IKEA: Reimagining the ecommerce experience | A UX Case Study

The Challenge:

To reimagine the ecommerce experience for IKEA’s website in Australia.

As the first project assigned by General Assembly Melbourne as part of the User Experience Design Immersive Program we were tasked with re-designing the IKEA Australia website to match the customer experience of an in-store purchase. During this 2 week design sprint I worked in a team with two other UX designers on the end to end design process.

The Deliverables:

We delivered an interactive, greyscale digital prototype of the proposed re-design of the desktop website for IKEA Australia.

This was demonstrated during a 30 minute presentation by our team along with the following key deliverables:

  • Documentation of the affinity map, user mental model and feature prioritisation, user flows, ideation sketches, iterated designs.
  • A problem statement.
  • A solution statement.
  • A statement on how you iterated your design in response to user feedback.

The Discovery:

To drive our planning phase we began with a visit to an Ikea store to gain an understanding of the store layout and observe users at different stages of the in-store shopping experience.

Richmond Ikea Store

We continued our contextual inquiries by conducting interviews with 8 users.

After creating an affinity map we synthesised the data we’d collected and found common themes emerging. We identified 2 distinct shopping behaviours: The Shopper on a Mission and The Inspirational Shopper.

These are the key insights that defined our problem statement and led to the delivered prototype:

Key insights

  • IKEA’s products are viewed as good value and affordable
  • Aesthetics and style play an important role in the users purchase decision

The shopper on a mission:

  • Often knows exactly what they want
  • Wants to locate their product as quickly as possible
  • Prefers to shop online for convenience

The inspirational shopper:

  • The display rooms provide inspiration and styling ideas
  • Enjoys browsing during an in-store shopping experience
  • Prefers to see products in context

Competitor Analysis:

We reviewed and analysed a range of competitors to better understand their online presence and what this experience might be like for a customer. We chose to focus on the following competitors:


  • ‘Ideas and inspiration’ tab in global navigation
  • ‘Click and collect’ option to purchase items and pick up from a store
  • ‘Featured categories’ call out on home screen


  • ‘Style feed’ section on home screen
  • Multi angle imagery and video of product at product page
  • Reminder prompt at checkout for items previously saved

Fantastic Furniture

  • Large product promotion banner on home screen
  • ‘Click and collect’ option to purchase items and pick up from a store
  • ‘How to’s and inspiration’ tab in global navigation

The problem statement:

“How might we make it easier for people to imagine and buy IKEA products for their homes?”


We started our design ideation process with rapid sketching exercises. Our initial concepts looked at the high-impact features that would appeal to our two user groups. We then reviewed, critiqued and voted on the features for the user interface and user flow of the site.

Prototyping and Usability Testing:

Testing of the first two paper prototypes revealed quite a few issues with the flow of the site for our users. These were picked up early and we were able to iterate on these and continue testing with paper prototypes until we were confident we had resolved all known issues. This then enabled us to proceed quickly with the digital prototype using Sketch and InVisionApp.

Findings and Iterations:

1st usability test:

  • It was unclear what type of room they were viewing
  • Currently no way to select/filter the type of room

How we solved this: We added a way to filter the type of room, which in turn adjusted the products displayed depending on the selected type of room.

2nd usability test:

  • Unexpected/confusing flow between pages
  • Room filter/buttons unclear
  • Confusing placement of room filter/buttons
  • Unclear relationship between feature room image and products

How we solved this: We re-looked at the flow between the home screen and Room Ideas and combined the two. Filtering by room type was changed to clearer thumbnails and labelling of rooms from the home screen to eliminate confusion from the start.

3rd usability test:

  • It would be useful to have an indication of how many room images there are to click through

How we solved this: We added indicators to let the user know how many images were there.

Interactive Prototype:

View the digital prototype here:

(Prototype created using Sketch and InVisionApp)


My key learnings from this project were:

  • Test & iterate: we were able to improve the design and flow of the site quickly by testing the usability of our ideas regularly and iterating on our findings from these tests.
  • Communication is key: as a team we communicated openly and honestly throughout the project and this enabled us to develop our ideas effectively and efficiently.


I’m Laura,
a multi-disciplined designer with a focus on UX and UI design, currently calling Melbourne, Australia home. With 8 years’ experience I have worked across a range of industries with each new brief challenging my creative approach and thinking in an exciting and unique way.