Setting a vision

Founded in 1972, Argos is one of UK’s leading e-commerce retailers offering more than 60,000 products across 800 stores/online and receives 20 million online visits per year.

Over time the Argos online presence has become dated and un-inspiring. From a business objective Argos needed to change customer perception – currently seen primarily as a place for offers, deals, promotions and emergency products, there was a need to shift perception to a more inspirational destination – known for premium and trending products.

The task was to come up with new designs that would set a vision of what the Argos online presence could be, stemming from analytic studies that showed a YOY decline in people browsing the site effectively.


  • Analytics showed an increased bounce rate YOY in category landing pages – leading to fewer visits to product listing pages
  • A common theme found in heat maps showed that users didn’t engage with the content after navigating pages and typically went to search to find a product they wanted
  • User feedback showed that pages were very shouty and not easy to understand due to so many colours


Looking into personas I found that there was a range of Argos customers. So from a broader view, I identified two types at each end of the scale:

  1. Loyal customers: at one end of the scale there was customers who would shop frequently at Argos, however their purchase behaviour indicated it was mainly low cost necessity items  they purchased.
  2. Inspired customers: At the other end of the scale there were users who weren’t loyal to the brand and needed to be inspired into making a purchase. Their behaviours indicated they liked to be “wowed” whilst browsing products and enjoyed finer things in life, indicating that they purchased more expensive items.

The second type would be the user to aim for in-line with the business objectives.

Existing designs

Over time the experience had become inconsistent and difficult due to new components being added in isolation on pages, combined with legacy pages.  From a visual perspective the products that Argos sold had become secondary to the brand and UI.

Category landing page
Product description page

Experience principles

We referred to the brand values, business vision and research to come up with a set of experience principles that would act as a reference point of what the designs needed to achieve:

  • Showcase products users are interested in
  • Inspire users to make a purchase
  • Show breadth of products
  • Reduce the noise and provide a simplified experience
  • Make it clear what users can do and what they are looking at


I researched competitors and other brands who served each experience principle in the best possible way to get inspiration and sketched ideas around key pages.


I started with the category landing pages, as these had high drop off rates due to the content being confusing. The new design led with navigational content, which research showed as the most important information. Functional and inspirational content was differentiated based on the type of content and to make it easier for users to understand.

Product first approach

The number of components was kept to a minimum for consistency and the look and feel was continued onto other key pages of the site. The result was a cleaner UI which showcased the products first with the brand supporting.

Next steps

Changing a site like Argos overnight is not an easy task, as there are multiple teams and multiple requirements/roadmaps. So these designs have been used as a reference point when designing new pages, features, updates or components to help us get to where it needs to be.

A new design system is being worked on for a more unified experience and fonts have been changed to be more contemporary and accessible based on the visioning work shown here, which has massively improved the site.

Font typescale
Grid system
New components

Improved global header

I redesigned the global navigation header to increase engagement with a cleaner and simpler design enabling users to browse more effectively, whilst keeping search at the forefront. The new mobile design facilitates a drill down into categories, enabling users to dive deeper into the site. It has resulted in an increase in findability engagement with data showing that customers who interact with the header convert 2.5 times more than those who don’t.