Large Canadian retailer in the grocery & pharmacy space

The Challenge:

Canada’s number one grocery and pharmacy retailer is starting to face existential threat from digital retailers like Amazon who are positioned to significantly disrupt their existing ecosystem. To protect their business and generate new lines of business, this was an investigation to create innovative, digitally-enabled services in the health and wellness space.


In 6 discrete design sprints, challenges were broadly identified as new product development or iterating on current product features. Responsibilities included uncovering key user insights and and distilling these findings into visual solutions; these wireframe prototypes were shared with mobile dev to execute builds with the given timelines for MMR1, MMR2, and MMP.
The Sprints were organized in phases of prep, learning, testing, and packaging; and as a Design Lead, I engaged with all aspects of research and distilling user insights.


For established products, the team uncovered how to get smarter on product uncertainties; how users would anticipate to interact with the service; and explore methods of how to onboard the user through.

New product development:

From the ground up, the team worked with the Client Product Manager to identify the desired business offering and how to create a solution that would create value with the users, while also driving value for the business.


Through the set of 6 sprints, insights framework was developed to help ground research and delivery of these findings in a consistent way.


:: CASE STUDY — The evolution of a product

Although existing research suggested a method to engage users, the team re-evaluated feasibility & viability, but moreover, wanted to create a unique value prop that would impact shopping behaviour. As a large, established brand in the Canadian home and grocery space, they were uniquely positioned to leverage their customers’ brand-trust and create a unique product that would differentiate themselves from other competitors. To do so, we went back to the fundamentals of meal making and the purpose of the grocery space.

  • In-field research: A set of shop-alongs to better understand how family members navigate the store space, their triggers for purchase, and on-site decision-making for a specific item. Participants also engaged in a 1hr in-depth interview following checkout.
    Behavioural research: To better understand the cycle of meal prep outside of the grocery trip, we followed along some families (meal-makers) in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding townships. In a one week commitment, participants answered a series of questions through text and picture messaging to help gather research and see the more holistic end-to-end journey outside of the grocery store space.

  • Understanding: Synthesizing those observations, the team developed a set of core user needs and how those needs related to costumer behaviour. Interesting insights around brand awareness, loyalty, preferences, and cadence informed the “the readiness to change” prototype.

  • Hypothesizing: In a set of lo-fi wireframes, “validation” engaged several family meal-makers to identify with a statement regarding their purchasing decisions (ranging from tips, tweaks, and overhauls); to review a set of wireframe paper prototypes… and our findings guided how to visualize these solutions in wireframe/interface layout.

  • Prototyping: Iterating on the feedback from validation, the team provided next steps and created experiential wireframe prototypes that visualized user needs and how that layered into a unique brand experience.

With a solid foundation understanding the user, their needs, and how the company may position themselves to develop a truly engaging product, following sprints further explored its features, nuances, and prioritized “need to have” functionality with “nice to have” features.



(Sketch, Adobe CC, InVision)



As part of the deliverable package, each Sprint was packaged fully and included research, co-creation & validation synthesis, experiential wireframes, and associated core user needs and insights.

Product manager implementation handbook

The above deliverables to each Sprint was consolidated into an leadership booklet as socialization material for the Product Managers to use internally with their MMR1 launch, but also to provide their branding/copy vendors as well as mobile dev. This also included a service blueprint, customer personas, and product learnings for each pillar.