GPShopper is a mobile commerce platform and app developer for retailers. Our job as designers at GPShopper is to work with a variety of clients that have included brands like Ardene, boohoo, Foot Locker, Stadium Goods, Steve Madden, Tilly's, True Religion, and more to create a mobile app for them.
Prior to Core, client apps were all custom made. The draw for clients to work with GPShopper has always been faster and cheaper turnaround compared to agencies. But with every new app being custom, the time creating each app was not truly optimized. How could we build new apps for new clients without having to start from scratch every time?
I am the iOS & Android design lead and I also collaborate with the Director of Product Design on design decisions. In addition, I headed research, user testing, and prototyping.
Core is an ongoing process that is continually evolving and developing.
The first challenge that we wanted to tackle was how the user navigated to a product from app launch. If the user is unable to easily get to the product they want to purchase, they are more likely to give up and leave the app. We used Validately, a user research service for our user testing. For this test, I linked an Invision prototype with different options to the user. We connected through screen share, which let me see where they were mousing over. They verbally projected their thought processes and actions. I also guided them with questions when it was necessary.
We had 11 users participate in this test. One user was only able to get up to "Search" in the allotted time, so the "Product Listing Page" (PLP) and "Refine" only had 10 responses. Of the 11 users, 7 were male and 4 were female. We limited the parameters to age 18–35 and within the United States.
As we built out features, we gathered information from various big retail brands on the App Store and Play Store. We see what our competitors are doing, but more importantly, we can see what they are doing well.
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The Design Process
We focused on building out each feature in 2-week sprints. With each feature, we had to meet every requirement, but also keeping in mind to not focus on the micro details. How will this feature expand and will the designs allow for improvements without having to start from scratch again?
We gathered options and design choices from our competitive analysis and compiled them into sketches so that we could compare them side-by-side.
The complexity of retail apps and the hundreds of possible flows could not realistically be captured in a single user flow. We provided flows for the highest priority scenarios, as well as complementary paths the user can take.
In a time when many major brands have their own app, how do we make ours stand out? How do we leverage existing design while also look towards the future and being a pioneer? With Core, we want to be the standard that retailers look to.
What's the fastest, simplest way for a user to make a purchase? Express Checkout is a way for users to streamline their checkout process. We drew heavy inspiration from Apple's ApplePay and Amazon's One-Touch Checkout.
In our regular guest and non-express checkout, user will go through three screens (shipping address, shipping method, and billing information). Express checkout will allow users to have all their information saved and displayed on one modal. If all requirements are met, user can finish their purchase with just one tap of the "Place Order" button.
Since Core started up, a couple of GPShopper apps have used code from Core. But in April 2019, the most robust use of Core launched in the form of Ardene for iOS and Android. It has all of the features and functionality that are under the hood of Core 5.1 (Core has since moved to 5.6). Core will continue to grow and expand with improved experience and features. We are looking to bring existing Synchrony products over to the Core platform.