Within JD Sports stores around the UK, store assistants were lugging around large, industrious handheld terminals to check prices, stock levels and generate reports. The devices regularly froze and needed restarting, most of the time while trying to find an answer for a customer. The UI was very complicated and not user-friendly, which meant every new starter needed extensive training on the devices. 

The IT team at JD head office wanted to create a user friendly app that could be used on a small iPod Touch device to replace the large devices. I was brought onto the project to conduct research with users and undertake the discovery phase to define the UX of the new app. 

I was looking to:
- Understand the key business drivers behind the project and what they were looking to achieve. 
- Understand the key pain points with the existing system and what worked well.
- Understand who the key users were, how they interacted with the process, and their 
requirements for the new solution. 
- Prioritise requirements according to user impact and technical feasibility.
1. Stakeholder workshops & interviews
Interactive workshops where we first defined the aims and objectives of the app, mapped the current processes, and then wrote all the possible features onto post-it notes. We then affinity-mapped and prioritised the features as a group. This was followed by interviews with the managers of the store staff (in the absence of talking to store staff directly) to gather current processes, current pain points, key user types, and requirements for the app.  ​​​​​​​
​​​​​ ​​​​2. Requirements and prioritisation
Write up of all user stories and prioritisation by user impact against technical/design effort.

3. Roadmap 
Creation of a feature roadmap to define which features should be released for MVP and which the development team should focus on next. 
4. Design and validation
Translating the requirements into a visual prototype through story mapping, user flows, and eventually into wireframes and designs. These were demonstrated to stakeholders in workshops and during store visits to gather feedback and make adjustments to the app. 
5. Pilot test and in-store research
We decided to trial the app in 20 key stores around the UK as part of a pilot rollout. We sent an introductory pack to each store with a few devices and instructions on how to get started. After the devices had been in the stores for around a month, I travelled to each of the stores to gather feedback from the staff. I asked staff to show me them doing a series of tasks on the shop floor with their devices and encouraged them to share their thoughts and experiences. The feedback was mainly positive, but I got to understand more about the limitations of the app in the context of how the staff members were used to working. 
Some of the main points I passed to the IT team to address were: 
- The app slowed down considerably when they got further away from the stockroom (and the Wi-Fi source). So in larger stores, it wouldn’t work in some corners of the store. 
- New starters sometimes wouldn’t have their pass for their first few days of working and therefore couldn’t login and use the app.  
- The app timed out too quickly. Sometimes they would easily not use it for 30 minutes and it was annoying having to scan their pass everytime. 
- There’s no way to quickly report a problem without formally contacting IT at head office. 
The live RITA app was released as a result of the discovery and is now in stores all around the country, giving staff instant access to product and inventory information on the shop floor. The app is used on light, more portable iPod Touch devices within stores, which are easy to clip to a lanyard and wear while working. The new app drives significant value within JD:
- Very minimal training is required when given to staff.
- Futureproof internally-managed platform that allows for constant releases of new functionality and new apps.
- Faster and more accurate access to information for better customer service.
- Modern, industry-leading technology in stores.

Both the app and the device have had very positive reviews since the full launch:
“We love it, it’s so much better and is so quick. Can we get more?” 
“I don’t really need to train anyone on it, it’s just pick up and go.”
“Most of the team just use RITA on apparel now, it’s got enough features on it now, we don’t need the HHT’s.”
The last update that I recieved was that the team were slowly phasing out handheld devices completely throughout the stores around the UK, leaving the RITA app as the primary solution used within stores. 

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