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Ikea's fantastiskt flow

IKEA, home to lingonberry jam, mash, and meatballs. But Swedish subsistence aside, IKEA is more importantly famed for its problem-solving proficiency.

First, they solved the issue of transporting furniture in compact cars, with flat-pack furniture. Second, they redesigned the user manual to let people build furniture frustration-free. And third, they've helped their customers make the most of every square meter with space-saving solutions.

But now, the problems that need solving are less physical and more digital. For example: How can you tell if the POÄNG chair will fit in the corner of your room when shopping online? And what color pillows should you search for to match your “bluey greeny” sofa? 

It is problems like these that make shopping for furniture online tiresome, and IKEA knows it. To find a solution, IKEA has turned to tech that is trending: image recognition and augmented reality.

Why this is really good UX:

  • On launching the app, IKEA leverages the UX principle of familiarity with their chat introduction. The user interface mimics the iPhone messaging app to make the user feel at home. This way, the user doesn't have to think about what's going on, or wonder what to expect next.
  • As demonstrated here, the best way to engage someone is by talking to them. The chat introduction is novel, active, and human. The user wants to find out what's next, and IKEA makes it easy to find out with default responses to keep the user moving forward.
  • The emoticons and the adjectives“awesome” and “fantastiskt” in the chat bring the IKEA brand to life and helps them make a positive connection with the user. The messages are short, concise, and staggered to keep the conversation flowing.
  • The app leverages image recognition to help users find products of a similar style and color and augmented reality to see how the life-sized object will fit into their space. The tech is complicated, but the UX is simple, which makes it an excellent user experience.