Project timeline and my place in it
The Reserve & Try in Store pilot was launched in 2016 on Nordstrom’s iOS and Android apps. It allowed shoppers to browse the app and reserve items to try on in a nearby store. Customers could head straight to the fitting room and try what they reserved. The fitting room would be pre-set for them and ready in 2 hours.
I was the UX writer for the customer-facing and employee-facing experience. As the project progressed, I stepped into a more UX design capacity.
The team included an internal tools UX designer, a customer experience UX designer, a UX manager, and 2 product managers. This was a high-profile project because it bridged the in-store and app experience.
Tools and skills used
We used a human-centered design process, and I worked closely with UX designers across the customer and internal tools experience. I also coordinated with the in-store design team to make sure we communicated accurately and consistently to our customers about the steps of this new experience.
The user flows and the intricacies of locations based triggers for store employees and the customer meant I had to take extra care mapping and accounting for user scenarios across the reserve and try user flow.
My core responsibility was creating and mapping the customer messages for this service. That included the app and in the store flows, push and in-app notifications, and errors. Sketch was the main tool I used.
A bit on how we got there
The experience depended on locations services being turned on. In several rounds of usability testing, it became clear the location services requirement flow required our focus. Users were reluctant to share their location, but knowing if the customer was close to the store was a core requirement for letting store employees know to prepare the fitting room ahead of the customer’s arrival.
The locations permissions message had to do double duty: let customers know that turning on location sharing was required to reserve and try items and that they could go directly to a pre-set fitting room when they arrived at the store. Heading directly to a fitting room didn't feel natural to many customers. We recognized we were introducing a new in-store behavior that we'd have to make customers feel comfortable doing.
We tested a number of language and interaction options for the location services notification so customers could clearly see the value of sharing their location and this new service. We likewise tested ways both in-store and in the app to assuage customers that it was fine to enter their fitting room without asking for permission.
Takeaways and what I learned
Testing language and the flow of permissions proved critical because we were asking shoppers try something new. This project was a great example of why language matters and should be part of the full digital product design process.
I believe that had we used a map of the full end-to-end service for all stakeholders, from development to store design, as the blueprint for collaboration, it would have smoothed out our communication.
I created the below service diagram as an example.