UX and Agile combine to create a robust testing schedule and a highly user-led new eCommerce website
- Who: A discount supermarket
- What: Discovery research and iterative user testing across the new site development
- How: Agile user testing of prototypes and live pages, fit into weekly development sprints
- Result: An effective, user-focused eCommerce website
Our client, a discount supermarket, wished to transition their website from a showcase platform to a fully-fledged eCommerce site. This required a full redesign of the existing site.
We were engaged to provide ‘the voice of the user’ throughout the development process. This meant working alongside a large, national design and development agency, and the client team, injecting user evidence throughout the development of the new site to ensure user needs remained front and centre.
What we did
We initially embarked on multiple rounds of discovery research to understand who the users are, their contexts, motivations and pain points.
It quickly became apparent that the agency had not factored time for user testing of the prototype designs into their project plan. As we repeatedly say, testing early in the design process is crucial to saving time and money in the long run so we quickly worked with the client team to draft a programme of user testing that would fit within the existing development schedule.
Development sprints were weekly: we would receive the prototype designs on the Tuesday afternoon, test with 6 testers on the Wednesday and present the insights back to the team on the Thursday giving the development team 2.5 working days to implement changes head of the next round.
This integrated approach to usability testing continued throughout the project as the designs moved into the development environment. To ensure efficient communication, we spent time embedded within the client team, participating in their daily stand ups and sharing knowledge and expertise that the team could take forward into future projects.
Finally, to make the new site truly usable for everyone, we also conducted a round of usability testing with users with disabilities, including blind, visually impaired and keyboard only users.
Our client launched their new website shortly after the final round of testing. Not only did it look great, it was also user friendly and effective, as a result of the rigorous programme of user testing adopted.
Incorporating discovery research into the early prototype development phase resulted in significant improvements to the final website that would otherwise have not been picked up. As we say, test quickly and early to save yourself time, money and headaches in the long run.
“I’m really keen we learn from your expertise wherever possible. We’ve been guilty of moving too quickly in the past, but I appreciate your support in anchoring us in the process and ensuring we build usable products. All comments, pearls of wisdom or long wordy emails to challenge our thinking are welcomed!”
– Head of Corporate Buying