With over 15 million Advantage Card holders, Boots had one of the largest customer loyalty schemes in the UK. However, customers wouldn’t always have their plastic Advantage Card with them while shopping in-store, and even fewer would use it for shopping online.

As customers always had their mobile phone with them, Boots wanted to create a digital version of the Advantage Card to boost sign ups and usage of the loyalty scheme, and increase downloads of the Boots mobile app. My role was to design a quick and simple way for customers to acquire and use a digital Advantage Card.

Task Analysis and Competitor Review

To understand customers’ current experience of the Advantage Card, I conducted a task analysis. This involved observing how customers used the Advantage Card, from signing up to redeeming points, and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each stage of the journey.

I performed the same task analysis on a range of digital loyalty schemes and ticketing apps from the market to see how we could improve on competitors’ designs.

Prototyping and Peer Review

Based on the results of each analysis, I designed a journey that enabled customers to sign up for a new digital card or digitise their existing plastic card. To redeem the points they’d collected, customers needed to complete their profile, but were still able to collect points if they didn't have time to do this.

To test whether it worked, I created a simple prototype, and used feedback from the team to refine the journey. Once the journey was as effortless as we could make it, the visual design and development team created a working app that was released to a small number of customers as a trial.


We discovered that the digital Advantage Card was more convenient for customers who used mobile payments, such as Apple Pay. However, it actually made life more difficult for customers paying by cash or card as they had to juggle their wallet and mobile at the same time.

While the plastic Advantage Card was the preferred option for customers paying by cash or card, they felt that the digital Advantage Card would eventually replace it as mobile payments become more common.

The trial also revealed that the checkout scanners struggled to read the barcode on the phone’s screen, and the confirmation noise was too quiet for the cashiers to hear. Replacing the scanners not only resolved these issues for the digital Advantage Card, it sped up the checkout process for the plastic card as well.

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