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Argos CAPE2

Argos Financial Services (AFS) was due for a re-platform and re-design, as the current journey has not been touched in 12 years. Our aims were to define our key customer problems, get a shared understanding of the design needs for CAPE2 (credit application processing engine) and rapidly prototype a new journey which works towards solving these problems, whilst using UX Research to gain customer insight into this new prototype.




UI Designer


Phil O'Hagan | Jan-Willen Van Den Dries | Jo Knowles | Moh Khan

The current CAPE experience



The primary goal of the the discovery phase was to articulate the main issues customers faced when applying for credit via Argos and figure out what customer segments we were aiming to target. While Argos matches other companies in regards to credit and plan offering, it’s the company’s long-term, no interest schemes and house-hold name that sets them apart.


We wanted to make sure we all had a shared understanding of the user experience and design needs for CAPE2, and create a prototype which addressed all of these problems. It was important to bring UX Research in to validate (or invalidate) our RATTs (riskiest assumptions to test) and gain customer new insight.


The team, comprised of a the AFS product owner, AFS stakeholders, UXA, UXD, Legal compliance, UX Copy and UX Research set out by having a week long, design sprint. Each day we set goals as follows:

  1.  Day 1 - Shared understanding & collective insight, RATTs established and ranked. Map new priority E2E journeys and have a visual map from UX perspective.

  2.  Day 2 - Crazy 8s, agreement on priority features, agreed prototype approach.

  3. Day 3 - Summarise headlines of the past 2 days, prototype scope defined, user flows and journeys mapped and commencement of rapid prototyping.

  4. Day 4 - Refine rapid prototype and start moving from wires to a more high fidelity prototype throughout.

  5. Day 5 - Customer testing in our UX Lab to gain customer insight into new CAPE2 user journey and prototype.


We must remember that customers are looking for products not credit whilst we deliver:

  • A clear & simple credit application form that is easy to complete

  • An application process that supports customer understanding, making our feel confident and secure

  • An application form that we’re proud of as colleagues and that fully represents the Argos brand and BOLT 2.0 Global Design System

  • A starting-point for the future of AFS as a whole


We managed to prove all 12 key RATTs during our Design Sprint and UXR testing. Top 3 RATTs:

We believe the new design would lead to a lower struggle rate for customers

We believe the customers are confused by the different application journeys (buy today or buy in the future) 

We believe that the customer will have fewer issues when completing the application when it is shown to them in bite-sized chunks 

Customer assumptions & mental models: We suspected that understanding would be low - which it was. However, customer's didn't! Credit card details was assumed to be for Direct Debits by 100% of customers. We'd foreseen this and put in a handy tool-tip but because customers thought they knew the answer they never clicked on it! This means we'll need to think of new ways of providing help content/understanding.

Less is more, more is less: We have often thought the more clicks, the higher the drop out rate. However, the customers comprehensively preferred the bite­sized chunk approach. We introduced 13 pages to the customers and the general view was "easy and simple" - there were no complaints about volume of pages. The customers predominantly (4/5) preferred the 3 page application with tangible progress bar. Instead of the single page with all questions laid out. 

Boring but important information: We suspected that the adequate explanation (something we show customers before they take out a card) may put people off applying for a card - "but it's the boring legal info" ...However, customers actually really liked having this info up front - they felt it was transparent, honest & useful. One customer even said "if this wasn't here I'd be suspicious as to why it was being hidden". We will never label it boring again! There's more work we'll need to do it & to make it easier and simpler for customers but we don't think it will negatively impact conversion. 


Selected screens from high fidelity prototype


After testing, we went on to began to iterate our prototype and applying all the findings. First step, was to align with our newly refreshed Design System, Argos Bolt.


I worked closely with fellow product designer and illustrator, Domingo Widen, to come up with a series of AFS branded illustrations to help give some personality to the CAPE2 application journey.


Our engineering team has now started work on the new front-end UI - we're still aiming for a peak release (late October) & are continuing to work to refine our designs & create designs for the journeys not covered during our design week.



Auto Credit Limit Opt-in Increase:


61.44% average auto credit limit opt in for CAPE2 versus 35.93% on CAPE1.

Marketing Opt-in Increase: +35.7%

40.03% avergage marketing opt-in versus 29.49% on CAPE1.

Customer completion: +24.9%

CAPE2: 49%


CAPE1: 39.2%

Average time on visit: 58.75%

CAPE 2: 358 seconds


CAPE1: 868 seconds

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