For our first project as part of the User Experience Immersive program at General Assembly, Melbourne we were presented with the task of aligning ’s e-commerce and in-store experience, by re-imagining the Australian while staying true to IKEA’s brand vision

“To create a better everyday life for the many people”

In this two week design sprint I collaborated with two other designers, using the double diamond design method we ensured team work, open communication. time management and the end user were always at the heart of everything we set out to do.

Double Diamond — The Design Thinking Process

The Brief

Reimagine the e-commerce experience for IKEA Australia by creating a interactive grayscale prototype of the desktop experience.

Key Deliverables:

  • Interactive prototype based on a sketched interface
  • A 15-30 minute group presentation
  • Documentation of affinity map, user mental model, user flows, sketches, iterated designs
  • A problem statement
  • A solution statement
  • A statement on how you iterated your design in response to user feedback

About IKEA

IKEA is a home furnishings company founded in Sweden, in 1943, by Ingvar Kamprad, who began by peddling useful items to neighbours on his bicycle. IKEA believes that home is the most important place in the world and children its most important people.

Today IKEA is made up of over 400 stores globally with the most popular IKEA store being it’s ecommerce site which had a total of 2.3 billion visits globally in 2017. Foot flow within IKEA bricks & mortar stores also remains high with a total of 936,000,000 in-store IKEA visits across the globe that same year.

Research

Stage 1 — In-Store Research

  • In-store observations at two different times of the day
  • Interviewed in-store staff to understand customer pain points
  • Observed IKEA customers in the inspiration/ purchasing phase
IKEA Richmond, Melbourne Store

Stage 2 — Contextual Enquiries

  • Conducted 8x interviews with a wide range of users
  • Questions based around general e-commerce behaviours as well as IKEA specific e-commerce and in-store store experiences

Key Discoveries:

We identified 2 types of IKEA Customers:

IKEA User A — “Knows what they want”

IKEA User B — “Looking for inspiration”

  • Opportunity to convert both types of users at any stage of process as the User A — is still open to inspiration, general and specific.
  • Discovery process from start to finish takes between 1 week to 2 years depending on type of product
  • Big ticket items that are going to be in the home for long periods of time require more time and deliberation
  • E-commerce checkout cart is often used to shortlist products of interest
  • Users return to cart at later date to cull short list or make final purchase
  • Pinterest and Instagram users preferred sites for sourcing inspiration
Mental Model (Left) & Feature Prioritisation (Right)

Competitor Analysis

Based on the findings from our user research we looked into competitors:

MUJI — often referred to as the IKEA of Japan, MUJI’s tone of voice across it’s e-commerce platforms (“MUJI Home” and “Message from MUJI“) reinforces it’s premium brand position and the trust it has within its customer set. It’s simplistic add/ subtract keyword search in the navigation sparked further ideas about IKEA search functionality.

Pinterest– With more than 14 Million Articles are Pinned Daily Pinterest is the go to place for users seeking inspiration, ideas or DIY Hacks. It’s easy search function and customisable mood-boards allow users to collect and store inspiration for use now and in the future.

Kmart– With over 200 stores across Australia and 20 in New Zealand, Kmart is seen as a direct competitor as it offers affordable homewares with a Scandinavian aesthetic. Kmart sells the casual Australia lifestyle however lacks any in-store customer experience or visual merchandise.

Instagram– A platform for sharing photos and video content where the #IKEAhack has over 171.4k posts and allows users to share DIY tips and tricks for customising every day IKEA products.

Problem Statement

How might we let users find and buy IKEA products online with confidence?

*Find and Buy refers to buying now and buying in the future as collecting inspiration can happen long before the user is ready to make purchase.

Our team hard at work — unknowingly dressed appropriately in IKEA colours.

Ideation

3x Paper Prototypes + 2x Informal User Tests

During ideation we uncovered major features that we had missed which required us to go back to the drawing board after each test. The third paper prototype tested well in a formal user test with only minor areas to work on in the future.

Sketching Iterations — IKEA landing screen (left) and MY IKEA screen (right)

What worked well?

  • Discovery phase — Homepage to the dashboard journey
  • Saving items to the mood boards
  • Using search bar in both the homepage and in the MY IKEA dashboard
  • Use of global nav categories to search

What didn’t work + solutions?

  • Select in the interests page — minimum 3 options is too many
  • Hierarchy to the text — adjust
  • Set mood board names were too limiting — need to be customisable

Solution Statement

Through the creation of an advanced search function and customised mood boards, IKEA customers are now able to find and save items of interest and purchase them now or in the future with confidence.

Prototype

Invision

High-fidelity wireframe of the MYIKEA landing page, where users can create customisable mood boards to store inspiration.

Future Steps

Working alongside the IKEA marketing team to develop a social strategy using #MYIKEA to raise awareness of the re-imagined site, showcasing the new image search functionality and personalised mood board feature, making it easier for users to buy now or in the future.

MY IKEA content to be populated with additional experiences such as:

  • Video walkthrough of room/house
  • Interactive itemised tagged imagery
  • Ikea hack community ideas
  • Live chat bot — for large ticketed items
  • Quality rating of product and assembly difficulty
  • Mood boards can be used as shopping lists for easy check out

My Learnings

Over the two week project were in communication, time management, team work and divergent thinking my key takeaways were:

  • Morning and afternoon stand ups allowed us to set out the goals for the day ahead and reflect on what had been achieved as well as establish if evening/ weekend work was necessary
  • Time boxing was an important tool that allowed for everyone‘s voice to be heard while aiding in keeping the team on track and focussed on set tasks
  • Test early and test often, get ideas down on paper and never dismiss an idea until it’s been tested. It’s a good way to solve idea disputes as it allows the test results to determine the final answer.

Team Mates

Say Hi!

I’m Rachel a kiwi born, Melbourne based multi-disciplined designer with 8 years experience working in graphic and digital design, creative strategy and trend forecasting across a broad range of industries. While living in London I co-founded Peacebeam a mindful tech start-up that introduced me to the key principles of human centred design.

I have a specialist focus in UX/ UI and a keen interest in CX and am looking for opportunities to work with businesses and brands that have an active interest in understanding the WHY.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it” — Simon Sinek

Let’s connect – Linkedin



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