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Sainsbury’s Pay



Role: Product Designer. Platforms: iOS.

Our customers told us that checking out in-store was a lot of effort; from having to find the correct payment card to remembering to use their Nectar cards and coupons. We assembled a small cross functional team, and created the Sainsbury’s Pay app concept, allowing customers to pay and collect Nectar points by simply scanning a QR code at the checkout using only their phone. I worked as the Lead Product Designer, paired with a UI designer embedded within a fast paced scrum team, researching, designing and testing our assumptions within each 2 week sprint.

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My approach

We followed the double diamond approach on this project, from inception, through discovery and into engineering. This allowed us to learn quickly, declare and test our assumptions, and build a product that solved a probem for our customers.


Staying on track

As we were moving at such pace, a big part of my role was to ensure the team remained focused on our desired outcome. We stuck big mission statements on the wall to remind us every day of the problem we’re trying to solve for our customers.


Storyboarding the experience

I created a series of storyboards to help articulate the expected experience, and highlight any risks or pain points for customers and colleagues. This proved really useful when trying to engage senior stakeholders and store colleagues.


Experience maps

Paying using your phone was a new concept to our customers, and had a lot of impact on the store environment. My experience map helped the team understand what our customers needs were at each step of the journey, and allowed us to design a solution that gave them the best possible experience.

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Failing fast

One of our initial prototypes taught us a lot. As you'll see in the video below, the first versions of the app didn't display the QR code by default. Instead, we displayed the Nectar card and Payment card details on the homescreen, and the customer needed to press an additional 'Show my codes' button to display the code to be scanned at the till. Through user testing, testers told us that they just wanted the code to be displayed by default, and for their to only be a single code to scan, instead of one for Nectar and one for payment. Based on this feedback we iterated and improved the experience. They also told us that they wanted to scan to add their payment card by default instead of typing it in, so we improved that journey too!


User testing

We built a new and improved prototype based on our previous learnings and recruited 20 customers to test it out (visuals are displayed at the top of this page). We ran these sessions in store ourselves, observing customers and interviewing them after their experience to help us improve the service. Our customers rated the experience 8.4/10 and 75% said they'd use the app again.

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Collaborative design

I worked as part of a small, agile team, which allowed us to all contribute to the design of the app and share concerns and ideas. We utilised wall space and post it notes to document our thinking efficiently without wasting time. We also created a Lean Canvas and risk register so we were able to identify areas that we should investigate first.


What's next...

Our next challenge is to turn what we’ve created; a useful, reliable, usable product, into something that’s pleasurable and brings them back again and again.