Kingfisher own B&Q a chain of diy stores across the UK. Thier research showed bathroom home improvement projects are full of unknowns. Only 39% of people who start a project fail to complete them.
They find it hard to adjust to the changing circumstances and deal with unexpected challenges that occur along the way.
I worked on the bathroom planner team for a year (4 iterations) and Kingfisher Digital, the digital hub responsible for transforming the digital operation of Kingfisher PLC, a home improvement company owning diy stores across uk and europe. I began in the team when the product was soft launched to a small group of cohorts with only a handful of products users could build a bathroom with. When I left the team to move to the design my space team we had released to mass market and launched in one of our operating centres in France with an improved overall user experience driven by product lab testing and ethnographic research.
Plan My Bathroom is one of the success stories of Kingfisher Digital. Its NPS score turned from a detractor to a promotor in the duration I worked in the team with also an increase in engagement for the overall service and mobile engagement improving 25%.
1. Create room design
Upon entry users can either start their room design from scratch (better if you know your room measurements) or use an existing room design that’s similar to your needs, like ‘compact room’ or ‘relaxing bathroom;.
2. Add products
Once you’ve created your room layout you’re ready to start adding products through the catalogue menu.
Start customising your products once you're happy with your choices
You can even view it in an immersive 3d mode…
3. Purchase products
Once you have selected products you’re happy with you can either purchase them online to be collected in store or delivered to your door, or alternatively print out the project to pass to a tradesmen or taken in store for further consultation.
There’s alot that went in to PMB, with many teams and organisations working together invested in different part of it, such as content delivery, modelling, data etc. It was an eco-system all to itself. It was also part of a wider vision for the business called the ‘Home Improvement Platform (or ’The HIP’)
The HIP’s vision was to help customers across the digital touchpoints of their home improvement journey, from inspiration right through to completion. Like a place where people could get inspiration for new paint (design my space).
The long term vision was for all these tools to work together. It meant our digital hub worked scaled agile, across two agile trains, with product increment (PI) planning every iteration.
Looking back the difficulty was alot of the feature teams were still trying to get an MVP to market, still trying to understanding how to get traction with their products against alot of established competitors already out there. And customer loyalty took time to develop for these competitors. It would take a lot for the products we were building to pull these customers away from the brands they were loyal to.
All teams within the Kingfisher Digital Hub had their dedicated user researcher team. They were responsible for the conducting ethnographic research, running the lab testing sessions and creating the reports to play back to the feature teams. We had one lab test session in each iteration and I attended all of them, helping to gather insights and discuss the initial observations with the rest of the team.
Through a pivotal ethnographic research session, we discovered our primary audience was not the diyer but the ‘ do it for me’ (DIFM): people who would prefer tradesmen to install their bathroom projects. This meant the entire bathroom planner would need to undergo a redefine to pivot it towards this new audience. We came together as a team to co-create and establish an updated customer journey, through internal critiquing and feedback.
'Play' then 'Plan'
We saw the new journey in two key phases:
1 - Allow the user to play around with different ways to create their bathroom
2 - Once they’re happy with their design, move them to a planning phase with more accurate information, unlocking new tools to help them plan and hand off to a tradesmen.
After Plan My Bathroom was live to the mass market our analytics showed 40% of our customers were using mobile devices, but were dropping off once they saw the tool wasn't available for mobile. So we developed a mobile mvp, offering limited functionality and providing hand off points for users to continue their journey on desktop.
We created a mobile MVP that would enable us to focus on delivering an immediate experience for mobile, which could be built on quickly and strategically, enabling us to test, learn and iterate. My role was to develop the mvp over 4 sprints through competitor analysis, sketching, discussions with developers and prototyping.