Building a roadmap strategy for the apps team in John Lewis

Product design case study

Problem: Roadmap lacked a clear vision with no value statements
My Role: Embedded UX designer
My approach: Carried out research, led immersion and roadmap building workshops
Deliverables: One-page strategy, 2x CX maps, 16x process maps
Users: 60+ contextual interviews, 2165 survey completions
Results: New value-driven roadmap for the next 12-24months, team alignment


In-Store Digital is a John Lewis product team which owns a series of iOS apps used by over 5000 selling and operations staff across 50 John Lewis shops. The apps allow them to lookup product information – like specs, stock levels, price history, and delivery dates – sell online products from the shop floor when they’re out of stock, and print pricing tickets for shelf edge labels.


As the embedded UX designer in the In-Store Digital product team I helped them with the following objectives:

  • Learn more about the responsibilities of shop staff
  • Identify current app improvements
  • Identify opportunities to deliver value with new apps
  • Build a meaningful vision and value-driven roadmap from what is learnt

My contribution

I created a UX strategy, co-researched at 6 John Lewis shops and led a series of immersion and roadmap building workshops with the product team.

UX strategy one-pager

In order to get buy-in and budget approval from the product owner and product manager I needed to visualise the UX strategy in an easily digestible one-page document. I walked them through the research activities, how insights fed into the workshops, what the workshops output looked like and how the team could use them going forward. The approach and budget was approved.

Store personas

We created store personas by auditing shop characteristics like their location in town, cost of parking, number of entrances, average footfall, customer demographics and what products they stocked. This helped us cover any differences in processes, culture or customer behaviour across the estate.

Experience and process maps

Collaborating with a UX researcher, we visited six shops over the course of several weeks and carried out contextual observation, shadowing and interviews with selling staff, visual merchandisers, stock takers, ticketing teams and shop management.

Using the jobs-to-be-done framework we visualised their tasks, pains and gains in two experience maps and sixteen process maps purposely so they could be used in the workshops.

We held a two-day workshop to immerse the product team in the insight maps to identify problems and opportunities. We used the concept of empty buckets which they needed to fill with problem statements and top level ideas and then prioritise against other demand from the business.

Research immersion and roadmap building workshop
Problem statements prioritising

After an initial round of dot voting the teams took the top problem statements and ranked them by benefit to shop staff, commercial benefit, ease of implementation and scale of impact.

For the problem statements that were deemed the most valuable to solve we did some quick ideation with relevant subject-matter experts while the insights were fresh in our heads.

Some quant survey findings

After the workshops we created a quantitative survey for shop staff to fill out in order to validate our assumed prioritisation. We had 2,165 survey completions which helped us make a few tweaks to the roadmap before the team pivoted to the first item.

Final thoughts

This project was hard work due to amount of travel to Glasgow, Liverpool, Basingstoke, Kingston, Cheltenham and Nottingham. The research itself was challenging, too, because we had to intercept staff on the shop floor while they worked but had to step away whenever they needed to serve a customer. It was a bit like hunting for jigsaw pieces and we kept having to take stock and point our interviews to the ‘known unknowns’.

The most painful theme for staff was the amount of different devices and apps they needed to login to all the time. Some apps were on their iPhone but some were on till systems or very slow PCs, and logging in and login timeouts were a real frustration. This is one of the top problems the team has tried to tackle since by integrating the data they’re seeking in PC apps into the iOS apps on the iPhone, thus removing the need to device switch.

Interested in working with me? Check my availability.

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