Samsung Retail Mode is a native android app loaded onto Samsung demo phones for retail. Its purpose is to demonstrate the phone's technical capabilities as well as drive sales.
The ask: Create and launch a native app that not only demonstrates the technical capabilities of the device but allowed users to explore and find the features that fit their lifestyle.
I was responsible for all the interaction design and usability testing which includes test planning and prototyping.
Research & Insights
Every phone Samsung released since the galaxy s3 is loaded with a retail mode. This allows us to run interviews and tests on the older version of retail mode to see where we can improve on for the next. The beginning of this project we had the chance to work with a remote UX team equipped with a full usability lab. We worked collaboratively in establishing the testing plan, research participants, and agenda for both the usability test and qualitative interviews.
• Existing Android users and iOS users have different needs
• Users were mostly interested in comparing new and old devices
• Lifestyle videos were more effective when used to demonstrate features.
• Users wanted more control over interactions and navigation. Power users were uninterested in a demo mode and more interested in finding out things for themselves such as the phone specifications and device capabilities.
• Previous retail mode's virtual assistant gave the retail mode a "salesy" feeling making users abandon interacting with the device.
The New Retail Mode
Planning the App
Designing a guided and free-form experience
DESIGNING A WAY TO TakE users back into A demo if wanting a more guided experience
If the user explores the camera app on their own, users are greeted with a small dismissable interactive flag at the bottom of the screen. If the interaction flag is clicked, the user is taken into a feature demo.
The feature demo has the virtual host walking users through the different features and is accompanied by instructional animated gesture guides. The virtual host is also mutable and the demos feature captions.
This is the end card when a demo ends. Accounts for legal as well as provides the users with options on what to do next. Prevents dead ends and keeps the user exploring.
Always present device specs and comparison tool
Iterative Testing and Prototyping
Throughout the project timeline we were allowed two separate sessions of usability tests. In order to get the most out of each session, we had users complete a goal/task oriented challenge first, and then after the experience had them answer questions around key features and functionality. I was in charge of creating the test plan while the project manager i worked with was in charge of outreach and gathering participants. For the participants we gathered a number of employees from inside the company as well as a few outside for a total of twenty five participants over the span of two days.
Insights and learnings
Through the first session, we did an A/B test between two different prototypes to see users propensity toward a different types of layouts. We wanted to find which of the two were much friendlier toward the older non-power user demographic. We measured this by recording reaction and goal completion time for a variety of tasks. We found that in most cases the designs that followed standard interaction guidelines performed the best. (e.g.. including chevrons in large card designs to indicate click-ability)
Other notable findings:
• We found that iOS user's main concern was not the power or usability of android devices but the fear of losing contacts, apps, and other iOS collateral. We addressed this by making more prominent the Samsung Smart Switch feature which makes transferring to android a much easier experience.
• Although users look for certain features like battery life, storage capacity, and camera megapixels, most users that we spoke to explained that these days all the devices are along the same level of technical power and it comes down to what devices fit their lifestyle the best. We used this as a key component in adjusting alot of the demo videos to be lifestyle driven with specific characters to make the content more aspirational.
Usability testing and speaking to users is invaluable throughout the product design process
When the internal team cant decide between two different options, user testing is a surefire method to finding which resonates the best with your users. There is no substitute to speaking with your actual users to make sure we don't lose sight of the fact that they are the ones who will be ultimately using the product.
If you show the value, the clients will come
Surprisingly, after hearing all the horror stories about advocating for user testing throughout the product development timeline, we had to start by performing primarily guerilla user testing throughout the office. Once showing the client the actual value and unpredictable insights coming out of testing, the client was convinced that we needed to do this much more often and not at the beginning of every new retail mode project.