UX/UI Design
UX Research
4 weeks
the problem
Currently, the furniture market is dominated by brands like IKEA and Wayfair - customers are presented with either minimal, Scandinavian furniture that blends into the crowd, or with a site that doesn’t organize their selections by any particular style.

Customers could curate their own selection on a platform such as Pinterest, but they would need to spend a large amount of time sifting through results only to have an inspiration board and rarely a way to purchase their items.
the solution
Khora seeks to solve this issue by creating a furniture aggregator site, organizing results from across the web for any design preference.

Khora has partnered with many furniture brands to offer discounts to users who purchase pieces through their site. Khora redirects users to complete their purchases directly through retailers' websites, and allows users to curate their own furniture inspiration boards on Khora's website.
There's a large number of people with a desire to transition from IKEA to finding unique products.
project goals
understanding trends
In order to create the best product, I conducted a competitive analysis to look at how leading competitors in the furniture market are succeeding and falling short. It was especially important to note where all these competitors fell short so I could inform my design decisions for Khora's website.

Currently, brands like IKEA, Wayfair, and Amazon dominate the furniture market. These brands are known for their wide selection of products and affordable furniture. Many consumers default to IKEA due to their easy-to-pair, minimal Scandinavian furniture. However, many retailers lack the option to sort items by furniture style.
"Doesn't everybody have that one white IKEA shelf, just rotated in different ways? 🤷"
what do users think?
To confirm that the hypothesized problem is indeed an issue, user interviews were conducted to have a better understanding of what users want to see from the furniture market. Most participants agreed they feel like they don't know how to furnish their home and that they would like their home to reflect their tastes.

3 participants in their mid-20s were were interviewed 1-on-1.
22 participants between the 20-50 years old were asked to share their thoughts through a survey.
who is the target audience?
To consolidate all of the users' needs, motivations, and frustrations, a persona was created to have a specific user in mind when designing Khora's key features.

This persona wants to start investing in longer lasting furniture for their next apartment.
They want to be able to style a cohesive interior without much time or difficulty.
They are looking for ways to have more unique styles present in their future home.
"I think it's difficult shopping for furniture if you are new to things. IKEA does a great job grouping collections and showing how it could look, but other furniture outlets don't really put effort into that."
mapping flows
Khora's main goal is to help users discover and learn about different furniture styles that are available to them, as well as save pieces to their own boards to help plan their homes before purchasing their items.

Before building out the wireframes, it was important to go through the main task flow to identify what key pages needed to be prioritized. Although additional pages could be added to the flow in the next steps of Khora's development, the five pages addressed in this case study for the sake of the main flow were the Home Page, Style Details Page, Item Details Page, Saved Board Page, and the Checkout/Cart Page. An additional screen of a separate furniture brand was created to give the user the full experience of being redirected from Khora directly to the retailer at checkout.

Detailed User Flow
key features and elements
The research informed a lot about what features would be needed to address the user frustrations. It was important to identify which features would be added based on both the competitive and user research.
These features were then implemented in Khora's initial sketches and wireframes.

Furniture organized to be easy to pair with other items
Should feel elevated and higher quality
Organization both by style and conventional filters

Information about each furniture style
A style quiz to help new users
Being able to see other users' saved boards

The checkout page had major issues come up during the sketching and low-fidelity wireframe phase.
It needed to allow users to have items from different retailers in their cart simultaneously. Additionally, factors such as different shipping times, varying shipping costs, and unique retailer-exclusive discounts had to be taken into consideration.
Sites like Amazon and Etsy that allow users to have multiple items with different shipping conditions in their cart were referenced when creating the final checkout page - however, because users are not purchasing items directly through Khora, the checkout page also needed to redirect users to the retailers themselves.
As for the branding, a minimal and modern approach was taken - having a simple interface with clean lines would compliment the different styles of furniture present on Khora's site. To make it more visually interesting and stand out from other websites in the furniture market, a darker color was used as the background and arched windows were used as a design element.
Khora focuses on informing the user of their options and providing with them a selection of search results from across the web, categorized into different furniture styles.
When a user finds an item they are interested in, users can save the item for later or add it to their cart. Khora bridges the gap between furniture research and buying.
The main CTA on the homepage is to discover styles, and users would be directed to the style discovery page. The homepage also includes features like a style finder for new users, the option to shop by furniture style, the option to shop by room, and a newsletter for discounts and new products.
Users are able to switch between the furniture styles they are looking at by using a dropdown menu. Each style page provides a quick introduction to the furniture style, with the option to read more. All furniture styles featured on Khora's website have their key characteristics and commonly used colors to make each style understandable at a glance.
Each item page has the retailer's information, item dimensions and materials, assembly and care information, and shipping details. Item pages also feature related items that other users have paired with the product. This can help new users with pairing different items together, especially together with the "Save to Board" feature.
Khora addresses a major problem with other aggregators and allows users to directly add items from saved boards to their carts. Other aggregating sites (i.e. Pinterest) give users inspiration, but leave them with either no link to purchase the item at all or redirect them to the site immediately.
When ready to check out, users are redirected to each retailer with their selected items already in their cart. Each retailer is listed in the cart with their unique Khora-partnered discounts and shipping times, and users are given the option to purchase their items individually or all at once.
usability testing
After developing the product, it was important to put Khora's website to the test with some usability testing.

Amongst the successes, most users mentioned appealing colors and design, as well as liking the organization of furniture by style. Users thought Khora was successful in creating a new way of furniture shopping.

However, there were some pain points that needed to be addressed. After finding the patterns across each category of the user feedback, I identified what features would be necessary to address those concerns, as well as what were the priority revisions.
next steps
The next steps would be to create pages for other user flows, such as account creation, finding inspiration from other users' boards, a personalized style quiz, etc. It would also be necessary to test those additional user flows with more usability tests, as well as conducting those usability tests with a wider demographic to make sure the website is as accessible and approachable as intended. Lastly, working with a developer would help identify what elements aren't working as successfully or as intended.

Make sure users know Khora is an aggregator, not a retailer
Add conventional search features in addition to the current organization of the site

Personal style quiz for new users
Ability to see boards that other users/companies have made
Having more information about each available style