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User Experience / Service design / Iterative process / Team work

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 proactively initiate change to secure their future relevancy, as many of their services are moving to a digital space. They wanted to collaborate with us to find inspiration
for new service opportunities – to get another perspective and to rethink their role as convenience provider in a physical space.

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

Duration / Year / Project type  
5 weeks / 2017 / Hyper Island student project.

Our approach
We identified current pains & gains from 3 different perspectives: Direkten HQ, storeowners and customers to reach a holistic perspective. We then went into an agile approach, moving in between  insights gathering, desktop research, ideation, building, testing and iterating. Our insights lead us to create a result consisting of 2 solutions: a selection of service opportunities and a mockup redesign of the Direkten intranet. During our research we discovered communication challenges between HQ and storeowners. We realized internal communication needed to be handled more effectively in order to implement and provide the desired customer experience.

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

My role was UX Researcher and
some of my key contributions were:
• I defined and wrote scripts for interviews with Direkten HQ, store owners and customers. Due to language barriers, the interviews were mainly carried out by Swedish-speaking team members

• I facilitated decision processes for our service concepts, focusing our rationale on difficulty of implementation and value of impact.

• I facilitated usability tests with users and carried out analysis and insights, which informed how to further iterate our Intranet mockup.

• I helped upgrade the information architecture and identify how storeowners could inspire each other by sharing their successes.

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Our final delivery falls into two parts, going one step further than the client asked for.  
Changes need to happen both Direkten's front stage and back stage, in order to implement and provide the desired customer experience

SOLUTION PART 1

The Direkten experience today

Let’s start by focusing on 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". 

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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 globally. Through identified needs and wants, we went into ideation and generated a massive amount of ideas. We condensed this to a choice of 9 rough ideas by assessing all ideas by difficulty of implementation and value of impact.
We then iterated and refined the chosen ideas and turned them into service concepts.

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The future Direkten experience

Here are 9 ideas for future service concepts to initiate the future Direkten experience. 
The concepts point in a direction where Direkten is more flexible and engages in partnerships. Customer needs and wants will keep on changing. A way to stay relevant is to stay flexible and
have a setup that allows a dynamic and iterative approach to service development.

SOLUTION PART 2

Optimizing internal communication

To provide the desired customer experience at Direkten, storeowners need to be onboarded in an easy and contextually relevant way. The current intranet is overwhelming and users get lost in maze of information. Furthermore it is not optimized for mobile, which makes it less accessible for storeowners – they might not have time to sit down by a desktop computer. A result of the ineffective intranet setup, are many time consuming calls to HQ for personal assistance and a lack of knowledge when it comes to the advantages of being part of the Direkten chain.

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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.

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The high level information architecture

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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

Celebrating care providersUser centered branding / Creative Strategy / Co-creation

Bringing kids closer across the worldConcept development / Strategy

Exploring the future of convenienceUser experience / Service design / Iterative process

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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