Way of working
On behalf of Soda/Resoluut I joined the design team of bol.com, the leading webshop in the Netherlands, in 2018. My focus was on bol.com's mobile app, with as goal to make it the most popular shopping app of the Netherlands.
bol.com had already introduced their app back in 2014, but most customers still placed their order via their web browser. With the continuing rise of mobile shopping, bol.com approached design studio Soda/Resoluut in the fall of 2017 in order to improve the app and make it more appealing for customers to switch to the app.
My colleagues at Soda/Resoluut started by redesigning the homepage, which used to be a collection of standard banners. The new homepage showed personalized content instead.
The overall look and feel of the app was also improved, so it was more in line with the branding of bol.com. A few months after the project had started and the first big improvements had been launched, I took over the role of one of the designers of the app. It was my responsibility to work on further improvements on the homepage and other pages and also to start working on new features.
When I joined the design team of the app, there was a clear roadmap on what improvements and new features we needed to work on. However, these improvements and new features were mainly based on own insight and business needs - there was limited eye for user feedback. Involving the user more into our processes became one of my priorities, as well as improving the collaboration between the design, iOS and Android teams.
As a result, we started focusing more on for example user testing and interviews, as well as hosting design workshops to involve stakeholders as much as possible into our projects.
One of the projects I worked on was the in-app chat, a new feature that was based on both user needs and business needs. App users wanted to have quick access to customer support and the chat option on the website already showed a positive impact on the efficiency of the support team. With the chat, the support agents were now able to help multiple customers at a time, as opposed to before, when support requests were handled by phone.
A first version of the in-app chat had already been released before I joined the design team, but, due to limited user feedback, it had not been tested properly. This resulted in negative feedback. At times, the chat was unclear (there was limited information about for example if your chat was ended) and the chat didn't work well on smaller screens. Based on the feedback I started working on iterations, which I tested thoroughly.
In the new version of the in-app chat my main priority was to add more clarity, by showing information about the connection and the chat agent you were connected to. Unlike before, we showed when the chat was ended. I also removed unnecessary information that was taking lots of space, such as the avatars.
I also worked on adding 'Select' in the app. Select is a subscription for bol.com customers that gives them discounts on selected products and takes away delivery costs. Although Select was promoted in the app, it wasn't possible to subscribe. Customers who were already subscribed to Select also weren't able to see discounted products in the app.
While at bol.com, I worked several projects similar to the in-app chat and Select, such as the wishlist and the order flow. The goal was to keep improving the app iteratively and to release new features.
In 2018, the bol.com app was named as the most popular shopping app of the Netherlands. The reach of the app grew from 7,7% in 2016 to 17,6% in 2018, and the app contributed to an increase of sales. On top of that, the app won a silver Dutch Interactive Award in 2019. It's fair to say that the goal we set at the beginning of the project, to make the bol.com app the most popular shopping app of the Netherlands, was achieved.
A short video about the bol.com app by Soda/Resoluut (in Dutch).