D&AD New Blood 2017
Swipe by John Lewis
The use of icons and ‘emoticons’ is becoming an increasingly common method of short and sharp communication, in part due to the rapid development of smartphone technology. They have formed an internationally recognisable and understandable visual language. The whole concept revolves around the theory of swiping to select icons – similar to users swiping through emoticons to select the one they want to send in a message. Those who use emoticons on their smartphone are happy to spend the time swiping through hundreds of icons to find the one they want to send, so why can’t this willingness be applied within a tool where they are just as happy to swipe through John Lewis products.
The service uses the concept of icons as a form of communication and gives them a functional purpose to provide a simple and efficient way of using icons as ‘visual search terms,’ and help users find their desired products quicker and easier. Icons are used instead of typing ‘text’ search terms, to find products in a quicker and more accurate way, with more relevant search results. For example, clicking an icon of a red swivel chair is quicker and would yield more accurate results than typing ‘red swivel chair’ into a search bar, which would collate products with any of the three search terms in their descriptions.
John Lewis prides itself on its customer service and the customer journey for its customers in-store. However, why pride yourself on something that can’t be appreciated by all? The problem was that, for some, there just isn’t time to indulge in and experience what John Lewis has to offer. For time-short urbanites, shopping with John Lewis isn’t even a consideration because they have no time to interact with the brand. The brief, set by John Lewis, called for “a product or service to bring John Lewis into the lives of time-short urbanites”.
The primary contact point of the service is the mobile application. The choice to make it a mobile application derived from the understanding that a vast majority of the target audience owned a smartphone, and that increasingly more of them were using mobile applications to complete everyday tasks and that the understanding of mobile applications, their functions and how to interact with them is becoming increasingly advanced. A mobile application also meant that the service could be accessed quickly by the users and at a time that suited them. It could be used when commuting, which was when the target audience had time to themselves – or to do things that they needed to do without being distracted by work.
‘Swipe by John Lewis’ is a mobile application and search tool providing users with a way to explore the John Lewis product catalogue using an easy to use, efficient and aesthetically-captivating digital tool, whilst having a minimal impact on their busy lives. It revolves around the concept of a digital service allowing smartphone users to shop with John Lewis by using an internationally recognisable visual language – icons – to navigate the product ranges, by products specific to different rooms in the home.