For the minor Interface & User Experience Design my team was coupled with one of the biggest webshop companies of the Netherlands, Coolblue. They have about 149 online shops and are still expanding. In addition of the online shops they have 7 physical stores, two in Belgium and five in the Netherlands.

In the briefing Coolblue mentioned that the physical store experience didn't match the mental model of the online customer. It's our job (prototype Gaël van Heijst, Interaction Designer Jos Bezemer, planner and concept Marco Hordijk), to design and prototype a solution for this problem.


During the research we did a lot of field/desk research. Because I was the Visual Designer my job was to research the visual identity (online & offline) of Coolblue but also it's competitors. But I and the prototyper (Gael) also came up with a workshop that would be followed by two Coolblue employees, the UX Designer and the formula manager. In this workshop we let them make a customer journey and a empathy map. With this and the information we got from customer interviews we had enough information to make persona's and scenario's.

After the research stage we came up with three concepts. The first one was called MARISSA, a knowledge base for and made by Coolblue employees. The second concept was a themeroom, where 3D projection mapping would make the physical stores more interactive. And the last one is the online and offline workshops, which would enhance the expertise branding of Coolblue.
After pitching these three ideas Coolblue thought that MARISSA was the one with the most potential and closest to their brand values. In short MARISSA is a knowledge base where the user can post and answer questions about Coolblue products, read the latest relevant news and call a colleague. The advantage of this system is that it will be used by the users at Coolbue HQ and those in the stores. Until now there was limited communication between those two and by combining them the expertise of individuals would be shared with the rest of Coolblue.
In MARISSA the user could ask questions. To filter these questions the user had to categorize their question. With the help of icons (and text) this became a more easy process.
The information MARISSA contains could really help the Coolblue employees becoming more specialized. But the real Coolblue touch was still missing. Coolblue is competitive but fun. For example at their HQ they have a Pac-Man and Mario meeting room. We decided to make a drastic addition so that MARISSA would also be fun to use, gamefication. With the gamefication element users could earn achievements and level up. This way everyone could see which user is the most specialized in what.

Head customer service Coolblue
“This solves our problem.”

Head shops Coolbue
“And ours.”

Employee Coolblue Rotterdam
“This looks really good.”