Store of the Future
Telstra’s flagship George St store in Sydney combines the latest technology with cutting-edge retail design. As Lead UX Designer on the project I worked alongside the Creative Director to oversee design for a multitude of different digital interfaces, from mobile sites and bespoke tablet apps up to large-format touch tables and two-metre tall interactive digital screens.
The focus was not just on providing wow factor, but also utility to make a case for the technology as the true future of retail, rather than just window dressing.
Telstra had identified a handful of key “experiences” that they wanted to facilitate in the store. Our task was to find a way to bring these experiences to life and ensure that the focus remained on the customer rather than the technology.
At the start of the project we were handed a series of concepts for these experiences – including two-metre high screens and multi-touch table interfaces. It was down to us to figure out what customer goals we should meet with each experience and craft interfaces to facilitate the journey.
Step one for me was to create a gigantic user journey map of every interaction that Telstra hoped to facilitate in the store. This allowed us to visualise everything that customers would come to store hoping to achieve, and therefore see where our experiences could slot into the process.
With these journeys mapped out, we could identify the goals of each experience and give us a clear aim to design towards.
From here, creative director David Clarke and I formed a partnership of art and UX that we termed “theatre and utility” – each experience had to have a wow factor, but be underpinned by solving a real customer need.
Design of each experience progressed as a tussle between these two pillars, gradually settling into a comfortable middle space of providing an inspiring glimpse of a technological future whilst also providing users real utility that they couldn’t traditionally expect in a retail store.
Among these experiences was the “Device Lab”, a flat table formed of six 55” touch screens with 10 points of multi-touch interactivity apiece. Object recognition technology allowed users to place phones on the table and be presented with a cloud of information about that phone. Placing two phones on the table would bring up comparative data to enable users to explore the specs of each device and find the best one for them.
Another key experience was “Tap and Take” – customers could pick up an RFID card on entry and tap a reader next to any product or experience to save the information to a personalised portal that they could access via a URL on the back of the card. Users could comfortably explore the phone in more detail at their own pace, with an easy call to action back to the store.
Ultimately the store launch was a huge success, with demand for appointments so high that a day’s bookings were being filled by lunchtime (a UX challenge for another day!). We also picked up the International Design Award from the Internal Retail Design Institute (New York) and the Service Design Award from the Sydney Design Awards.