UX Researcher
associate & customer RESEARCH
Project Brief
Capture quantitative sales associate and customer journey data, while conducting user interviews to gather necessary qualitative data to add context to findings.
My team set out to learn more about the client’s Sales Associate & Customer experience. Our goal was to paint a more detailed picture of the pain points that presently existed, in order to start a conversation with WalMart leadership about how these inefficiencies could be solved in the future.

Initially our team’s sole objective was to capture quantitative data for Store Associates. However, I contended that by not engaging with these individuals our research would inevitably lack context. Therefore, I owned the solicitation of qualitative data through One-on-One Interviews, Observation, and Persona Creation to back up the data captured and tell a more conclusive story.
• Gathering the wealth of quantitative data points necessary to render a sample size large enough to deduce accurate statistical evidence of findings.
• Soliciting authentic feedback from associates who may have felt apprehensive about sharing honest potentially negative experiences.
Gathering the wealth of quantitative data points necessary to render a sample size large enough to deduce accurate statistical evidence of findings.Soliciting authentic feedback from associates who may have felt apprehensive about sharing honest potentially negative experiences.
Statistically relevant Associate utilization data
Consolidated associate experience findings
Summary of opportunity areas and high-level solutions
Organization Type
Multi-National Retail Corporation
Charlotte, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
WalMart Corporation
7 weeks
I, alongside my team, visited 9 Supercenter Stores & Neighborhood Markets in Raleigh, Winston-Salem & Charlotte, NC. Supercenters are the massive all-inclusive stores that instinctively come to mind when thinking of WalMart, while Neighborhood Markets are the less common grocery-centric stores that are a quarter the size of a traditional Supercenter.

In order to attain quantitative data, our team utilized a study that relied highly on Store & Associate observations. 

To capture a well-rounded body of data, my team recorded activity observations in shifts across different days of the week and all hours of the day. The device depicted below (II) is a sample of a screen used during data collection. The following Store/Associate information was primarily assessed:

• Store characteristics (type, number, etc.)
• Types of activities being preformed in each department
• Associate skill and effort while performing work activities
• Effectiveness of work methods and processes 

In order to attain authentic, honest, and practical information I carefully crafted a set of questions to conduct Associate interviews. I leaned on the tenets of empathy and sociability to assure Associates felt comfortable speaking with me and knew I was working with them, not against them. This interview strategy made for meaningful conversations that were full of insights. Here are a few examples of how questions were purposefully asked:

• What would make your job easier? (as opposed to ‘What don’t you like about your job’)
• In what capacity to you interact with customers? What are some of the common challenges they face? (as opposed to ‘What don’t customers like’)
• How do you know you are doing a good job?(as opposed to ‘Do you ever receive recognition for your work’ or ‘What do you think of your supervisors’)
Maintaining a high engagement rate from Users stemming primarily from social media(Instagram, Pinterest) by optimizing the UX for quick and simple use on a mobile breakpoint.
There were a tremendous number of insights our team could draw findings from after analyzing the 13,000+ observations captured. Amongst, those highlights we noticed the following high-level trends in the data regarding employee utilization:

• The utilization of Neighborhood Market employees was higher than that of Supermarket stores.
• A significant portion of associates observed time was classified as idle; time when work activities are not being performed.
• Night shift associates had a higher observed utilization level than morning and day shifts.
• Utilization was observed to be higher in higher volume departments (Grocery, Produce, etc.) 

A total of 41 interviews were conducted, from which I gleaned a wealth of firsthand insight into the Associate Experience/Journey. Below is a small sample of findings that were an output of this analysis:

Lawn & Garden Kiosks were not designed to handle the typical load of items purchased by shoppers due to the lack of table space, conveyor belt, and turn-stalls. This creates a nightmare for associates, increasing the errors made during transactions and the time it takes to check out each customer.

• Produce Storage room shortcuts save time but lose money because Stockers throw away thousands of pounds of expired merchandise each day. Simple strategies like stacking bananas at an angle to increase ventilation or stocking new product in the back of old, heavily reduces this risk.

• Teams in charge of maintaining Intimates Packaging, spend so much time doing unplanned zoning  (putting back together packages customers have taken apart), that it takes away time from the other tasks that need to be completed. In addition, associates have to reduce the price of non-damaged merchandise because customer perception of quality is low after packaging has been replaced.
Design Thinking Workshops, Participatory Design
UserExperience Design, Responsive Design, Iconography, Illustration, VisualCommunication, Google Analytics, Web Development, Moderated Usability Testing
Cuba,Peru, Thailand, Singapore, Bali, Costa Rica, India
in a nutshell
Gather quantitative sales associate and customer journey data, while conducting user interviews to gather necessary qualitative data to add context to findings.
"I've never participated in something like this, but I'm excited to tell all my friends about the new app when it's all done. I'll tell them that I helped make that!"
-BGC Teen
"Our customers have a strong affinity for our brand and the creation of a brand book is the perfect gift or coffee table decoration that tells our story."
Shade Bakare
Hey, I'm Shade Bakare. An Atlanta-based Product Designer + digital nomad with a passion for curating relevant digital experiences at the intersection of simplicity and authenticity. I partner with my clients to draw the connections between who they are, why they are, and what they do to strategically position them to stand out in a sea of cookie-cutter digital experiences.
Is your name really pronounced "Shade"?
Nope. It's pronounced "shah-day". Exactly like the British-Pop singer Sade Adu. Haven't heard of her? Click here. Thank me later :)
Quick facts
1. I am a "full-stack" Product Designer with 5+ years of experience across Research, Interaction/Visual Design, and a sprinkle of FED.

2. I spent a little over 3 years as a Digital Product Designer and Strategist for the global consulting firm, Accenture Interactive, where I led efforts to transform and revitalize digital experiences for some of the world’s largest companies.

3. Traveling the world and experiencing new cultures is a huge passion of mine! I take great pride in my carefully manicured Instagram profile @fola.shade.

4. I think yoga, meditation, and all things mindfulness are the bomb. Digital Minimalism is the new wave I can't get enough of.

5. I'm the oldest of 3 and first-generation Nigerian-American. My parents are my inspiration and my siblings are the coolest kids around. #TheBakareBunch

Why I do this work
I believe that everyone has a story. A valid one. One that should be considered, valued, respected, and most importantly, designed for. With each individual comes a unique background that shapes perspective & fuels motivation. Therein lies an opportunity for designers.

Over the past three years while working at Accenture, I simultaneously built an ethos-driven digital studio where I execute Brand/Business Strategy and Product Design & Development for a wide array of clients in order to further define their missions and achieve their goals. 

This work means a lot to me. I get to be the bridge between an idea and a tangible product. The catalyst between a dream and a purpose driven life. I don't take this work lightly as it is my way of utilizing my professional talents to make an impact on my clients, and their ability to leave their marks on the world.
What I am curious about
I am most interested in developing solutions that democratize access to technology and address the inefficiencies that line the underbelly of societies in emerging markets. An enormous opportunity exists in utilizing inclusive design to develop new platforms that create culturally relevant technologies that both deliver impact and generate revenue. More specifically, I am eager to be a part of how newer innovations in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Robotics can be leveraged to reach not only the saturated markets of the western world but the next billion users in developing countries around the globe.
My Four [Design] Agreements
1. Connect to the ethos. Find the ‘why’.
2. Never make assumptions.
3. It can always be better.
4. Design... Iterate. Iterate. Iterate.