A SimpleUsability first: In-store app testing

June 4, 2014 12:43 pm

A SimpleUsability first: In-store app testing

Participant looking at app in ASDA storeWe take huge pride in innovating and evolving our services in line with tech advances and client requirements, so when ASDA’s mobile innovation team approached us to gain insight into users’ experience of the new shopping list feature on the Grocery app, it was a great opportunity to combine two our proven methodologies, beMobile & beInstore.

The app can be used when planning their grocery shop and when actually shopping in-store.  The feature allows users to create a shopping list, with added products automatically categorised by department.

There are a number of methods for adding products to the lists, such as a text search, a voice search and a bar code scanner. Users can tick products off their list when in store as well as add to their list as they shop, allowing them to keep a running total of the overall cost of their in store shop.

The focus of BeMobile is on the usability issues associated with mobile screen sizes, such as the size of selectable areas and gesture ambiguity. BeInstore’s attention, on the other hand, is focused towards customers’ in store experiences and their interactions with shelves, point of sale and packaging. Despite their obvious differences, both of these methodologies have two commonalities; they are both facilitated with use of the eye-tracking glasses, and they both, include in-depth retrospective interviews to gather participant’s feedback.

instore 2We ran one and a half hour sessions with participants who were recruited specifically due to their varying grocery shopping habits, use of apps and mixed behaviours in terms of how they prepare for their grocery shopping. Sessions began in our makeshift lab in the ASDA in store café, where participants used the app to create a shopping list for the shop they planned to conduct as part of the session.

We then sent participants into store to conduct their grocery shop, using the list created on the app in any way they wished. Back in the café, we conducted in-depth retrospective interviews by playing back participants eye tracking footage from both parts of the session to them as a prompt for them to verbalise their experiences.

Using our HD eye tracking glasses, we were able to precisely observe the participants’ view of the screen:

[youtube video_id=”llZQvNPLteE” width=”640″ height=”360″ ]

The sessions revealed numerous key findings about the feature’s ease of use when creating lists, such as uncovering difficulties with the process of actually adding products to a list and participants confidence as to whether products had been successfully added. Participants’ comments about the experience of using the app while shopping also provided valuable insight about how to improve the app with the in store environment in mind. We were also able to gather thought-provoking insight into participant’s expectations and understanding of the feature and the ways in which they see themselves using it to help facilitate their grocery shopping in the future. The ability to use the app to keep a running total of how much their in store shop would cost upon arriving at checkout was seen by participants as one of the main benefits of using the app to facilitate an in store shop.

Commenting on the project, Hannah Wallwork, Mobile Product Manager at ASDA, said: “SimpleUsability worked together with us to construct a unique methodology that combined lab based tasks with in store sessions, allowing us to gather powerful insights without the additional expense involved in running separate lab and in store sessions. The video evidence and recommendations allowed us to make immediate changes to improve overall usability of the app whilst fuelling further development around usage, positioning and functionality.”