Significant work has been carried out in order to adapt the elements of our website for all possible screen widths, enabling correct viewing from any device and, therefore, improving the user experience.
Company: Leroy Merlin
Entry submitted by: Paco Campos
Community: Leroy Merlin Community
Lithy category: Digital Design Excellence
Leroy Merlin is Europe’s leading home improvement retailer. Founded almost a century ago and with headquarters in Spain for the last 25 years, it is part of the ADEO Group and has more than 60 stores nationwide, whose brand spirit is “sharing.”
The "sharing culture" is part of the company’s DNA, as such, everyone who works for the company, “collaborators”, are shareholders and co-build and co-direct.
Leroy Merlin Spain is an innovative company, but above all, it is a “community” in itself.
Our community goals
Created in November 2014, with the objective of being the largest Spanish-speaking community related to home improvement and DIY, we faced a significant challenge: to generate high-quality content capable of inspiring, educating and empowering users to live better. A lot of content and of the best quality.
In order to achieve this, we had to involve the whole company, 8000 “collaborators,” since as leading experts, the knowledge was on the shop floor, in the sales assistants.
We challenged the “collaborators” all over Spain on a voluntary basis, to send in their articles and projects in order to select the best of them. As such, they became the authors (‘Animators’ devoting 12 hours per month) responsible for the Community content strategy. We started off with 80 specialists who we called “animators” with 837 items of content. This has now grown to 281 animators working out of 60 stores and 67,000 items of content.
Our community design
Redesigning our community and improving the search functionality for our users was the focus of 2016. The needs for this ranged from improving the user browsing experience by structuring the site by content type, in order to access content via mobile and the option to register online for the workshops held at Leroy Merlin stores.
Significant work has been carried out in order to adapt the elements of our website for all possible screen widths, enabling correct viewing from any device and, therefore, improving the user experience. The benefits have ranged from being able to search our content, to preventing duplication, to offering a unique user experience irrespective of the access device and to reducing development times, which has enabled us to subsequently work on development phases in an agile way.
Cross-site browsing and browsing by content type
One of our objectives was to achieve full cross-site browsing so that a user would find the resources that they need, and not to force them to browse by content format or section, which is why we created an elaborate system of bi-dimensional labeling.
We also implemented improvements to the way of accessing content, creating two distributive pages “Areas of the home” and “Themes.” This implemented an innovative content-based browsing system with a totally visual format. The end result has been that our members find it easier to locate what they are looking for from the community home page and three out of every four users accesses at least one further page.
Registration in just one click
Another point to highlight about the community is the design and UX of the Workshops Section. A new section on the site which enables our users to come together through the workshops held at any of the stores that Leroy Merlin has throughout the country. The design and UX of this section make it possible for the user to register for any workshop in just one click, this has meant that the motivation of our users has changed, making it the main reason why they visit our community, as well as making it the most visited section.
An innovative component of our platform is the timeline on private profiles, where users have a highly visible real time timeline enabling them to know what is happening in the community: the latest projects published, comments, followers… In a community where we generate almost 3000 items of content per month, it is fundamental that our members know what the rest of the members are talking about.
With the goal of encouraging user registration, we created a comprehensive gamification strategy to allow the user to interact and generate more content. This gamification, links the system of badges to trades, and shows the evolution of Community users in a highly intuitive way (“Silver Officer”, “Bronze Master”...), where we motivate our users to achieve their next objectives, to obtain products for their projects or feature in one of the leading national television programmes in the DIY world.
How we executed our community design
The objective of this project was to add social networks to the community, going further than just forums. In order to achieve this objective a key factor was designing a user journey that was based on experience and inviting the user to participate and interact in our digital environment.
It is for that reason that in the design, we opted to be subtle, to combine, on the one hand, a platform inspired by the Leroy brand, but with its own personality, in which the user was always at the center. So much so that all of the photographs illustrating all of the browser labels were taken by users.
In the interests of effective execution, we worked on the UX and design with the technical team at Lithium, making it possible to optimise the elements of the community, so that they were always as standard as possible. The redesign was mobile first, thinking about the users who interact in the community using their mobile telephones, and the pages viewed on mobile devices increased in the second half of the year, making the mobile the preferred device of users, with a total of 4 million pages viewed using mobile telephones and a growth rate for mobile traffic of 80%. This reflects the fact that community users find the handset features appealing, particularly for creating projects.
In our community, we have been clear since day one that metrics are key to measuring the success of our efforts. With the release of the new Responsive Community into the live environment on 4 July 2016, our main indicators increased in the first 60 days:
The redesign was key to improving the visibility of our platform, with exponential growth that continues today:
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