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UX Research 


Shin Kuwahara, Sue Kim, Zeya Chen, Jesse Gao



2020 Fall

This is a User researcher project. Without the given research topic from the chosen client, we found out the potential goal of IKEA by doing several rounds of user research, secondary research and finally got synthesized insights for future opportunities.

IKEA-UX Insights

UX Insights


Understanding the user

Within current experience model,  HMW get IKEA well prepared for future sustainable system?

Final Report

If you are interested in the messy process like how we made the survey, discussion guideline, feel free to jump to the Appendix

Do you mind if I record this interview? This will be used as our research reference and will not use any other way except for academic purposes.


# Introduction:

Hello, my name is xxx. Thank you for having time with me today. We are working on a project, aiming to find out the usability issues of IKEA’s website. So we need your help to be my participants. 


# Rules:

We are going to use a method called “THINK ALOUD”. I’ll give you some simple tasks you need to go through till the end and speak out your minds during the process!


/“I know it might feel a little strange, but during this process, I need you to just keep talking for me and narrate your internal monologue.”/ 


/“Don’t try to explain what you are doing. Act as if you are alone, speaking to yourself as you solve the task. Explaining something changes your thinking strategy and slows you down performing the task.”/


/“I won’t be able to answer questions, but if questions cross your mind, say them aloud”/


/“If you forget to think aloud, I’ll say ‘please keep talking’”/


/“Remember, this is not a test of you.”/ 

e.g.: you are assigned to find a table, and using the filter to narrow down your options and then check out. You need to speak out: “open the search bar, type table, and open filter, choose options and find this one, add to the shopping bag, check out.  

Topline summary:

  1. 65.6% of our respondents using IKEA are between 25-34 years old while most of them live with other adults, like roommates or couples. This result is very consistent with the secondary research data we have done before. IKEA keeps its target users remain young people around 30 years old.

  2. The most dramatic comparison is that while most of respondents (82%) are satisfied with the IKEA in-store experience, many are strongly dissatisfied with the IKEA website experience.

    1. Regarding the dimension, quality and material of the items, around 70% of the respondents are satisfied with the experience of checking in the store, but they are not satisfied with checking on the website.

    2. Regard the recommendation of other items, 86% said they can get inspiration to buy new items from in-store shopping, while 33.3% don’t get good inspiration assuming they might not get good recommendations on the website.

    3. The difference in satisfaction with items dimensions is reasonable, but it is worth improving in terms of product recommendation on the web.

  3. The number of respondents using delivery services and reviews services is less than half of the total number of web respondents. Compared with other online shopping platforms, this data is surprisingly low. In order to improve the user experience of IKEA website, we can conduct deeper research on these two aspects.

  4. Even though many respondents (22%) experienced IKEA’s additional in-store services, such as IKEA restaurants, family environment, etc., only 3 respondents have used the in-store pick-up service (ie “Click & Collect” service).

  5. The most surprising data is that 72% of the respondents said they have never used the IKEA app. When looking at the reasons, they do not see any distinctive values nor are not aware of the app. Our recommendation is to consider distinctive values and ideate core functions of the app by taking in-store and website experiences into account. Also, create a strategy how to increase its awareness. Assess the hypotheses next interviews.

Topline summary:


  1. People need more vivid online forms of products demos and personalized recommendations to understand and explore the functions, style, size, etc.

    1. Some people enjoy researching products online, but others will feel nervous about overwhelming information, so they need right, clear suggestions, references or recommendations to make life easier.  

    2. People like decorational furnitures more than we expect, but they often struggle with matching the style and theme of the home.

    3. Same as the showrooms in IKEA stores, the images of unique and functional products and products with good combinations of showcases are people’s first move when exploring furnitures online.   

    4. As for people who prefers to spend a lot of time in home, Multi-functional furnitures are their favorite.

    5. People don’t have a good sense of space. The size introductions should be designed case by case. Also, there should exist tools to keep people from modeling the size and overall theme in their minds.

    6. People concern most the size and material of furnitures buying online, without the realtime touch feelings, the website descriptions should provide more details in some other kind of vivid forms to explain well to customers.

  2. Sustainability can be a big trend for IKEA’s future market

    1. More and more people care about environment-friendly, not only the materials but also the services.

    2. For young people who need to move frequently, they prefer to buy used furnitures as long as they are in good conditions. 

    3. Trade-in service can be another idea for recycled products.

  3. Surprising selling strategy

    1. One interesting point: products can have stories behind so that could draw people’s attentions. (eg. designer’s description)

    2. Buying more to get more discount could be one way to attract the elder customers. 

  4. Bridging online and offline is a current trend that can maintain customers’ values. 

    1. Everyone wants to know clearly about the availability of products in given stores before they heading to there.

    2. People are getting used to “pick up” service, IKEA should make it more accessible in the whole system.


Ultimate vision: 

Offering integrated strategy for both in-store and online experiences by enhancing strengths of each channel

  • Improve the online services to catch up competitors 

  • Seek new and original opportunities by leveraging both online and offline service

  • Keep taking advantage of strong in-store experience by considering product characteristics of furniture, while in line with social distancing


Survey goal:


  • To understand user motivation why choose in-store and online shopping in IKEA 

  • To learn users’ assessment on in-store,  website and App of our client

  • To know users’ attitudes about issues we found in previous research 

Research Goal

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