Dec. 2017

We worked on the ecommerce experience for IKEA website, enabling customers to search, browse, purchase products and get inspirations.


Client: IKEA
Duration: 2 weeks
Team: 5
Location: General Assembly, Melbourne


  • RESEARCH: I conducted competitor analysis, interviews, contextual inquiry, affinity mapping and feature prioritisation, etc. 
  • DESIGN: Based on research, I generated a lo-fi wireframe using Sketch and Invision.
  • TEST: I tested the usability of prototypes by designing tasks, testing with several users and iterating base on results.   
  • IDEA: I ideated the killer idea for this project: enabling users to try products by partner with hotels & restaurants nearby.


  • Happiness is not reaching your goal. Happiness is being on the way. When doing research, it is important to bring the in-store experience of IKEA into its online experience.
  • Combine individual work and team work. Start by design individually and then generate the second design iteration by combining the best ideas from each design. Because it is more efficient, and it helps to check on the user flow and makes sure every use case is covered.
  • Use offline solutions to improve online experience. When ideating, it is important to think about  different touchpoints.
  • Becoming lean. The goal is to increase collaboration, improve team communication and reduce waste.
  • Version control is important. Sketch files need to be merged via merge meetings when colleborating.


Design Process

This is one of my school projects where we went through a whole UX process, researching and testing about the "why" through both design and development. The process we went through can be perfectly described by double-diamond design process model (see image below).

Double diamond design process model, the Design Council, 2005.

Double diamond design process model, the Design Council, 2005.

Discover - How do users shop online and in store?

To fully investigate the problem space of online shopping, we conducted observations in stores and online for IKEA and other competitors. And then we conducted interviews based on topic maps, which includes in-store experience, online experience, and furniture shopping. Next we coded users’ responses by looking for commonalities in the challenges users faced and their contexts.

What people love in store

  • First-hand experience with product (touch and see)
  • Staff accessible when needed
  • The environment made room for people to explore and be inspired

What people love online

  • Can look at lots of items quickly
  • Save items to list
  • Able to check product details and availability online

Define - The results tell us to...

                                   The Affinity Map we created

                                   The Affinity Map we created

After the interviews, we concluded the notes into affinity map to help define the pain points when people shop online.

The feature metrics we created    X axis: Expected -> Unexpected; Y axis: Low Impact -> High Impact

The feature metrics we created    X axis: Expected -> Unexpected; Y axis: Low Impact -> High Impact

Pain Points

  • Can't touch or feel the products

  • Hard to reach out to get help

  • Information Architecture is confusing, overwhelming and frustrating

Develop - Expand on the idea

After the affinity mapping, we brainstormed solutions and concluded them into feature metrics to help define the project's fundamental features, including optimising result page, improve search prompts, creating live chat, using 360 views and videos, simplifying filters, including inspirations, etc.

So based on feature matrix, we created feature list and start sketching individually. And then we created the first paper prototype.

Users' feedback:

  •  Filter “Sort by price” and “price” are confusing
  •  All product details next to photo should be easier to read.
  •  Shipping details on product page
  •  Make review shorter, simpler and Customer wants to see pictures in review.
  •  Want to see estimated delivery fee and time.
  •  Prioritize product video & 360 photo.
  •  Fix terminology “Idea” to “Inspire Me”.
  •  Can move item from wishlist to cart and vice versa.
  •  ... ...

Deliver - Implement and evaluate

Finally, we implemented the digital prototype based on user feedback, moving product details next to photo, etc. We then conducted heuristic evaluations and user test with benchmark tasks to conclude future iteration. 

Click to see more about  digital prototype


Screen Shot 2017-12-28 at 2.14.16 pm.png

According to the interview, the biggest pain point is users cannot touch&feel the product through the websites. So we thought of a creative solution, which is providing users with nearby hotels and restaurants to try the products, by partnering with popular chained-brand hotels and restaurants.  


Here is our presentation: