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People, Not Percentages: Research & Design For Cross-Channel Experiences

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80 years ago, the bar for a retail experience was low. A simple shelf in a gas station was enough to display our company's initial product line. Today, that won't cut it. Today's designers have to incorporate scores of inputs, from how our customers encounter our products online and in the real world, to multiple departmental budgets and timelines converging around a campaign. In this environment, it's easy for customer perspective to get lost.

And yet customer experience is more important than ever. "Experience" is the secret sauce that will save physical stores from Internet giants. For designers, experience can be an overwhelmingly broad and loosely defined concept that is dependent on context and requires a rich understanding of the people for whom we are designing.

As leaders within our company's design and research teams, we’ll walk through our experience research and design approach via a case study of REI’s recently redesigned camping department. We'll share this process in detail: understanding customers in their authentic context; comparing information behavior in the physical and digital worlds; fostering customer-centricity on diverse design teams; carrying this empathy through physical space design, prototyping, and iteration; and navigating the politics of experience design.

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People, Not Percentages: Research & Design For Cross-Channel Experiences

  1. 1. People, 
 Not Percentages Research & Design For Cross-Channel Experiences by Allan Kempson, Nikki Easterday, and Stuart Maxwell presented by Stuart Maxwell, Lead Information Architect, REI @stumax, turninggrille.com Slides: bit.ly/peoplenotpercentages
  2. 2. Austin buys a tent Part One
  3. 3. Everyone, meet Austin.
  4. 4. Austin is going backpacking and wants to buy a new tent.
  5. 5. He starts looking for tents online.
  6. 6. Austin goes to the closest store.
  7. 7. Austin finally talks to an REI employee.
  8. 8. The employee saves the day!!
  9. 9. How can we make this better?
  10. 10. This is an information space.
  11. 11. People, not percentages.
  12. 12. A process for design Part 2
  13. 13. We started as a specialty retailer.
  14. 14. But we started to act like a Big Box retailer.
  15. 15. We need to get back to our roots.
  16. 16. Allan Kempson Manager, Customer Experience Research and Design (CX) Nikki Easterday Experience Design Manager, Store Design and Visual Merchandising (SDVM) Meet Allan and Nikki.
  17. 17. Store Design / Visual Merchandising Customer Experience Research Physical Architects Retail Operations Store Employees Merchants Digital Retail Outdoor Adventure & Programs Senior Leadership Stakeholders for designing a physical space
  18. 18. The process Part Two
  19. 19. 1. Stakeholder interviews
  20. 20. 2a. Quantitative customer research
  21. 21. 2b. Qualitative customer research
  22. 22. 3a. Affinity diagramming workshops Phase one: store staff
  23. 23. 3a. Affinity diagramming workshops Phase two: HQ stakeholders
  24. 24. 4. Allan presents research findings to Nikki
  25. 25. 5. Architect Design Development (but first study all the things) CX research Stakeholder research and requirements
  26. 26. 6. Share with leadership; get their input
  27. 27. 7. Refine
  28. 28. 8a. Build a low-fi prototype and iterate
  29. 29. 8b. It’s messy.
  30. 30. 8c. It gets worse.
  31. 31. 8d. It gets better.
  32. 32. 8z. It gets done..
  33. 33. 9. Bring in-store employees and customers to test
  34. 34. 10. Iterate again
  35. 35. 11. Build in a pilot store (It gets messy again).
  36. 36. BEFORE
  37. 37. BEFORE
  38. 38. BEFORE
  39. 39. AFTER
  40. 40. AFTER
  41. 41. AFTER
  42. 42. AFTER
  43. 43. 12. More research
  44. 44. 13. Iterate and continue to refine for more stores
  45. 45. Findings and actions taken Part Three
  46. 46. 1Finding Why people come to the store
  47. 47. 75 - 88% of customers start shopping online
  48. 48. Customers visit a store to touch, feel, and sense
  49. 49. Customers come to the store to get questions answered
  50. 50. 1Solution Self-Service Education
  51. 51. Experience the product
  52. 52. Promote conversation through experience
  53. 53. Finding A hard time finding 2
  54. 54. Customers had to wander the gondolas
  55. 55. Solution Activity-based product display 2
  56. 56. We flipped the taxonomy
  57. 57. CAMP SHOP TENTS STOVES COOK GEAR LIGHTING CAMPING BACKPACKING CAMPING BACKPACKING CAMPING BACKPACKING CAMPING BACKPACKING
  58. 58. CAMP SHOP CAMPING BACKPACKING TENTS STOVES COOK GEAR LIGHTING TENTS STOVES COOK GEAR LIGHTING
  59. 59. Visual wayfinding
  60. 60. AFTER Visual wayfinding
  61. 61. 3Finding Decision Trees
  62. 62. Solution Decision Path 3
  63. 63. Solution Decision Path 3
  64. 64. And it works!
  65. 65. What we learned Part 4
  66. 66. You can’t empathize with a statistic
  67. 67. We need to work hard and fast to understand the customer
  68. 68. Intellectual needs vs. sensing needs
  69. 69. We need to rethink our taxonomies
  70. 70. Involve everybody in the process
  71. 71. Involving everyone helps you as much as them
  72. 72. We framed the experience with objective measures
  73. 73. We brought clarity through a customer- focused understanding of the experience
  74. 74. Where do we go from here?
  75. 75. The challenge for Digital Retail
  76. 76. Take what we learned and move forward
  77. 77. 1 Invest in mixed-methods customer research Take what we learned and move forward
  78. 78. 1 2 Involve everyone in everything Invest in mixed-methods customer research Take what we learned and move forward
  79. 79. 1 2 3 Focus on people, not percentages Involve everyone in everything Invest in mixed-methods customer research Take what we learned and move forward
  80. 80. Thanks! by Allan Kempson, Nikki Easterday, and Stuart Maxwell presented by Stuart Maxwell, Lead Information Architect, REI; @stumax, turninggrille.com Special thanks to: Mahsino Blamoh, Jordan Cordas, Louise Maxwell Slides: bit.ly/peoplenotpercentages All images ©2016 Recreational Equipment, Inc.
  81. 81. Discussion
  82. 82. The cutting room floor
  83. 83. We go backpacking!! We go backpacking!!

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