Show Me How to Get to Zara
Maps on a mobile experience was similar to our Directory, but now with a sense of immediacy. On mobile, a user's position was always changing, which heavily influenced how the map was represented- it was crucial for users to quickly understand what floor they were on, which direction they were facing, and what the next step would be. I designed an interactive prototype of our routing experience to test with mall goers. I wrote a research plan to test several questions, including:
1. How do people use the map to orient themselves?
2. Can people successfully traverse floors given a flat map design? How successful/intuitive are the floor toggles?
3. Is our design successful in getting people to a store they've never been before?
We tested around 10 different users by asking them to use the prototype to navigate to Bed Bath & Beyond. 100% were successful in routing to the store, including 2 who had never been to Westfield.
Findings & Conclusions
To test these questions I created two different prototypes. On the left (A) is a purely visual, no written step by step experience, showing only toggles for the start and end floors; on the right (B) includes text directions along with a fully expanded floor control.
Some high-level findings:
1. Users used step by step to orient themselves, along with store names. Users easily became disoriented once the map was no longer facing the same direction they were heading.
2. When the floor control was closed (A), users had far more trouble understanding what floor they were on, and some did not notice the floor controls when there were only two.
3. Despite these set backs, users still were able to find the store, relying on store labels and using escalators as landmarks.
And if we don't know where you are...
When we first started designing for mobile we assumed we would not have positioning beacons installed inside the centre; thus, we would not know where the user was. This flow illustrates the experience assuming we did not know where the user was in the mall.
Because users had trouble understanding how to traverse floors, I'm currently working on a visual solution to convey level transitioning. Soon our malls will also have the ability to detect a user's position, which will create a more seamless experience.