Design Challenge    

Muji's online web presence (Canada - North America, 2016) is lacking successful usability and completeness. This user research documentation will highlight both active consumer and web user feedback on how the Muji retailer and website end-to-end experience can be improved.  

 

Overview & Background

Muji is a Japanese retail company with a wide range of household and consumer goods. They are best known for their minimalist design and simple aesthetic. 

The company goes by the concept of having no brand and value more of the importance of meaningful, well-designed products. "The idea that simplicity is not merely modest or frugal, but could possibly be more appealing than luxury." 

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User Research

SECONDARY RESEARCH

Online Observation Findings

• Google and Yelp reviewed provided excellent detailed feedback on customer experiences

• Complaints were documented as pain points to be considered

• Online reviewers assisted well in providing suggestions on customer satisfaction improvements  

 

In-Person Observation Findings

• Attending the Muji International Design exhibition held at the Square One shopping centre in Mississauga, Ontario, I was able to observe the type of crowd gathered at the event

• Attendance of the event allowed me to listen in on many conversations focused on understanding the Muji company and personal experiences shared using Muji products and services 

 

PRIMARY RESEARCH

Conducting Interviews   

• Posting public invitations on Facebook for volunteer subjects to be interviewed and open to having a conversation about the Muji retailer

 

Qualitative Research Synthesis

Behaviour trends have proven majority of subjects prioritized shopping as a frequent activity. There was a fair amount of subjects on both sides of the spectrum when it came to comparisons of willingness to spend more money and travel distance. 

Majority of consumers were all technologically savvy and made suggestions towards preference of online options being available to them. 

 

BEHAVIOURAL SPECTRUM

Mapping of participant behavioural variables  

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PERSONAS

Personas were constructed from aggregated data gathered from real and potential users

Context scenarios & competitor analysis

 Context scenario process and evaluation of design requirements

Context scenario process and evaluation of design requirements

 Competitor analysis of popular e-commerce websites and card sorting navigation categories

Competitor analysis of popular e-commerce websites and card sorting navigation categories


User Interface Design

wireframes 

 

high-fidelity mock ups

 Homepage solving for flexibility and efficiency of use ― IA and navigation broken down into organized categories, search interface brought up front and more visibility to the option of direct search

Homepage solving for flexibility and efficiency of use ― IA and navigation broken down into organized categories, search interface brought up front and more visibility to the option of direct search

Critical Analysis  

  • This project focused mainly on the user research of understanding users behaviours and motivations when using the Muji website
  • Muji (Canada) did not have an existing e-commerce section, but there was certainly a need for consumers desiring an online shopping experience option 
  • Based off the found user pains (inefficient product search) and needs (lack of online purchase ability), I challenged myself to design a new product search and purchase experience

Reflection + Future Steps

  • This was my first attempt at interface design and was an exciting process creating a completely new function for the website and taking sole design leadership over the project
  • Going further, I would like to re-visit the UI and be more aware of usability heuristics (Jakob Neilsen's '10 Heuristics for User Interface Design') while re-designing 
  • More competitor analysis and visual design focus for the redesign will be considered 

    tools utilized

    Adobe Illustrator 


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