How do you work?
Until Staples Advantage Mobile launched, Staples business customers did not have a mobile tool to order supplies and manage their account. Through customer feedback, Staples understood this to be a huge and growing problem.
We started by interviewing customers. A lot of them. We spoke with procurement officers in Fortune 500 companies. We spoke with front desk staff at doctors' offices. We spoke with volunteers at churches. From these interview we were able to identify pain points and challenges (there were a lot of both), as well as learn about hacks these people had created to overcome them and get the job done.
Once we understood the problems we set about prioritizing and solutioning. We focused on areas that we felt would have the biggest impact to users. We made it possible for users to create customizable workflows that streamlined approvals and simplified "saving for later" ordering. Throughout this work, we continually checked back with those we interviewed to get their feedback. Ideas that were user-approved stayed. Those that weren't were killed or rethought.
It's an App and a website
We designed our solution to work as both a mobile app and a website. Staples was concerned that requiring an app download, as well as prioritizing build for iOS or Android, would be a blocker for some users. This was supported by our customer interviews. So we intentionally built the solution to work on all platforms. Features that required app functionality were designed with exception scenarios to account for web users.
Our differences are only skin-deep
A unique challenge on this project is that we could not touch or change the ecommerce engine that powered Staples Advantage. We ultimately created a unique and truly mobile-centric user interface that felt both completely different and at the same time tied in perfectly to the existing backend. Users never suspected this.