Debenhams is a leading international, multi-channel brand with a proud British heritage which trades from over 240 stores across 27 countries. Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of their own brands, international brands and concessions.

Debenhams has a growing multi-channel business which seeks to integrate instore and online shopping to provide customers with maximum choice and flexibility in the way that they shop. Customers can choose to have products delivered, including next day or evening delivery options, or can opt to collect their purchase at a convenient Debenhams store.

Challenges

Over recent years, the team has played an increasingly prominent role in the wider digital team, with user research informing important design decisions for key digital assets such as the Debenhams website.

In the past, UX research had only played a small role in the design process because it was expensive and time intensive. In addition, it was only possible to do at the end of the development cycle, where products were only weeks from going live, which did not allow time to apply much of the insight gained from the testing effectively.

With the pace of change in the retail sector moving at such a rapid rate, Debenhams recognized the importance of testing earlier in the design process, so that the maximum value from the findings could be included on the final developed product.

Solution

 

Debenhams turned to UserZoom as a research partner that could help it deliver large scale quantitative insight from remote user testing. The usability platform enables the company to test continuously from the start of the development cycle, bringing an approach that matches agile timeframes, and prioritises the most important design changes ahead of new launches or updates.

Unmoderated remote testing was seen as a cost-effective solution which enables Debenhams to carry out a wide range of usability tests on its digital assets, including card sorts, intercepts, task-based studies and tree tests, as well as benchmarking against competitors, in a way that matches Agile development processes.

The research reveals insight into how the website is performing and identifies the most important areas for improvement – removing the assumptions that came out of internal design and development meetings and replacing them with raw data from the experiences of real people.

While previous in-lab testing had often taken around three months to plan, deliver and analyze, Debenhams can now obtain user feedback in a timelier manner.

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