Designing a Furniture Rental Service for IKEA
IKEA’s overall ambition is to become people and planet positive, and they are transforming into a “circular” business. As part of this, they are exploring the possibility of adding a furniture rental program aimed at businesses.
Why This Project
IKEA wants to understand how they can best deliver a furniture rental service to businesses.
I was part of a team of 12 who were studying with Harness Projects. We were individually to design an interactive prototype. We would meet 1-2 times a week as a group with a mentor to discuss insights, problems and next steps.
A clickable prototype that demonstrated the User Flow for businesses renting furniture, and the primary features available to manage the account. View the prototype below or click here to open it in a new tab
The prototype is hidden as it doesn’t display well on smaller screens.
The goal was to build a prototype to represent a furniture rental service
- Full Service: Not just focus on the initial rental process, but also the on-going rental management.
- User Flow: IKEA already has an established style guide, the focus was to establish the flow and feature set and not on the visuals.
- COVID-19: Due to COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne, finding test participants was limited to those willing to do remote testing. Some pulled out at the last minute.
- Financial Partner: IKEA intends to partner with a financial company, but are unsure as to the exact terms and process that it will involve. The final solution would refer to the “getting approval” step.
Without research, first I needed to understand what I was creating
There was no initial research phase for this project. The first thing I wanted to do was to understand the problem, rather than jumping straight into designing.
Then I quickly established a flow that I could test and sketched those screens
Testing the wireframes accidentally showed an opportunity
A test participant saw the word “package” and assumed they would be able to select and edit pre-designed furniture packaged. This was a fantastic discovery and provided the opportunity to add this feature to the prototype.
Expanding upon the furniture packages was a winner
After updating the flow, adding the furniture aspect and improving the fidelity of the prototype, testing showed the flow made sense and all the expected features were available.
My final iteration showed a logical flow and opportunities
After getting some validation of the flow and feature-set, I was able to improve the fidelity of the prototype. Unfortunately, my test participants pulled out at the last minute, and I was unable to organise further testing before presenting to IKEA. However, this interactive prototype gave a great indication of the aspects that businesses expected as part of the service, a simplistic flow and the ability to select and customise furniture packages to simplify and enhance their experience.
IKEA was delighted with my presentation showcasing my solution and recommendations
IKEA was thrilled with my representation of the features involved in managing the rental, and the simplicity of the flow for users.
If I’d had more time and full freedom, it would have been great to do more testing and experiment with the UI a little, as I couldn’t venture much from IKEA’s current style
This is a long-term project for IKEA, so it is unlikely that I will see the effect of my work for some time.