Danny Hearn – Deeply Human Design Ltd

Burberry Checkout Redesign

I was part of the team with Clearleft, a design agency, and this is the story of how we used rapid prototyping, user research and some cunning techniques to create a new checkout for Burberry.


Design agency

4 months

My role
User Researcher

User Research, Data Analysis, Generating Insights, User Testing, User Testing Videos, Interactive prototyping, Functional spec, Client presentations

The impact

Completed checkout in 4 months

We demonstrated that rapid prototyping, LEAN principals and focused work could create high value in a short space of time 

Influenced design culture at Burberry

A mindset shift across the design team in user centered design.

The problem to solve

Burberry was looking to redesign their checkout and Clearleft a top design agency had been awarded the gig. Burberry; is deeply a brand-led organisation, so taking them on a design journey that was centered in user insights as opposed to creative direction was key.

The problem for us to solve was; How to instil client confidence using a UCD process to develop an easy, simple checkout experience that still ‘feels’ like Burberry.

Kicking off discovery

Overview of project activities

I worked in a small team of 3; with as a User Researcher alongside a UI designer, Technologist.  Over the course of 5 months we used a range of tools and methodologies, working in 2 weeks sprints, prototyping, testing and iterating as our understanding developed.

My role

  • To understand the users, pain points and challenges, by evaluating at the existing site experience.
  • Develop user testing scripts, consent forms
  • Conduct user tests of existing mobile website
  • Review analytical data for insights
  • Develop proto-personas
  • Be a constant and a retail friend to the client (I had just finished 5yrs at John Lewis, which bought a degree of credibility with the client)

User testing scripts

User testing current site experience

Forming hypothesis

  • Supported team and client to co-create created customer / business goals, 
  • Worked with design team to form several design hypothesis from interaction, layout to different checkout models.
  • Created test card format to consolidate and track hypotheses
  • Test cards shared with client, displayed wall space in clients office, giving full visibility to stakeholders on what was being tested as well as learnings captured.
  • Using wall space in Burberry was unheard of at the time and went against the culture.  This was part of my effort to disrupt their way of thinking and introduce new design methods.

My test card tools adapted from value proposition design 

Ideation & prototyping

  • Drawing on insights from user testing and research we sketched ideas and worked them up into a few different prototypes.
  • User tested each week with different interactive prototypes, feeding back to design team as we iterated
  • Developed Axure interactive prototypes for testing different checkout models

Samples from the design ideation, hypothesis, prototypes and feedback

Co-design sessions with the client

We held co-design sessions to explore different checkout models.  This helped move the design forward by getting the whole team focused on a single problem.

Mapping different checkout models

Measuring & tracking emotion

It was important that my research gave confidence that customers would find it simple and easy and critically, feel like it is a Burberry experience.

Measuring and quantifying emotion

A great tool to measure and quantify emotion (that UX researcher James Chapman introduced to me at John Lewis) is the Bipolar Emotional Response Technique (BERT).  It works by asking users to rate their level of emotional response by comparing two adjectives together.

As I tested more participants each week, I track emotional perceptions against design decisions.  So, for example, participants rated the checkout as generally in the ‘confusing region’.   As we learnt from the insights gathered we tweaked the prototype.  We could then see immediate emotional feedback with the subsequent tests showing the ‘confusing’ score  moving towards ‘Clear’.  

Tracking and sharing this moving perceptional trend was critical in getting buy in with the client. 

First prototype BERT scores indicated perception of speed, frustration, and overall confusion was still an obstacle.

…and by the 6th prototype the scores improved

Final checkout design

Final reflections

Over the course of 5 months we tested dozens of different prototypes in what became a cadence of test and learn.  We were fully transparent with the client, sharing what worked and what didn’t.  This was a risky approach as it was a very risk adverse culture that wasn’t used to iterative design. Ultimately though the approach worked as we were able to demonstrate improvements and bring the client along for the journey.  The BERT tests were also pivotal in creating confidence that the look & feel resonated with Burberry customers expectations.