The Co-op Experience Library is a collection of guidelines, tools and resources to help us create better customer experiences at Co-op. It’s the latest iteration of the Co-op Design System, and it’s for anyone working on products, services and communications at Co-op.
And it’s now open to all, at coop.co.uk/experience-library
What’s in the Experience Library
The Experience Library includes advice and guidance on:
- content – how to approach and write content so that it’s inclusive, understandable and accessible
- ways of working – guides and activities to help your team work together and solve problems
- accessibility – tools and resources
- design components and patterns – making it easier to create consistent digital designs
- search engine optimisation – how to get digital content to appear higher in search results
Why create an Experience Library
Co-op is made up of many business areas including our Food stores, Funeralcare, Legal and Insurance. And colleagues from each of these businesses communicate with their customers every day through a wide range of channels including websites, apps, email, telephone, forms, in store and in communities.
These customer experiences (that’s each point a customer interacts with Co-op) must be connected and consistent so that customers understand us, trust us and choose to use our services. So, we want to create a place where colleagues can go to get help building accessible, consistent and inclusive customer experiences.
By creating a central library of reusable assets and guides, we believe that teams can:
- create, test and iterate quicker
- collaborate and share more easily
- save time and money
- focus on meeting their customer’s needs
Why we reinvented the Design System
The Experience Library is the latest iteration of Co-op’s design system. Earlier this year we wrote about how we’d used a brand sprint to kick off the reinvention of Co-op’s design system.
We’d spent a lot of time researching the design system with colleagues. And, although we knew it was being used, we found that there were areas we could improve, including:
- making it more inclusive for people who were not designers
- making it more inspiring
- reducing the gaps in design advice and documentation
So we’ve spent the last few months trying to fix these issues. We’ve:
- changed the name to the ‘Experience Library’ to encourage both designers and non-designers to use it
- worked with other teams and business units to include a broader range of topics
- added more detailed design advice and documentation
- established content processes so that anything that gets added to the library is researched, critiqued, understandable and accessible
- worked with subject matter experts from around Co-op to feed in and check the guidance
- created a new visual language that we hope will inspire people to experiment and build on the foundations within the Experience Library
- worked in the open, shared what we’re doing and regularly got feedback from colleagues
We’ve started by focusing mostly on the digital experience. But this is only the beginning, we have big aspirations. We want the Experience Library to be useful for anyone who communicates on behalf of the Co-op. That’s anyone who a customer interacts with, through any channel, in any business area. Our long-term vision is:
To create and maintain a comprehensive, evolving library of foundational tools, resources and assets that empower us to create better customer experiences across Co-op.
To do this we need the library to be truly collaborative – the one place where colleagues can go to get trusted and up-to-date guidance that meets their needs and makes their jobs easier.
So next, we’ll be working with teams across digital, communications and brand to understand how we can better support and collaborate with them.
Tell us what you think
We’d love to know what you think about the Experience Library. Fill in this form to give feedback.
And, if you’d like to stay up-to-date about changes and developments to the Experience Library, sign up to the Experience Library mailing list.
The Experience Library team