Rapid testing of a new online e-commerce tool

In just five fast days, we helped DIY stalwart Wickes test a new e-commerce tool for customer desirability, usability and expectations.

Wickes paint visualiser tool

A household name in DIY, Wickes opened its first store in 1972 and today has over 230 stores across the UK. With an ever-expanding range of DIY and home improvement products, e-commerce has become a vital and growing channel for Wickes - with the team experimenting often with new, innovative ways to add value to customers.

One such example is Wickes’ paint visualiser tool - created to help customers find, match and buy paint. While this tool had already been built, Wickes wanted a fast, lean way to confirm whether the tool was of value to customers, as well as identify key ways to optimise the user experience. &us took on the challenge as part of a rapid, 5-day validation sprint, complete with guerilla testing inside Wickes’ insights lab.

The &us team in the Wickes insight lab

Inside the lab

During the sprint, the primary goal was to test the paint visualiser to understand its value and usability, in addition to uncovering new opportunities to enhance it further. We tested the colour and theme selector, paint colour matching technology, and how users can add items to the basket and ultimately make a purchase.

Testing aimed to address three key criteria:

Wickes testing criteria

In all, the joint team ran five usability tests in the lab with users with varying levels of DIY experience. We captured a wealth of insights and user behaviours across both desktop and mobile. At the end of the week, these high level insights were presented back to Wickes.

Spectrum of colours available in the Wickes paint visualiser
Options to have natural or artificial light in the Wickes paint visualiser
View of how the Wickes paint visualiser appears to customers
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Mockups of a living room painted different colours in the Wickes paint visualiser
More views of the Wickes paint visualiser

Sharing new user insights

Overall, the insights we uncovered were highly positive and validated Wickes’ decision to develop the paint visualiser tool further. The testing also uncovered some key usability issues, including how overwhelming choosing the right paint was due to the wide variety of colours available. The insights gathered also capture user desires and expectations that could be used to develop the paint visualiser tool further.

Findings were fed back to Wickes, outlining what resonated with users, as well as recommendations for what to improve.

User feedback from the initial tests on the Wickes paint visualiser

Key outcomes

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A new culture of user-testing and agility

The close collaboration between Wickes, the original agency and the &us team provides a great example of how important it is to test products early and often with real users. Working with agility and testing quickly meant &us could validate assumptions more quickly, spot pitfalls more easily and pivot fast if needed

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Actionable insights for further product improvement

We interviewed users and collated our findings so Wickes could easily take action to meet expanding user needs. Throughout the process, we also took them along on the journey so their team saw first-hand the value of conducting user tests and interviews.


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