With over 8 millions customers, bol.com is the leading webshop in the Netherlands. Mid-2018 I was appointed as Lead Designer of the bol.com app team (iOS/Android) on behalf of Soda Studio. With my main focus being the design of the app and delegating design projects, I’m also involved with assisting/collaborating with the webshop teams, improving internal processes and representing the app team internally.
bol.com, sometimes called the Amazon of the Benelux, currently has over 15 million products, works together with external sellers (so called ‘plaza sellers’) and offers several subscription services.
Founded in 1999, bol.com is the leading webshop in the Netherlands.
With more and more customers using a smartphone to shop online, bol.com introduced their mobile app back in 2014. However, at the beginning of 2017 the app was still lacking essential functionalities and fell far short of a good user experience. Later that year a dedicated design team was appointed to improve the app and make it more in line with the overall bol.com experience, a process which I joined and partly led at its peak.
bol.com app introduced
Read the article published in 2014 after the introduction of the bol.com app.
The main challenge was to bring the bol.com experience to the mobile app and preferably also improve it, while also making the design of the app more up-to-date – it had barely changed since its introduction 3 years earlier, in 2014.
After settling in the team and observing the workflow, I proposed a new way of working that would increase the efficiency of the design team and offer more transparency for all involved stakeholders.
The changes resulted in a considerable increase of the velocity of the design team, which at that point was working on further improving the app after mainly visual improvements that were made earlier in 2018. With the new workflow I also wanted to stimulate communication between the design and development teams, which hitherto hadn’t been at its best. In the end the aim was to improve the way of working for all teams, and thus making a better app for our customers.
More about this project
Get more information about the work I did for bol.com.
My main focus currently is working on new features and further improving the app, which both involve user interface as user experience design. The design team uses the Agile framework for its projects, but unlike the development teams we use Kanban instead of Scrum. Although this means we don’t participate in the sprints of the development teams, we very much want to encourage collaboration and transparency and often have meetings in order to update each other.
Part of the mobile app team in September 2018.
Presenting and communicating our process and the latest design proposals to the different stakeholders happens on almost a weekly basis.
After introducing the new bol.com app we have seen a considerable increase of mobile users. As of 2018, the app is the market leader in retail in terms of reach, as was announced at the Retailtrends website.
bol.com has the most popular app
In June the subsidiary company of Ahold Delhaize had a reach of 17,6%.
The reach of the app has increased with more than 220% in the past 2 years and it has an average rating of 4.5 stars in both the App Store and Google Play, based on over 100,000 reviews. Customers now consider the bol.com app as a substitute for the web store, rather than a complementary service. With the introduction of the new visual style of the app and dozens of new features, the aim is to make the app even bigger in 2019.