- Digital team lead, User Experience, User Interface
- Design, process
A website that combines the best of form and function—just like any other IKEA product.
We probably all have mixed emotions about IKEA. Sure, we love their modern and functional furniture, but we’ve also found ourselves cursing a half-assembled MALM chest of drawers at 11 pm. Not to mention that navigating their website used to be like trying to find your way out of the Living Room department, past the Cafe, and finally to where you could pick up and pay for said MALM drawers.
During 2014 and 2015, I led a team of designers, art directors, developers, and researchers to build the next version of IKEA’s global website, ikea.com. Needless to say, it’s the biggest e-commerce website I’ve ever worked on: Ikea.com sees 2.3 billion visitors per year, and online sales alone are at $2 billion per year.
One of the keys to solving any problem is taking the time to understand the problem well rather than immediately spouting off possible solutions. And with an e-commerce website of this magnitude, there are a lot of things to take into consideration.
I had the pleasure of working with Anton at IKEA where he played a vital role in the concept and visual development of ikea.com. He shared and activated his in-depth knowledge and experience in design in a great manner.Johan Ny, IKEA
Focusing on what’s important
As most e-commerce website owners will tell you, the most important page to design well isn’t the home page or even the individual product page, but rather the category page. Shoppers at IKEA usually have an idea of what room and/or what type of furniture they’re looking for, they just need a clear path to discover the exact item they want. That revealed our focus for the redesign: overarching department pages (living room, bathroom, kitchen) and department-specific category pages (sofas, rugs, chairs).
IKEA is for inspiration
IKEA is all about inspiring its customers—this is clear from the elaborate room mockups found in its immersive store experience and the catalogue that runs over 300 pages long—but the previous website did a poor job of that. So we wanted to use the department pages to inspire users in the same way that the catalogue had done for decades. Users should be able to see how small details could transform their entire living space—or how reasonably priced an entire redecoration could be!
Want that in birch, oak or matte black?
What with IKEA’s enormous selection of products, another key thing to work on was the filtering functionality. Once you’re looking at sofas, you should easily be able to whittle down to the fabric and color you want and how many people it should sit. One of the biggest advantages of online stores is their ability to showcase all possible options, but making those countless options accessible in a user-friendly way is a challenge. With easier, smarter filtering and 3D models of the furniture, we’re able to show in detail IKEA’s entire selection, something the catalogue could never do.
Now look at…
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