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IKEA Navigation

Role: UIUX Designer
Duration: 3 months

As one of the most popular furniture companies in the world, IKEA is well-known for its modern design with an eco-friendly simplicity. Targeting middle class and providing a comfortable home and happy lifestyle as missons, IKEA has been doing well both in store and online.

There are more than 2 billion website visits per year on IKEA's website ( Its homepage plays an irreplaceable role as the first impression of this international brand, and also the main directory to guide customers through shopping experience. However, the original homepage has showcased a lot of information, but it is content overloaded and hard to use.

Thus, this project is to improve navigating experience on IKEA website across deviecs and help users find products and inspirations easier.


Reorganize information allocation and improve online navagating experience aligned with business goals.


Original design and business goals study

To evangelize customer goals and balance business goals, I created a value proposition chart. It shows that both business and customers put more focus on feature furniture, on sale items and home decoration inspiration.

In addition, to enhance business performance, IKEA Family Reward Program is created to build customer loyalty so that to increase customer stickiness.

Content inventory

Original homepage covers a lot of information, from departments to services, on sale items to inspiration. However, it is in lack of hierarchy, consistency and orders, which makes customers confused with looking for products and get lost on site.

There is a trend that more customers shop in mobile phones these days, but IKEA doesn’t have a mobile friendly homepage. It’s neither responsive, nor reflecting content on desktop site. Much information is removed on mobile, which makes shopping experience not comprehensive across devices, or even causes potential business lost.

Online survey

After collecting insights of business goals and current page content, I conducted a 10-question survey with 16 participants, who are current or potential IKEA customers. It helped me understand customers’ behavior on IKEA website, and gain critical insights.
Both content inventory and survey gave me a lot of insights of problems and solution finding. To synthesize better, I created an affinity map and conducted card sorting to help me with redesign solutions.

Problem 1

Navigation is confusing and overwhelming visually.

Navigation bar is packed with information, and hard for customers to find products across departments. According to content inventory and affinity map, I sketched out several design options with the idea that better and clearer showcasing information.


Design an organized navigation menu which is easy to use and looks nice.

After collecting feedback on different design options, I decided to go with a combination of option 1 and option 2, a half-page transparency dropdown list which is able to hide.

In addition, according to user survey, more than 81% of users use both navigation and search bar to start their browse. Thus, compared to the original design, new design has search bar bigger and more prominent along with navigation.

Problem 2

Poor content hierarchy makes users lost their paths.

I used Optima to conduct an open card sorting test with 8 participants who are current or potential customers. 30 cards are labeled based on content inventory.  Card sorting result led to insights including:

1. All cards can be categorized into 5 main sections: Account, Navigation, Deal, Inspiration and Service

2. In each section, cards are sorted in priority from high to low.


Categorize subjects with universal recognition and adjust section placements based on priority. 

Based on card sorting result, I created new content inventory and reconstructed information chunk on homepage.

Also, user survey shows that the overall priority section order is: Deal > Home Decoration Inspiration > IKEA services. Keeping this order in mind, I created several layout options and picked option 1 at the end, applied with dynamic visual and story telling to identify each section.

Problem 3

Lack of information focus and signifiers make users easy to miss out.

User survey shows that the top 3 factors influencing purchase decisions are: Price, Style and Review. To make information users want more prominent, I used visual to make them stand out.


  1. Make on sale prices font size bigger.
  2. Show more large images and product images.
  3. Highlight top sell products and their review/rating.
More than 85% of users save items in shopping cart, but the conversion rate is not reflectively high, which means we need to find a way to trigger more checkouts for products saved in cart. 


  1. To reduce confusion, combine "shopping cart" and "shopping bag" into one button which is easy to find and click.

  2. Insert inline zones of cart abandonment, home decoration articles and promotion call out, to trigger purchase behavior or other engaging experience.
Survey shows that less than 40% of users have heard about IKEA Family program, and there is a need to drive more attention to the loyalty program.


  1. Create dynamic module of IKEA Family Program Ads and have it pop up across different sections.

  2. Remind users to sign up and log in reward program to gain benefits and perks.