Ray O'Neill / Product Designer

ikea Me Paper Prototype

A concept that can help ikea customers to try furniture in the comfort of their home without having to commit to paying for it

Year
Winter 2016
Project Role
UX Designer
Project Duration
6 weeks

Project Overview

As an Ikea customer, I want to be able to make the better decision about furniture for my home before I buy, so that I can spend less time in the store.

Augmenting your dream

We came up with a concept that can help ikea customers to try furniture in the comfort of their home without having to commit to paying for it.

Ikea me allows brings the in-store experience to the comfort of their home.

 A Concept that can help ikea customers to try furniture in the comfort of their home without having to commit to paying for it.

The Challenge

We had four weeks ideate and prototype and iterate on a new concept for Ikea iPad app. It was our first group project on the UXD course, and our first opportunity to flex our design thinking muscles.

 A Concept that can help ikea customers to try furniture in the comfort of their home without having to commit to paying for it.

Unpacking the problem

For our first project on our UXD course we were tasked to come up with a better solution for Ikea’s current iPad offering. From first use, the major problems were evident. To further, confirm out suspicions of the apps usability problems, I carried out a Hueristic evaluation on the existing app. Some of the biggest issues were the follow:

  • Existing app feature severely broken
  • App is too slow
  • Catalogues navigation is confusing
  • “Place furniture” feature doesn’t work
  • Need to extend the ikea showroom experience in your room

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You can read more about there heuristic evaluation findings here.

Understanding user’s pain-points

As part of our define phase we gathered as much data as we could about the problems that users had with the existing Ikea app. We were tied to such a 6 week timeline to produce our final paper prototype, we utilised app reviews and other third party sources for qualitative data about the app.

 A Concept that can help ikea customers to try furniture in the comfort of their home without having to commit to paying for it.

Key Insight: Home isn’t just a place, it’s a feeling

Getting to heart of users is essential in order to design experiences that are meaningful, useful and relevant to them. We found a reoccurring theme of home among ikea users and the idea that home to them is a feeling of joy, sharing, safety and togetherness. Home is sacred, safe place to ikea homeowners so we wanted to create a digital experience that invokes a similar feeling similar feeling to our users.

[ insert screen ]

Defining our users

Defining for the entire Ikea customer demographic is impossible. In order to ensure we were answering the needs the right customers aka of the user’s this app was targeted for we created user personas to keep use on track.

Defining for everyone is impossible, in order to to keep our own assumption out of the design it’s important to to have personas to keep the user at the forefront of every design decision.

We created our personas from through a mix of various quantitive and qualitative research methods and below is our two personas that keep us focused through out the design of the prototype.

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Putting out personas in context

User scenarios are specific narratives of a personas in the context of your product. They were essential to our design process as it ensured that we were answering our persona’s needs by framing them in the context of using the app so we. The scenarios were as follows for the respective user:

Finbarr

It’s a Friday evening and Finbarr is driving home from work, the troubles of his life at work are slowly lifting from his mind. As Finbarr is reaching home things he needs to do at home start to circle through his mind. With his baby on the way the nursery needs to be done, the playroom for his 3 year old needs attention. Items like these Finbarr and his wife would shop for at Ikea, but there’s nothing he dislikes more than a whole day wasted at Ikea, the crowds, the search for parking, fitting everything in his car, his 3 year old getting impatient etc… When Finbarr arrives home he takes his tablet and opens the Ikea app, he taps on furniture and scrolls to childrens furniture. He taps on furniture for the nursery and chooses the option for trying furniture in the room. He points the tablet to a cleared out space in the room. Finbarr is able to see the furniture as though it was actually in the room, scaled precisely to size. With a tap of the finger and a few gestures he is able to arrange the furniture in the room. He takes a snap-shot which gets saved to his favourites, so that he can discuss the options with his wife. Once the options are discussed he can purchase the items and have them delivered to his home using the app. The app also makes suggestions for anything else he might need based on his selection. Finbarr’s time off is now freed to spend time with his family, visit friends and get odd jobs done around the house.

Mary

Mary is at home at her kitchen table relaxing over a cup of tea. She begins to look around and thinks of things she’d like to change in the house. Mary loves to toy with new ideas for interior design, or to have a fresh new feel in the house. Mary loves Ikea, spending the day looking around and getting new ideas for storage and keeping the house tidy. Her children are getting older and stuff just seems to be scattered everywhere. Mary takes out her ipad and opens the ikea app. She looks for bedroom furniture and begins to save items to her favourites which she’s able to group into where in the house it would belong. Mary is then able to check the suitability of the item for each room in the house. Often times mary chooses to take a trip to ikea taking her ipad with her, using the app is just so she can feel inspired.

Brainstorming & Ideation.

We adopted various design exercises from the designkit.org website to help up us come up with a wide array of ideas in a short space of time. Crazy 8’s was a fun exercise to come up different solutions lightening quick.

[insert image of early sketches]

Prototyping and user-testing