I always like to start my ideation phase with a mind map. It helps me see where topics and ideas coincide. I used this mind map to help me better visualize how we could achieve training that increased memorization, motivation, fun, and employee confidence while decreasing anxiety felt.
Using sticky notes, we wrote as many ideas we had down. This process helped us think of things we wouldn’t have originally thought and also to get silly ideas out of our head. We then sorted these ideas out into categories and consolidated any similar ideas we may have had.
We took our sticky notes from our card sort and had people organize them on an impact matrix. This matrix helped us identify what ideas had high impact and low effort to execute.
By doing these activities, we decided to go the gamification route and to tackle training. We were interested in how training relates to confidence with using the POS system in retail.
Line Conqueror + Muscle Memory
Each of us drew about 30 sketches (a couple of mine above). We combined my line conqueror idea (inspired by games like Diner Dash) with another teammate’s idea of removing buttons on the POS system as the game increases in difficulty. This game is a simulation where the trainee would learn how to process transactions, returns, and how to troubleshoot the POS when it gets wacky to progress further in the game so that they can be better equipped when actually on the register.
As a team, we developed this map that shows the path a user would go to use the system. We focused primarily on the game pathway (pink section), because that is the main feature or function of our system and where we would be spending most of our time. The process of making this map together helped us communicate our ideas and expectations so that we were all on the same page before any serious design work began.
I instructed my test participant to play through the training game and tell me their thoughts about each page. I found out some insightful information, because my tester was curious about our plans for the game and asked questions I had no answers for yet. It helped me know what users might look forward to and expect.
We were curious to see if our testers would recognize our training simulator as a game, and that they would understand the reward point progress bar, badges, and alert box.
- Participants recognized our system was a game and they all understood that the badges were achievements made throughout playing the game.
- Participants appreciated that they could view the mistakes they made in the level so they could learn from them.
- Participants taught us that the hierarchy of the dashboard was not very effective, because they struggled to find the play button on the dashboard
- They also had trouble identifying what the x-axis signified for the accuracy chart on the Stats page
- Participants were unsure what they were working towards when asked what they thought the reward point progress bar represented
Assembling an atomic design systems helped us take a moment and think of all of the states interactable elements could have. What would it look like in its pressed, hovered, disabled, or default state? After our team created the atomic design sheet, the high fidelity prototype really put its self together.
After multiple mid-fi iterations, it was time to start playing around with color and details of the user interface. We worked on our atomic design and created a design library to achieve consistency within our system and to also make it easier for us to make changes across screens later (via components in Figma).
It was really important that we had an effective tutorial so trainees would understand how to play the game. Through several iterations and tests, we came up with the idea of pop-ups that would blur the irrelevant parts of the screen when explaining how to do certain tasks on the register so users wouldn't get overwhelmed or miss out on the explanation.View Prototype
A realistic POS game to increase confidence on the register
I can confidently say that we designed a POS training method that could minimize anxiety amongst young adults on the register. We made sure that the language used throughout our game would not make trainees feel like they are being talked to as if they are children (this was a pain point we found in our research phase). We also kept the POS screen interface exactly the same as the one they will be using since it would not be of any help for them to learn any other type of POS. This means that we had to compromise aesthetics as POS screens are notoriously badly designed. That reminds me of another question we asked ourselves during our ideation phase, "The POS is badly designed and not so intuitive, so how can we teach the work arounds and help develop muscle memory so that it can be used with ease?" Our answer was creating a fun game that could relieve frustration and help users memorize tasks that they'd often be operating on the register.