UX research and design / Service design / User testing

Branding / Strategy / Co-creation

Exploring the future of local convenience
together with Direkten

The challenge
Direkten is a convenience-store franchise with more than 150 stores spread across Sweden. Direkten HQ wanted to collaborate with us to find inspiration for new service opportunities – to use digital technology to leverage increased footfall in their stores and to rethink Direkten’s role as convenience provider in local communities. They wanted to identify how they could to stay relevant as a convenience provider in a physical space.

9 future service concepts tailored for Direkten, 
insights on customer needs and expectations and 
redesign mockup of the Direkten Intranet.

Our approach
We initiated our process with interviews to identify current pains & gains from 3 different perspectives: Direkten HQ, storeowners and customers. We also did desktop research on future convenience trends and customer expectations. We applied our insights in an 
ideation phase, where we ended up with a result consisting of 2 solutions: a selection of service opportunities and a mockup redesign of the Direkten intranet. Through our research, we had discovered communication challenges between HQ and store owners and realized that new service opportunities could not solve the problem independently. Direkten HQ had to do an even better job at supporting the store owners in setting up new services to secure their future success.

My role: UX researcher
UX research, insights and strategy, user testing, information architecture and process facilitation.

Adam Hunt, Carolina Beiertz, Hanna Landström,
Laura Leppämäki, Mirian Tsujita and Vyoma Sheth.

Duration / Year 
5 weeks / 2017.

Project type

Hyper Island student project.


Our final delivery falls into two parts, going one step further than the client had asked for.
New services can only be successful if they are implemented in a good way.


The Direkten experience today

Let’s talk about how Direkten is experienced by customers today. 
Direkten is unpretentious, traditional and covers your basic convenience needs. 
For non-customers, especially within a millennial target audience, our customer interviews showed that 
Direkten "feels a bit dodgy and old-school". 
Where as for regular customers, Direkten feels like a place where they know you, "like a friendly neighbor". 


Research insights

Direkten’s current strengths and our focus for future services 

Direkten has an asset that the network orchestration giants
crave - physical space.

Future payment methods are becoming an expectation - not a novelty and future payments will go hand in hand with future service.

Reducing friction is a way to
get ahead. Small is beautiful.

The convenience store concept is in line with millennial behavioural trend but Direkten’s core product offering may not be.

You have to know about your customers, so you can give them what they want. Then you can meet their expectations and fit in to their lives, also in the future.

Selling the right things in the right places, at speed.

Ideation and value assessment

We developed personas and customer journeys based on our observations in Direkten stores and combined this with our research of convenience trends locally and in foreign markets. We wanted to identify needs and come up with ways on how Direkten could meet these through future services.
In our ideation phase we generated a massive amount of ideas, and from there we selected 9 ideas through an assessment based on difficulty of implementation and value impact.


The future Direkten experience

Here are 9 ideas for future service concepts to initiate the future Direkten experience. 
The concepts point in a direction, which is relevant now and in the near future. Staying relevant means staying flexible, as customer behaviour and needs will keep on changing. The development of the future Direkten experience has to be dynamic and ongoing.


Optimizing internal communication

To successfully implement new services at Direkten, store owners need to be onboarded in a way
that makes it easy for them to implement and provide good customer experiences.
By optimizing the internal communication via the Direkten intranet, we help the company help
itself by providing an easy, relevant and inspirational experience to store owners. The current solution is overwhelming and unclear titeling hides a lot of relevant information. This results in many calls to HQ for personal assistance and an unclarity among store owners in terms of the
advantages of being part of the Direkten chain.


We went to Direkten's annual fair to do user tests with store owners on a low fidelity prototype.
We wanted to gain insight on the store owners’ needs in their daily use of the intranet, so we could return to designing based on our learning’s from user feedback and analysis of current pains and gains.

Easy, relevant and inspirational

We tweaked the excisting intranet with clearer labeling and focused options based on the information, which is most contextually relevant in the store owners' daily interaction with the platform. Direkten supports its store owners with relevant news, info and also enables the store owners to share successful stories to inspire each other.


The high level information architecture


Two key learning’s

1. There is no straight path in iterative design
Good design processes are usually messy and nonlinear. I knew this before starting at Hyper Island, but the concept of iterative processes was new to me.
I learnt a lot from our circular approach of research, creating, testing and applying feedback – over and over. Failing early and learning from user feedback to create a concept that was based on knowledge over assumptions.

2. Challenge your clients with the intention of growth
Identifying what needs to be changed internally to be able to deliver desired experiences externally, was something I found really interesting and meaningful in this project. We challenged the client's perception of their problem with the clear intention of helping them grow their business in a holistic way.

See more of my work

Exploring the future of convenienceUX research and design / Service design / User testing

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Celebrating care providersUser centered branding / Strategy / Co-creation

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I’m always up for a chat. I like real life conversations, but skype works great too. I would love to hear from you if you are curious about my work or if you want to share ideas.
/ Anne