In-store customer administration service

Re-imagining how the staff of a leading high street optometrists progresses customers through an in-store experience.

Interaction Design, Research & Team Leadership


The legacy in-store system used by staff at a major UK based optician had been developed in 2005. It allowed staff to perform baseline tasks, but was no longer fit for purpose due to an outdated user interface and underlying technology stack (which was due to be decommissioned and replaced with a more sustainable, cloud-based solution in Azure).

BJSS helped the client develop an approach and framework to deliver digital, user-centric customer experiences for 10 different markets across the globe, involving new ways of working for employees in numerous functions.

The client’s store revenue was critically linked to how long it took a customer to complete their end-to-end journey, from arriving at the store to completing their eye test (and dispensing products if applicable) along with their overall in-store experience. The systems and IT supporting this journey were essential to achieving a good customer throughput and retaining customers through positive experiences and ease of system usage.

A section of the post-live service blueprint.


Collaborating with partners, employees and customers, BJSS’ multidisciplinary team ran face-to-face interviews, in-store observations and surveys across 15 stores. BJSS ‘mystery shoppers’ mapped customer and staff face-to-face interactions to form a holistic and step-by-step view of the in-store experience.

A typical customer journey at any of the client’s store involved the following steps:

  • Customer arrived for an appointment they had booked previously
  • They were greeted and checked-in by a store colleague using the system
  • Customer was assessed by an optician who uses the same system to record clinical data against a customer record
  • Customer was then returned to a store-colleague to continue dispensing/shopping basket activities
  • Customer was finally processed via the point-of-sale software to take payment, at which point the store colleague can progress to the next customer.

The Research highlighted that the solution had to:

  • Be browser/cloud-based - the legacy system was loaded onto each device individually, which made maintaining and updating it a huge organisational challenge
  • Adhere to WCAG2.0 accessibility standards as closely as possible
  • Work on various existing in-store hardware, which included touch screen devices from 2005, second edition 1024 iPads and mouse/keyboard-driven desktops using a variety of browsers
  • Adhere to client digital brand guidelines
  • Consider the learned behaviours of store colleagues to reduce the necessity (and associated change management costs) for them to learn how to use a brand new system
  • Be robust enough to be deployed globally, in multiple languages
  • Strike a balance between incorporating recent advances in emerging technology and design best practice, while still allowing for a level of recognition of established user behaviours
  • Accommodate the contextual circumstances surrounding a store colleague’s interactions with a customer’s in-store journey - while many customers would follow a predictably linear journey, the need to begin processing a customer at any point in the journey in an a-synchronous manner was also a key requirement.

We also noticed that store colleagues (users) had developed a number of work-arounds to account for the poor usability that had been baked into the legacy system. These included but were not limited to:

  • Bypassing GDPR requirements
  • Cutting and pasting customer data from one part of the service to another in separate system instances
  • Writing customer data on paper to effect the transfer of a customer from the retail, to clinical, to dispensing parts of the in-store journey

This increased the time it should take to complete basic tasks, and as such, became a key performance indicator for the success of our proposed solution.

Sections of the Global Design System.


BJSS design team then went about producing clickable prototypes of the proposed journey in Axure which were then used by in-store colleagues to further improve and iterate the customer journey. Where possible, we would engage senior stakeholders to accompany us on these sessions so as to bring them closer to the lived experiences and pain points of their store colleagues. This was instrumental in expediting the approval of many of our key design decisions.

BJSS developed service blueprints for the complex, multi-channel customer experience and articulated design principles to drive consistency and clarity across component features such as typefaces, colours, and use of logos.

Their existing style guide was very much geared towards offline marketing, and as such, was not really fit for purpose for online deployment.

BJSS recommended that the client implement and maintain a digital design system that was sensitive to their brand requirements whilst optimising them for accessibility and usability. This also provided the organisation with an opportunity to standardise their online brand with far greater efficacy.

This design system was then used to deliver high fidelity design assets to the delivery teams using Sketch and Abstract.

BJSS documented consistent ways of working and processes, implemented agile best practice, and developed several initial wireframes for users, with a specific focus on consistency, alignment across multiple suppliers and teams, and upskilling the client team.

BJSS deployed teams of designers across several multi-disciplinary, multi-supplier teams. Each team was tasked with delivering separate parts of the in-store journey, but they all had different ways of working and were often not co-located, making collaboration and consistent service design/delivery difficult.

To address this, BJSS worked with the client to develop, document, and implement/integrate service design best practice and user experience functions into agile product teams within complex, multi-supplier landscapes.

The outcome of this process was a far more streamlined, frictionless design to development funnel that had a net positive impact on overall delivery velocity.


Following successful Discovery/Design phases (equivalent to Alpha and Beta), BJSS continued Live delivery, increasing appointment bookings, reducing no-shows, increasing in-store customer engagement and satisfaction.


As a consultant working for SPARCK/BJSS, but also alongside permanent client team members in both design and delivery, my postion was as Lead Designer.

My duties included but were not limited to:

  • Providing design direction for the project and representing them before senior stakeholders and program management representatives
  • Building and maintaining the service specific design system as well as ensuring that the design system was sympathetic to the client's brand guidelines
  • Interpreting research outcomes into meaningful design descisions
  • Assisting with user research activities
  • Creating fully clickable prototypes (Axure)
  • Providing leadership to the rest of the design team (4 in total) as well as ensuring that all work was delivered on time
  • Working closely with PO's / DM's and members of the wider delivery team to ensure design activities aligned with delivery expectations
  • Delivering fully annotated design assets to our delivery team (Sketch & Abstract)
  • Exercising a level of quality control over the final product