For the past few weeks, Common Good, Nine Sixty and Infinity Works have been working in partnership with Well to improve their online store finder. Throughout the project we’re sharing what we’ve been up to, with a focus on the tools and techniques we’re using to design, manage and build this new service.
In our previous post, we concentrated on Week Zero, and how early attention to detail coupled with an ambition for shared understanding and collaboration helps projects get off to the best possible start. In this post, we’ll be sharing more about the Discovery phase of work — why it’s important, how we approach it and what tools we use to support it.
One of the primary goals on the store finder project has been to create a service which supports the needs of both the business and the customer. We’ve looked to identify the crossover of feasibility (solutions built on the strengths of Well’s current capabilities), viability (solutions built on a sustainable model for the future) and desirability (solutions which Well customers need and will use).
a service which supports the needs of both the business and the customer
To help identify this crossover we go through a Discovery phase of work. Depending on the complexity of the project this can be rapid or spread over a number of weeks.
We adopt a beginners mindset for the Discovery phase. Not afraid to ask simple questions and point to things or processes we don’t clearly understand. Allowing us to build empathy for our users — a vital part of the process.
We adopt a beginners mindset for the Discovery phase.
Discovery is split into two streams: field research (getting out of the building), and desk (or secondary) research. Field research is all about seeing and understanding for ourselves, while desk research is all about learning from what already exists in the world and building on the work, experience and ideas of others.
As part of field research we visited numerous Well stores, helping us understand customer and employee needs, as well as the potential problems or opportunities related to designing a new, online, pharmacy finder.
As part of rapid field research we:
- Visited five Well pharmacies across the Greater Manchester area.
- Designed clipboard surveys to use while intercepting customers and staff in-store.
- Organised and offered a small incentive, in the form of a Well gift voucher, to customers who took the time to speak to us about their experience.
- Photographed the store and documented the layout.
- Explored the local areas for other pharmacies and similar businesses.
- Spoke to 18 customers and five pharmacist managers as well as store staff and team members.
- Identified customers and employees who would be willing to help us further into the process during prototyping and testing.
Building empathy and understanding by visiting Well stores to speak with customers and staff
Field research also backed up existing data on Well’s broad customer base. A Well customer can be anyone and everyone due to the location and services on offer. It also helped identify two typical types of customer behaviours:
- Customers looking for speed and efficiency (i.e. want to get in and out FAST).
- Customers using Well because of the relationships they’ve built up over time with staff and the in-store pharmacist.
Customer frustrations were mainly driven by:
- Busy times in store which lead to queues and long waits for prescriptions and other services.
- Uncertainty around nearby car parking facilities and store accessibility.
At the end of each day this insight was taken back to the studio, and Well HQ, where it was stuck up on the walls for everyone to see, share and understand.
The second stream of work taking place during Discovery was desk (or secondary) research. This included:
- Placing a Hotjar poll onto the current store finder asking users how we could improve.
- A Typeform survey sent out to staff at Well HQ.
- Accessibility standards research — remembering the Well customer can be anyone and everyone.
- Competitor, best-in-class and user interaction (UI) research.
- Brand immersion to help understand Well’s values and how to design experiences which reflect them.
- A headline Google analytics review to understand who is using the existing store finder, on which devices and using which browsers. 49% on mobile helped guide our decision to take a mobile first approach to the design process.
Secondary research up on the wall for everyone to see and share
As the main part of the Discovery phase drew to a close we outputted our findings in the form of user stories and problem statements e.g. “as a customer, I want to know where the nearest parking is and it’s terrain (e.g steps), so that I don’t have to walk too far”. Techniques which help us contextualise the insight we’ve uncovered into potential ideas and functionality. More on this in our next post.
The Discovery phase is a vital part of the Design Thinking and Human-Centred design process. It allows the team to build empathy and understand the real needs of customers and stakeholders, ensuring a feasible, viable and desirable product is introduced to the world.
Check back for our next post where we’ll explain how the work carried out during Discovery supports ideation and prototyping.
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