About the Project
I was the lead designer on Family Dollar’s first coupon-focused iOS and Android app. My role included facilitating discovery sessions, interaction design, visual design, and even a few customer interviews. Also on the team: an information architect, two engineers, one project manager, one business analyst. An IT and marketing team represented Family Dollar.
We had a month-long discovery with key stakeholders. In this time we defined a vision as well as a list of goals, fears, and ideas for the app. We then charted each idea by effort and impact to determine the right ones to pursue (our sweet spot was high impact, low effort). We used that information to prioritize what to test—this also helped us ensure the best match of customers’ needs and Family Dollar’s ideas.
We also needed to understand the customer's mindset. To do that, we collaborated with Family Dollar to create personas based on previously-established research. We also went into stores to speak with customers directly.
The personas allowed us to identify the types of customers who shop at Family Dollar. However, we found nothing else was as valuable or insightful as meeting customers in person.
Speaking with customers taught us they relied heavily on Family Dollar's weekly ads. They painstakingly cut coupons out to take with them to the store. Sometimes they lost coupons or they expired without their knowing. Many customers didn't know what an App Store was, saying their grandkids install apps for them.
Problems to Solve
- Help a non-technical, smartphone-novice group of people understand this product
- Use gamification to make the app more enjoyable
- Increase sales and trips to the store
- Reduce checkout time by half
Working closely with the information architect, we tested numerous prototypes in-store. Our goal here was to ensure we built the right product—the knowledge we gained from these user testing sessions was invaluable.
The final app includes a card-based design, which closely mimics clipping coupons in real life. That allowed customers to have faster checkout times and less hassle from lost or expired coupons.
There are also fun interactions—when a customer clips a coupon, it displays a pleasing-yet-not-annoying animation. We also gamified the experience by including a progress bar which entices customers to clip more coupons. We plan to introduce more gamification features soon.
- Met yearly download goal in one month
- Boosted average transaction price by 50%
- Interviewed at least 75 customers
- App earned a 4.8 rating on the App Store