Chelsea Apps Factory
A Top 20 experience
Chelsea Apps, based in Clerkenwell, specialise in App creation, hence the name. They have been building apps for 7 years, and occasionally involve themselves in websites too. They have helped create apps for Transport for London, Waitrose, KPMG, Ladbrokes, GLH (some of their websites I helped design in the past) and of course Vanquis.
The team at Chelsea Apps had been developing the Vanquis App since it’s inception some time in 2016, designing and building the app out of their Clerkenwell offices and releasing updates to an Agile pattern regularly. For much of it’s lifecycle the app struggled, hitting a 2 star rating by August 2017. When I came on board the plan was to create a brand new website for Vanquis by aligning it with the current app, however there was a lot of work to do on the app before this alignment would work.
The approach: identify, design, test, iterate, release, review
Coming on board as a UX/UI Designer in August 2017 and working closely with a product owner and digital designer, with the Vanquis project team at CAF, I worked out of the CAF offices for a month before migrating over to work closely with the client to help expedite the workflow. I noticed straight away that CAF worked to an Agile workflow and the client worked Kanban. Although the app was continually supported, due to lack of resource, the website took a bit longer than expected to get off the ground.
In terms of my involvement from a UX perspective, I helped establish a pattern of user testing, the ethos being that making a product for the customer should probably involve an actual customer or two at some point. Because how do we know what the user experience is unless someone actually experiences the results to tell us? This process was made easier by Vanquis, being highly customer focussed they were eager to find out a bit more about their customers and there was never a session where we didn’t discover something new and useful.
Over 4 months we prototyped the hell out of our work and through months of user testing and workshopping UX across features, validating hypothesis every week we finally got to a stage where the proto website and the APP looked like one unified experience. Eventually, customers we tested would comment that they did not know the difference between the app and the website. This was when we knew we were winning. The App, over the course of the 3-4 months of UX and UI rework doubled it’s ratings to 4,8 star by November 2017, with it comfortably sitting within the Top 20 Finance Apps.