Role: Lead Product Designer / UX Researcher
While at Y Media Labs, Home Depot came to us with several pain points and business goals regarding their mobile iOS and Android applications. The highest priority item was exploring how we would go about enhancing the browse experience within the app. By improving this experience the intent was that it would increase conversions – landing a user on a product detail page and making a purchase. In addition, Home Depot also wanted to increase engagement with specials and promotions as well as increase time in app by designing a discovery-based approach to the browse experience.
Defining Goals & Successes
In order to determine whether or not we were on the right path, we set out with one primary goal that was easily measurable: To increase percentage of traffic to the product detail page. This in turn would increase the percentage of people making a purchase.
Comparative Usability Evaluation
After having the initial kickoff with the Home Depot team, we immediately hit the ground running – starting with initial research. To get an understanding of how the Home Depot app compared with other competing retailers, I conducted several comparative usability tests that ran the user through several task based scenarios and tested the overall flow and usability of the browse experience. In short, comparative usability testing is a technique that helps you understand more about the position of an application in comparison to other similar, competing applications for a specific industry or market. From a usability perspective, it helps to identify each apps strengths and weaknesses from an end users point of view. This allowed us to get a baseline to determine where the current Home Depot app fell, compared to other competing applications. As reflected in the test results below, we focused on efficiency and usability from the initial home page to the product detail page, using only browse.
Challenges & Learnings
Through testing, we learned that a majority of the issues with the current Home Depot app stemmed from having a less than ideal navigation from a parent category item like ‘Outdoors’ to a specific product, such as a Grill. Due to the difference in inventory for each department, we knew that scale was key.
Home depot’s user base was rather wide and varied from the home DIY’er to the older contractor that rarely ever used technology.
After we validated that there was in fact certain issues that could be improved, we took all the information that we could gather, both quantitative and qualitative, and used that information to help inform our design decisions moving forward.
Throughout the project we continuously ran usability testing with the users that we were designing for. Along with the Home Depot team we planned, recruited, scheduled and conducted testing for each phase of the project. The intent for the tests were to validate (early on) the efficiency and usability for each section of the app that we designed. In addition, we wanted to make sure that the presented content aligned with the user’s expectation throughout their entire experience.
Tools used for testing:
After the redesign, Home Depot reported an increase in engagement as well as an increase in traffic to product detail pages.