Lead Designer: User Research, Wireframing, Branding, Mockups, Prototyping
Jacquelyn I , John H, Brendan R
The Ikea Store application, allows users to create shopping lists so that they know what and where to find products in the store. While the app seems to have a high download rate, it’s 2.3 star rating and reviews indicate that it has a low retention rate.
Objective: To create a better experience for users so that they are more inclined to engage and keep with the application. This would provide greater monetization opportunities for Ikea as a business.
Success Metrics: System Usability Scale= how likely people are to use the app. All users tested said 5/5.
People cannot buy products within the app. This plays a big role in decreasing retention.
The app does not recognize people's credentials. Nor does it let users create accounts within the app.
Products are categorized in a way that is not intuitive. There is a lack of organization.
The UI feels very clunky, making it hard for individuals to know where to look.
People are not able to filter furniture by dimensions.
We did an observational study at Ikea in Maryland, where we observed 38 people and spoke to 5. We also conducted market research. This enabled us to create user personas. Our personas fell under : Young professional, Newly-Weds, and College Student. I then used our personas and our discovery research to then create scenarios and storyboards.
Based on the pain points that we identified during our research phase, my teammate Brendan asked 3 users to complete five different tasks in order to test our hypothesis that the Ikea Store app lacks flexibility and ease of use and aesthetics and minimalism. Below are the findings:
Login to the app: Users would have difficulty logging in, and tried to log in several times.
Create an account: Users would get irritated by having to create an account outside of the app.
Buy a product: Users stated that not being able to buy products within the app, made it useless.
Search for products by dimension: Users thought it was tedious to have to manually determine the dimension of each individual product.
Browse for a backpack: Users felt like the browsing system was like a maze.
The information we gathered throughout the entire process enabled us to emerge with some solutions. I created an Impact - Effort matrix based on our design abilities to help us determine which design features we should focus our energies on. While focusing on the low effort, high impact features in the bottom right quadrant were priority; we knew we had prioritize some of the solutions in the top right quadrant.
During this phase, we began to take all of the information we learned and build the interactions and information architecture for the redesign. My teammate John took the lead on the user flow diagrams with my assistance. We mapped out the ideal user flows. I then used these flows to design the different screens for the application.
User Flow Diagrams
John and I created user flow diagrams of the original user flow and of our ideal state user flow. To view high quality versions of these user flows, please click the button below.
First I created low fidelity wireframes with pen and paper to test with 3 people. Based on the feedback we got, I designed medium fidelity wireframes and we tested these again.
During this phase of the project, I created a mood board and a design system. When it came to the design system, I worked with it’s blue, orange and grey, and simply accentuated each color in a unique way to alter the feel of the application. We wanted to go for a minimalistic look to adhere to the products that Ikea sells. I then incorporated the the design system and the aesthetic elements into a high-fidelity mock-up.
After assessing the mockups with my team and making some small edits, I created a clickable prototype. The prototype highlights each task that we tested earlier during the study : Login into the application, creating an account, buying a product, browsing through the application, and searching for products by dimensions. Check out the final product below.
Enjoy a Minimalist Design
We re-designed the Ikea homepage to emphasize the simplicity and beauty of Ikea furniture. By removing excess content, we were able to create a design that not only attracts people, but that also keeps them engaged. We also changed the icons in the global navigation.
Create an Account/ Login
We created multiple pathways for people to log into the application. We enabled users to login using their email, through Facebook and through Google. In addition, we enabled people to create accounts within the application, as opposed to having to go to the website.
We re-categorized products and reduced the number of categories. We also added visual cues to categories to make browsing simpler and more enjoyable.
Adding a buying products feature to the application was one of the most important design changes we made. Several people noted that they did not see the point in having an Ikea app that did not allow them to buy products. We also re-designed the product pages to add a 360 view, and enable people to truly get a sense of what product they are interested in.
Filter Products by Dimension
We added a feature which enables people to filter products by measurements. This speeds up the searching process for users who are looking for items with specific dimensions.
Through our continuous usability tests, we were able to tackle several of the issues that people were facing. Enabling users to login, enabling users to buy products, making browsing easier, creating a clean user interface, and enabling people to filter products by measurements - were pivotal changes that needed to be made. If we had more time and resources, something that I would want to do is to conduct the usability test on more than three participants.
Success Metrics: When we went through the application a final time with the same initial three participants, they told us that they would definitely keep the application on their phone with the changes we made - especially if they were able to buy products within the app.