Boots Replatforming Project
Splendid Unlimited is based in Soho, London. The agency sits within the Creston House building, a nice building in a lively part of the Big Smoke. This Creston agency is digitally focused, handling website builds, mostly replatforming, for some good clients such as Scottish Energy, Star Alliance, Barclaycard and Boots (also some work on eBay apparently!). I worked as a Senior UX on a replatforming project for Boots.
I like the environment of this office, you have around 7 or 8 agencies all packed into the same building with a canteen and bar upstairs and even so far as agencies on the same floor, Splendid splits the kitchen with TMW Unlimited (ok, so you guessed it – all the Creston agencies are ‘Unlimited’). I saved myself a few bob at breakfast time as there is free cereal and fruit \o/ Benedict, Head of UX, totally gets UX and I can see why he has been successful at it.
Senior UX gig
My job as Senior UX was to replatform the ‘Boots UK experience’ onto Aurora OOTB for the Boots International market. Analyse requirements, research, and OOTB limitations, and produce working prototypes in sprints in Axure which fulfil as many of the requirements as technically possible, flagging up where it is not possible to achieve those requirements based on technical limitations. Balancing what is technically feasible with ideal user experience patterns.
Boots UK had already been built. Problem was it had been built on an IBM platform, by another agency, and the UX and code was pretty much unusable. We had to wireframe up everything from scratch based mostly on the design approach. And a lot of stuff being built on the UK platform wasn’t able to be built on Aurora OOTB without a lot of additional resource anyway. I managed to navigate through this project without incurring any additional budget, as well as delivering slightly ahead of schedule which is usual for me.
Splendid Unlimited has a good process, they do things seemingly the proper way through Agile sprints – only problem is that they don’t have total control over their projects. We waited for stuff to be finalised for weeks, we shuffled sprints around to accommodate this – but in the end the data didnt arrive until literally the last minute. Also, the project wasn’t organised in the correct order. We did header, footer & taxonomy at Sprint 5 when it should have been done in sprint 1. I actually had to add header and footer to all the pages for my portfolio after the project. I learned it is really important to get the Sprints right. For pretty much all of the sprint work I did we had to ‘keep moving’ – because things weren’t being signed off within the deadlines. I think the client felt pressured because of this. In terms of what I learned about UX, I can take away a lot of knowledge learned about Aurora OOTB for e-com application and working with Cognizant who were experts when it comes to Aurora OOTB.