comfort planning at IKEA user experience design for the IKEA planning and experiences team

Over the span of 20 weeks, our team evaluated and redesigned IKEA’s comfort guide, a tool to help customers in picking out mattresses, pillows, and duvets. This redesign was commisioned by the IKEA Planning and Experiences (IPEX) team. The project is divided into three phases; product evaluation, design brief, and conceptualisation.

Phase 1 started with a thourough analysis of the comfort guide. Clustering all the issues led us to several key problems, which helped us create a problem statement. The project’s scope was narrowed down to only include the tool that led to the most problems. A design goal and interaction vision were set up to help define our vision for redesigning the product:

"Our design goal is to improve the level of trust the user has in the product and themselves by making them feel experts in comfort and sleeping, making them understand what the recommendations are based on, giving them an idea of what the product will feel like, and guiding the user in what to do with the information."

After defining the key problems of the original comfort guide and creating a vision for our redesign, the comfort guide was redesigned. This phase started by brainstorming on what should be in the redesign. Several small user tests were conducted to evaluate our design decisions. Based on how the redesign should be evaluated, a plan was created for building a prototype for user testing.

Combining the best functionalities from both design sprints led to the following design. The interface is divided into two sections; The left section mainly presents the interaction between the system and users and the right section is for the results, which shows the sorting process and recommendations, reflecting the user’s actions.

Expected benefits from this structure are the users could directly notice what the recommendations are based on and the all-in-one layout enhances efficiency for the users by reducing the stress on turning pages. As the IKEA chatbot is integrated into the questions & answers area, users could easily access the chatbot and ask their personal queries while they are answering the questions, so that the system becomes more interactive compared to the current one-way communication. The tag system provides intuitive information, so that the users could take rough ideas about each product in the gallery view before looking through the products in detail. The tags could be also used in the offline store to match with the offline experience. Moreover, much detailed sorting function is available with those tags.

Before executing the final user test, a test plan was drawn up, including test considerations, a test setup, and a method. This plan was tested with two separate pilot tests, through which the test plan was adjusted to get more precise results. The results of the final user test were compared to those of the original comfort guide to evaluate whether the redesign improved the user experience. Lastly, the results were used to see which elements of the redesign could be improved further.

Participants stated they felt like they had been able to make an informed decision about their sleeping setup, had all the information they needed to make an informed purchase, understood the given information, and could easily find the information they wanted. Therefore, the redesign has succeeded in making users feel expert in comfort and sleeping by providing them the information they are looking for at the right time. However, the redesign could be improved further by adding more information on the materials and firmness so users can compare product features themselves.

To close off the project, a final redesign in made. A prototype of the final design can be found on Figma.

client

IKEA

team size

5 team members

project kick-off

february 2021

project finished

july 2021

key capabilities

user experience design

user research

digital design