For the first project at General Assembly during the User Experience Immersive Course, we were tasked to produce an interactive, greyscale prototype of the IKEA website which matched the customer experience of an in-store purchase.
For this two week design sprint, I worked alongside 2 other UX designers and followed the double diamond model to discover, design, develop and deliver our MVP. We all worked together as a team through each step of this project exercising our communication, team collaboration and design thinking skills.
Re-imagine the e-commerce experience for IKEA in Australia and produce an interactive greyscale prototype that matches the customer experience of an in-store purchase.
- An interactive greyscale prototype of a minimum viable product
- A presentation showing our documentation of the affinity mapping, user flows, sketches, iterated designs and any other artefacts
- A problem statement
- A solution statement
- A statement on how we iterated our design in response to user feedback
We first started off by visiting IKEA to learn more about their business and brand goals through contextual inquiry and conducting interviews with customers about their experience with IKEA (online and in-store). We went on to generate user flows from product discovery to the checkout process and compared them to 4 competitors of IKEA.
To identify what IKEA’s competitors were doing, we looked online to conduct some competitor research and analysis and then evaluated their different strategies to determine the strengths and weaknesses, relative to those of IKEA’s product and service. The companies which we analysed were:
- Harvey Norman a multi-national retailer of furniture, available to buy online
- Nick Scali for aesthetically pleasing images and strong branding throughout the site
- Bunnings Warehouse for card sorting, information architecture and price point
We amassed eight participants and interviewed them using a ten-question discussion guide. Using the information we gathered during the interviews, we put together an affinity map which allowed us to theme and prioritise opportunities:
- The online experience is hard to navigate through without getting lost
- Delivery services aren’t yet available in VIC, NT & TAZ
- Customers enjoy the inspiration rooms (in store)
- People shopping at IKEA were predominantly young families, renting, or money conscious
To progress to the ideation stage, we started asking questions starting with ‘How Might We…’. Our HMW questions helped turn our challenges into opportunities for design. Here’s a few which we asked ourselves:
- How might we recreate online inspiration similar to the experience you get by walking through the showrooms
- How might we raise awareness of delivery options
- How might we keep IKEA’s classic style throughout the site
- How might we promote the charities IKEA help
- How might we show customers that IKEA is environmentally conscious
The Problem Statement
We understood our users and their needs so synthesised our findings from our research and observations then created our problem statement :
How might we create an e-commerce/online experience for IKEA which exemplifies the company’s values, whilst providing inspiration to customers with small budgets?
The Solution Statement
Create an e-commerce site for IKEA, replicating the in-store experience whilst offering clarity and alternatives to users who don’t have access to home delivery.
Upon reflecting on our affinity map, we honed-in on three areas; ‘Inspiration’, ‘Reasons to go to an IKEA store’, and ‘e-commerce dislikes’. We established a feature prioritisation graph (4 blocker) broken into High Impact/ Low Impact/ Expected & Unexpected which helped us find the features we wanted to implement (and those we didn’t).
From this, we determined that our MVP would include:
- A clear way of locating specific products
- Steer customers toward popular & related products
- Maintain consistency with IKEA’s existing brand
- Allow customers to contact the business
- Reading and writing reviews of a product
When we started to think through solutions to our problem statement, we diverged and rapidly sketched as many ideas as possible onto paper. This was an experimental phase as we just wanted to get all our ideas on the table so any idea was welcome. After 10 minutes of brainstorming our ideas down, we came back together to critique each other’s sketches, iterated from them and converged our ideas together.
Once we had our first paper prototype we did rounds of user testings then took our findings back to the drawing board and repeated the process of ideate-prototype-test until we had tackled our users pain points and had a better understanding of what our users wanted, needed and expected when interacting with our prototype.
Check out our clickable prototype!