MUJI essential life

Evie Donnelly
Nov 30, 2017 · Unlisted


People adore Muji for its consistent aesthetic (across a plethora of products) that fosters a simple lifestyle that feels essential and calm. I worked on a team with two other UX Designers, Julia and Ted, to research the existing web and mobile experiences Muji currently offers. From there, I branched off to address the issues we discovered through research, by creating and testing prototypes for a complete redesign of both Muji Web and Muji Mobile.


Success for Research: Determine how people feel about Muji and what issues are frustrating their web and mobile interactions.

Success for Design: Build an essential experience that prioritizes accessibility.


web prototype:

iOS prototype:

Research strategy

Validating: What people actually like about Muji.

Disproving: The existing online experience is working.


Contextual Interviews

Persona Updates


User Flows, Task Flows

Site Mapping

Card Sorting (both open and closed)

Usability Tests

This research informs design and iterations on the prototype.

New Understanding of the Problem

People love Muji’s essential design aesthetic and in-store shopping experience which is calming and natural.

How might we evoke the essential calm and organized quality of MUJI in web and mobile formats akin to the in-store experience?

Research Report

We tabulated and gathered our findings into a comprehensive Research Report from which we could then draw-out insights to address our new understanding of the problem.

Link to research Report:


The emotional experience of a user of Muji online. Red points out our persona Daniel’s frustrations with both searching for items and the purchasing process.

Daniel Persona on his emotion journey over time, purchasing a product at Muji Web.

Research Leads to Design Decisions

After looking at all the issues with Muji online, we decided to move forward with a more encompassing update. Below are a few highlights of the complete redesign for web responsive site, catering to web and iphone.

Contextual Inquiry
: MUJI store is a multi sensory experience

→Forefront videos on homepage

Insight: people shop inshore because the shipping is more than the product

→Offer free shipping

Heuristics and Card Sorting
Insight: learnability and too many redundant navigation

Simplify Navigation, less categories and more clear language

Existant Navigation
Navigation Redesign, Note: changes in lighter color

Usability Test (ROUND 1) on Existing Web and Mobile Sites
Insight: need to match the brand more with simplicity in design and function

→De-clutter the overall information presented on the website

Existing cluttered, chunky, confusing multi-navigation web experience
Redesign declutters and eliminates redundant navigation

→New category structures and simplified visual elements
→New shopping bag icon

fits more with the brand than a clunky shopping cart

→removes double hamburger, splash page

This is the easiest path to purchasing an item, the yellow highlights removing the frustrating splash page

→makes descriptions more detailed beyond SKU#
→moves zoom off of the descriptions
→created footer
to place the more company infrastructural navigation
→moved identification of language and country to footer

Redesign Improves the Overall Confidence in Muji

Usability Testing demonstrated that the redesign was much easier for users to discover the brand, find their product, and purchase with confidence.

Comparing Usability interviews and behavior to the existent web&mobile experiences:
→people were able to complete tasks more quickly,
→the redesign left users with absolute confidence that they had successfully completed a purchase
→could find the products that they were seeking, as opposed to being stuck within the redundant broken menu structure of the existent web experience.

Menu redundancy on existing mobile
Left Drawer Faceted Menu with hierarchy

Iterations on Prototype

A few more refinements and additions came out of the usability testers comments and behavior.

→consolidate checkout more as a single page with drop downs (move EDIT) (“stay on click” to location within page)
→move subcategories appear underneath the top header
→reorient description page by moving “shipping” under the “add to cart”

→change the wording from “confirm”, to “next”
→increase fidelity
→Add mobile Search feature to Left Drawer Faceted menu

mobile search feature in left drawer faceted menu

→Add down arrow (carrot shapes) to homepage, indicating there is more to see vertically

down arrows indicate more to see and afford the user to jump down


Muji is well suited to digital platforms when designed consistent with the simplicity and succinctness of Muji aesthetics.

Users deeply value these aesthetics, many clients are designers by profession, so it is time for Muji to prioritize web and mobile more, to not abandon their core values and customers to the clunky confusing experience that is currently the Muji online debacle. Customers that value efficient design in physical products will appreciate a succinct, clean, calm online experience.

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