yuanzhou@gatech.edu   |    (917) 755 6835   |   linkedin.com/in/yuanzhouhci/

Home Depot Project

An Enterprise app helping Home Depot in-store Associates and Assistant Managers to know each other and enforce efficient collaboration 

Overview

Design Objectives
Process

Overview

Brief Introduction

At the beginning of this project, Home Depot UX team gave us the initial problem statement:

 - In-store associates need to better manage tasks assigned by supervisors and managers so they have more time to help customers

 

Directed by the problem statement, we conducted formative research on your user, both in-store Associates and Assistant Managers, from a broad angle using various research, data analysis and presentation methods.

 

Based on formative research, we designed an Enterprise App to help in-store Associates and Assistant Managers know each other and enforce efficient collaboration by addressing these pain points:

Both Assistant Managers and Associates have difficulty

 - Knowing who is on shift and their skillset

 - Finding a certain associate in Home Depot store out of the large space

Associates have difficulty

 - Asking for help from other associates when managers are not present

My Role

Duration

Sep. 2018 - Dec. 2018

Project Team

Yuan Zhou | Whitney Nelson | Raj Smith | Anna Malecki

Tools

Pen | Paper | Google Survey | Sketch | InVision | Photoshop

Formative Research

Research Goals

1. Learn about what in-store associates do, how they work, how they feel and think

2. Understand managers' behavior, especially how managers interact with associates by assigning tasks

3. Learn about the context of Home Depot stores and current technical systems

4. Learn about stakeholders’ perspectives: both UX and Business Team

My Role

1. In the formative research phase, I took part in the secondary research, field observation, semi-structured interviews and stakeholder interviews. Then I worked with teammates to analyze our data and distilled the user requirements from our findings. I also designed the user personas independently.
2. I actively contributed in the ideation, sketch and wireframe phases. The sketches were revised and finalized by me. I also worked on all the wireframes independently and completed one iteration based on usability test to improve the prototype.
3. In terms of evaluation, I contributed to the usability sessions for wireframes. I worked as interviewer, facilitator and notetaker.

Duration

Sep. 2018 - Dec. 2018

Project Team

Yuan Zhou | Whitney Nelson | Raj Smith | Anna Malecki

Tools

Pen | Paper | Google Survey | Sketch | InVision | Photoshop

Secondary Research

We firstly reviewed The Home Depot’s job description website to have a basic understanding of the responsibilities of associates and managers.

 - Associate’s responsibilities involve helping the customers and tasking, such as keeping the bay clean and stocked.

 - Manager’s responsibilities involve assigning tasks to each associate and evaluating associates’ performance.

Then we reviewed comments from our users at forums like Green Door and reddit to gain a generic understanding of how our users feel about their work and the working environment.

We also reviewed other recourses to understand demographic info of our user, Home Depot's business situation and existing tasking apps.

Observation

We visited 3 different Home Depot stores to observe the spatial layout of the store, how our users work with the help of technical devices at a behavior level, and gain a basic understanding the working environment of Home Depot. This helps us identify design implications and better empathize with our user.

 - Home Depot store has a huge space so it could be time-consuming for one associate to find another associate.

 - Home Depot has a very intense working environment.

 - Associates and managers rely heavily on their working phone. Sometimes several associates need to share working phone when they are working together.​

Semi-structured Interview

The goal of the semi-structured interview is to 

 - Learn about what in-store associates and managers do, how they work, with a focus on how associates and managers interact regarding tasking.

 - Gather in-depth data of the reason of how they work and how they feel 

We conducted semi-structured interviews in person with 4 associates and 3 managers and supervisors. We analyzed this data by qualitative coding to discover recurring themes and issues.

Stakeholder Interview 

We met with stakeholders to better understand the problem space, the policy of the company and needs of the business. We asked clarifying questions relating to constraints, value for the company, major factors, existing work, and level of access.

Task Analysis

Having finished secondary research, field study, semi-structured interview and stakeholder interview, we had a more comprehensive understanding of the responsibilities of associates and managers. We analyzed and presented this data through task analysis at a higher level. This helped us further capture user needs the pain points.

Synthesis of findings

After aggregating all the data we have gathered, we analyzed all the user need and pain points, user’s altitude. We presented our data by creating persona, empathy map and storyboards along with narratives for our two user groups, which also helped us better emphasize with our users.

Synthesis of Findings

After aggregating all the data we have gathered, we analyzed all the user need and pain points, user’s altitude. We presented our data by creating persona, empathy map and storyboards along with narratives for our two user groups, which also helped us better emphasize with our users.

Persona

Empathy Map

Empathy Map

Storyboard

Design Implications

Finally, in order to have a more specific guideline for the following design phases, we combined all the insights we had and listed attributes and implications in this table.

Design Iteration

Ideation

We started our design by conducting a team brainstorm session. The ideas should address user need and pain points that we discovered in the research phase.

 

After careful consideration of feasibility of each idea and how well each idea addressed user’s pain points, we chose 3 ideas to further develop in sketch phase. 

 - Idea 1: An app on the First Phone for both associates and managers to check who is on duty.

 - Idea 2: A kiosk to allow customers to leave feedback and associates to check their assigned tasks.

 - Idea 3: A touchscreen on the wall implemented with digitized Bravo Board. (The existing peer to peer feedback system in Home Depot.)

Sketch and Feedback Session Overview

For each design idea, we all went through one function allocation and 3 rounds of sketch to reach the final sketch. Then we conducted user feedback interview session with real users to choose one of these 3 ideas.

Through user feedback session, we were able to discover the perceived benefit and limitations of each idea from our users. Based on the user feedback we got, we chose idea 1 to continue with further development.

Out of the lack of space, here we only show the development of idea 1.

Sketch and Feedback Session Overview

For each design idea, we all went through one function allocation and 3 rounds of sketch to reach the final sketch. Then we conducted user feedback interview session with real users to choose one of these 3 ideas.

Through user feedback session, we were able to discover the perceived benefit and limitations of each idea from our users. Based on the user feedback we got, we chose idea 1 to continue with further development.

Out of the lack of space, here we only show the development of idea 1.

Final Sketch

This concept concerns two groups of users: Assistant Managers and Associates. It mainly addresses the current issues that managers and associates have.

Both Assistant Managers and Associates have difficulty

 - Knowing who is on shift and their skillset

 - Finding a certain associate in Home Depot store out of the large space

Associates have difficulty

 - Asking for help from other associates when managers are not present

 

At its core, this concept allows both managers and associates to

 - Browse who is on duty

 - Use filter to find associates/managers who have specific skills or knowledge

 - Send posts to associates to ask for help or collabration

 - Review and react to posts that are sent to them. 

Prototype

Based on the sketch, I worked on the prototype independently.

Usability Test

We conducted moderated usability tests with Home Depot supervisors and associates. Users were given a scenario and 3 tasks to complete and used the “think aloud” method throughout the session. The facilitator asked any question that the participant may have had. They were then given a post-task questionnaire followed by a post-session questionnaire.

Design Iteration

Based on the sketch, I worked on the prototype independently.