Stakeholders: Project team, IKEA Delft, TU Delft

Project brief

Within this project I worked together with a team of six students, to evaluate the customer experience of the IKEA Selfscan checkout, that was piloted in their Delft store. The Easy Buying team at IKEA wanted to understand how their customers experienced the use of the Selfscan checkout and how they could improve this to decrease the waiting time of customers at IKEA.

My activities

User interviews / Design brief formulation / Client presentations

Opportunities for improvement

Through conversations with customers, we learned that the current interface led to unnecessary checks and steps, which limited the capacity of the self-scan checkout. While customers already dealt with several physical contextual factors that slowed down the process.

Besides this, we found opportunities to make the digital interface more intuitive and help the shopping attendants to perform better checks, without intruding on the physical space of customers. These opportunities were found through a heuristic evaluation that revealed redundant steps and elements that cluttered the digital interface. The digital interface, for instance, nudged customers to check their purchase list a second time, after already packing them, which caused unnecessary delays.

Problem statement

This was mainly due to the involvement of shopping assistants upon customers. Where, without warning, the digital interface would signal a shopping assistant to provide support, even for small problems they feel they could solve themselves. While shopping attendants expressed they had difficulty performing security checks without being intrusive, because of the layout of the item-list.

The combination of redundant steps, presence of the shopping attendants, and intervention of the system, affected customers experience and general flow. Customers, overall, felt that the system would not prevent mistakes, but rather judges them and made them feel distrusted.

Aligning physical and digital interactions with


My activities

UI design / Interaction prototyping / Usability testing / Design presentation

Making users feel guided ans supported throughout the proces

The new digital interface was aimed at helping customers to feel more in control of the selfscan process. While helping shopping attendants to be less intrusive during theft prevention activities.

Aligning the digital and physical UI

Through discussing our initial concepts with the client team, we found a shared preference for a design that would aim to align the physical and digital user flow. This concept was named FLOW.

Through comparative testing of wireframe prototypes and testing in context with a high fidelity to prototype we continuously involved clients and users within the design proces

Guiding the customers of IKEA

The new help pages helped customers to solve more problems , through visual instructions. Next to this pop-ups helped to clarify when and why customers would be assisted by self-scan attendants. As such giving users more controle and preventing unnecessary assistance.

Furthermore, important info for the theft prevention checks, such as the number of articles scanned, is emphasized. This provides more certainty to shopping attendants and helps them keep their distance.

Handling products only once

The physical interface is created to be in sync with the digital interface, nudging users to make a left-to-right set of movements. Through user testing, we found that moving the hand scanner to the front made scanning much easier for customers. However, the cutout on the right led customers to be concerned about balance when stacking and was difficult to reach. For the final design we, therefore, decided to create a flat surface to place products on the right.

Impact & Learnings

Based on our project IKEA made some improvements in the digital UI of the selfscan checkout, taking out redundancies and using the IKEA-man as an avatar. They did implement any changes to the physical interface

Through contact moments with the company stakeholders, I learned how to use insights, ideas and concept directions to start discussions that provided insight into their business needs