end user was a rich magazine experience that allowed them to add magazine content (such as ingredients lists) to in app shopping lists that could then be shared across their devices.

The iPad experience become a meaningful addition to the Woolworths app portfolio and also led to recurring revenue for the agency as the magazine required monthly digitisation.

Experience design

My role was primarily visual interface design. This project took a very lean UX approach where we tried to replace traditional wireframe deliverables with final interface designs as quickly as possible – we learnt early on that the client (and test user base) was more receptive to clickable visual screens than they were to static wireframes.

The project started initially with iPhone design and development, this quickly led to Android and iPad development. To ensure visual consistency across platforms I recognised the need to ensure up to date design documentation and style guides early on – this ensured additional platform designs were created as efficiently and accurately as possible.

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