Jack Smith

Waterstones
iOS and Android apps
Due to launch Nov 2019

Role:
Led experience and visual design, working with designers at Ribot and engineers at Brightec. A fast paced project, building new iOS and Android apps from a fully blank slate.

Designing the charm of a Waterstones bookstore

We worked with Waterstones to visualise and create a whole new app experience. Their iOS and Android apps had always been the low priority area of their digital presence, and the decision was taken to fully start from scratch. We wanted to bring all the charm and ease of the Waterstones bookstores into the palms of customer’s hands.

With a relatively short timeframe to design and build two separate apps, the plan for design and visuals instantly swayed towards a relatively minimal and native feeling UI. Simple finesse and tidy typography had to be favoured over complex interactions and layout.

Waterstones have a brilliantly solid and established brand, but were lacking a little consistency and documentation for how their digital UI is designed. Part of my work on this project was creating a full component library and styleguide for all Waterstones UI design on iOS and Android.

While we weren’t naive to the in-app purchasing habits of customers online, part of the brief was to emphasise and highlight all the goodness of your local Waterstones store. With instant Click & Collect options, local store saving, and content from inside stores (events, bookseller reviews, and more).

We worked at a rapid pace. UI designs were quickly tested internally or with small external groups, while daily stand-ups made sure the three teams were all in sync (Waterstones, designers, and engineers).