Argos

The Brief

What does the next generation super retailer look like? If we remove the technical barriers of today what can we create?

What would Argos look like today if it started tomorrow from scratch with a powerful market leading design shaped around the customer? Based on business requirements and real user testing, my work focusses on a new proposition free from current technical constraints and legacy systems.

And by fitting the design within an easy to use and consistent format accross mobile, tablet and web, our team leads design by inspiring the wider digital teams to build and shape Argos as the digital retail leader. I was asked to focus on responsive web first, given their larger market share on web, extending this through to mobile, and later tablet.

Six core areas of focus

Core Areas

Personas

By looking at user research curated by the business I put together a series of personas based on customers’ shopping missions when visiting the Argos site and apps. These formed three core user groups:

Get it The user knows exactly what they need and wants to get it fast
Find it The user has an idea but needs information and time
Discover it The user doesn't know and is 'just browsing'

Below is an example of one of the personas I put together, focused on the user’s needs and experience goals - what they are trying to do, what they want to achieve and what they want to relieve by visiting Argos. This was in place of the more general marketing personas with segment and background information.

Persona

Competitor landscape

I wanted to explore varying options for app and site designs for commerce, breaking away from typical examples on the web. With the team we put up examples of apps and sites we liked across the web on a mood board wall to see where inspiration could lead us.

Argos positioning

Putting together the reserach, personas and focussing on Argos' strengths, it became clear that there were three core areas of focus for Argos to differentiate and drive our design.

Positioning

Sketching Ideas

I wanted to preserve Argos' instore human touch allowing the user to speak to the ‘Digital Argos’ as if it were a real instore sales assistant. We looked at creating a conversation with blanks the user could fill in. By reducing it down to a fuzzy logic search bar where you could be as specific or as broad as needed, you could enable all three customer segments to search for any product.

To optimise for the quick 'Get It' customer we created a timeline interface that immediately showed results for all searched queries in the specified location and fulfilment type: delivery vs collection. This was a no nonsense way that immediatley let users know what was in store and when.

Sketches

To optimise for the user who wanted to learn as much as possible about a particular product category but was unsure of the exact item specifics I wanted to bring in the editorial content from the Argos print catalogue and tablet app and merge this into the product detail pages. If a customer searched for drills, on the product detail page they would find an interactive image with editorial about a range of building gear such as protective goggles and clothing along with a specific drill the model was holding.

They could learn more by clicking on specific item hotpoints in the image and go to the item's page and purchase it. If needed, they could even purchase the entire set e.g. a customer buying a drill could buy the full set of products advertised with the model in the image such as protective goggles, dungarees and special gloves.

Sketches

And finally, to optimise for the exploratory 'just browsing' customer, we created a smart product grid design, inspired by Pinterest and Tinder, that let the user browse popular and best seller featured products. The more the user visited Argos, the better it learned user preferences.

This could be manually adjusted by the user clicking on the down arrow and selecting whether they liked the suggestion or not. This, along with customer purchasing data, would enable the system to learn customer preferencs and suggest the best inspirational items.

Sketches

Wireframing

I wanted to preserve Argos' instore human touch allowing the user to speak to the ‘Digital Argos’ as if it were a real instore sales assistant. We looked at creating a conversation with blanks the user could fill in. By reducing it down to a fuzzy logic search bar where you could be as specific or as broad as needed, you could enable all three customer segments to search for any product.

To optimise for the quick 'Get It' customer we created a timeline interface that immediately showed results for all searched queries in the specified location and fulfilment type: delivery vs collection. This was a no nonsense way that immediatley let users know what was in store and when.

Wireframe Navigation
Wireframe Navigation
Wireframe Navigation

Visualising It

I art directed our UI designers towards a look and feel that epitomsised the new brand for Argos that was both fresh and clean with playfulness that was bold and stood out head and shoulders above any other retail website.

Visuals Visuals Visuals Visuals