REI Point of Sale Research

Opportunity

As REI opened new stores and added new registers (Points Of Sale, POS) a project was started to replace the aging software with a new version of Fujitsu GlobalStore as well as evaluating hardware to replace their debit/PIN terminals that are part of the checkout process.  In the past an undertaking like this (not ‘customer’ facing) would have been done solely within the IT division but as REI continued to increase its focus on user centered design, I joined the team to do primary user research with store employees and customers alike!  The goal was to increase employee satisfaction and speed allowing them more focus on the REI customer.

Process

Initial research was done in all stores within western Washington and included: store intercepts where we would shop along with customers through checkout, survey of exiting store customers, interviews of retail employees, POS training and evaluation and observing register shifts in all the stores.  As data was gathered, relevant verbatims and notes were  shared with the agile team as well as cross divisional partners via an internal blog.  After prioritizing user feedback with the product manager and team, we began sketching, wireframing and creating process flows for the new software.  Prototyping was done ‘in app’ on a local machine and tested with remote teams and brought to stores to get direct feedback.

Outcome

Initial estimates on cost for updating software in all the stores slowed the effort to be rolled out over a longer period of time.  The flows for payment and debit/PIN were recently rolled out and the work continues to be relevant as they upgrade cash registers and additional stores.

04_posSample research plan and notes from various store visits that I conducted as part of user research.

03_posExample wireframe that was created to map out a payment flow (return with receipt shown).

06_posExample wireframe that was created to map out a payment flow (internal tender types shown).

05_posExample wireframe that shows button placements for the various application states.  Big block areas of function were specified on additional flows and screens.

02_posExample wireframe with annotations and developer notes.