Overview

Overview

Muji (無印良品 Mujirushi Ryōhin) is a Japanese retail company which sells a wide variety of household and consumer goods. Muji is distinguished by its design minimalism and no-logo or no-brand policy.  

The project was to create a pop-up e-commerce store for MUJI with 100 curated items customers would love. I designed a responsive website meeting the goals of the users, represented by the three given personas, the goals of the business, and the goals of the brand. I also applied information architecture principles to the structure of the website.

Muji (無印良品 Mujirushi Ryōhin) is a Japanese retail company which sells a wide variety of household and consumer goods. Muji is distinguished by its design minimalism and no-logo or no-brand policy.  

The project was to create a pop-up e-commerce store for MUJI with 100 curated items customers would love. I designed a responsive website meeting the goals of the users, represented by the three given personas, the goals of the business, and the goals of the brand. I also applied information architecture principles to the structure of the website.

The Opportunity

The Opportunity

According to Deloitte's 2017 back-to-school survey, Back to School (B2S) shopping season accounts for about 50% of annual school-related spend and touches about one-quarter of US households. The challenge was to draw price-conscious customers to the relatively high-priced, premium MUJI stores without loud promotions and big discounts.  

According to Deloitte's 2017 back-to-school survey, Back to School (B2S) shopping season accounts for about 50% of annual school-related spend and touches about one-quarter of US households. The challenge was to draw price-conscious customers to the relatively high-priced, premium MUJI stores without loud promotions and big discounts.  

The Discovery

Field Research

The Approach

Field Research

field trip

In order to further understand MUJI's brand, I visited a MUJI store. The back to school season has already started and I saw a lot of teenagers and moms. The store was very calm and relaxing. There were no strong colors, no excessive packaging and no loud promotions. I watched customers engaging with items and I talked to employees.

 

In order to further understand MUJI's brand, I visited a MUJI store. The back to school season has already started and I saw a lot of teenagers and moms. The store was very calm and relaxing. There were no strong colors, no excessive packaging and no loud promotions. I watched customers engaging with items and I talked to employees.

 

Findings from customers

Customers were fascinated and somewhat confused by some items, such as ringed notes and sticky notes.

Touch different sizes of sticky notes and pens.

Grab a pack of multi-color pens and a monochromatic notebook.

Findings from customers

Customers were fascinated and somewhat confused by some items, such as ringed notes and sticky notes.

Touch different sizes of sticky notes and pens.

Grab a pack of multi-color pens and a monochromatic notebook.

Findings from employees 

Two big segments of customers: teenagers and college students.

Teens mainly purchase stationery (the desk supplies) 

College students mainly purchase organization furniture.

 

Findings from employees 

Two big segments of customers: teenagers and college students.

Teens mainly purchase stationery (the desk supplies) 

College students mainly purchase organization furniture.

 

The store visit helped me to decide the aesthetic of the website and to emphasize "Mix and Match" and the customizable aspects of MUJI projects. Also, I needed to make sure each item has detailed information to help familiarize American customers with the items.  

The store visit helped me to decide the aesthetic of the website and to emphasize "Mix and Match" and the customizable aspects of MUJI projects. Also, I needed to make sure each item has detailed information to help familiarize American customers with the items.  

Information Architecture

Card Sorting

Information Architecture

Card Sorting

card sorting

To categorize and label items, I conducted 3 open card sorting and 2 closed card sorting. The biggest findings were: 

1. Users tended to connect a product with the location it is used first and then the function it has. 

2. The definition of 'Stationery' was different between Asians and Americans. 

I happened to do the open card sorting with two Asians and they all labeled the overall desk supplies as 'Stationery', which is how MUJI website labels. On the contrary, the two Americans who participated in the closed card sorting perceived them as supplies made out of paper only. 

To categorize and label items, I conducted 3 open card sorting and 2 closed card sorting. The biggest findings were: 

1. Users tended to connect a product with the location it is used first and then the function it has. 

2. The definition of 'Stationery' was different between Asians and Americans. 

I happened to do the open card sorting with two Asians and they all labeled the overall desk supplies as 'Stationery', which is how MUJI website labels. On the contrary, the two Americans who participated in the closed card sorting perceived them as supplies made out of paper only. 

Structure of website

Structure of website

MUJI_Sitemap corrected
MUJI_sitemap simplified

I needed to exclude some items and change labels from MUJI's current website to curate items more appropriate to the American market. 

I needed to exclude some items and change labels from MUJI's current website to curate items more appropriate to the American market. 

I separated the cleaning tools that people couldn’t associate with a location. Also, I categorized ‘Stationery’ for paper goods to make it more appropriate to the American market. Since the two main segments of customers during the back to school season purchase desk supplies and home organization products, I made the two categories carry more items.

I separated the cleaning tools that people couldn’t associate with a location. Also, I categorized ‘Stationery’ for paper goods to make it more appropriate to the American market. Since the two main segments of customers during the back to school season purchase desk supplies and home organization products, I made the two categories carry more items.

The Approach

Personas

Personas

Persona 2 Edda
Persona 3 – Dexter
Persona 1 – John Copy

Out of three personas, I chose Edda as my primary persona. Edda represented the main customers I saw at MUJI store. She is concerned with what’s “cool” for her kids. However, she always makes sure if the products kids select are affordable enough. I prioritized design elements and features to attract Edda, but also made sure the design covered the needs of the other personas. 

Out of three personas, I chose Edda as my primary persona. Edda represented the main customers I saw at MUJI store. She is concerned with what’s “cool” for her kids. However, she always makes sure if the products kids select are affordable enough. I prioritized design elements and features to attract Edda, but also made sure the design covered the needs of the other personas. 

Feature Prioritization 

Feature Prioritization 

primary persona
feature prioritization

I listed all the possible features for the pop up store and narrowed them down to the most essential features for her needs and pain points.

I listed all the possible features for the pop up store and narrowed them down to the most essential features for her needs and pain points.

The Design

Main user journey - Searching a product 

The Design

Main user journey - Searching a product 

Find a product

Main user journey - Checkout process

Main user journey - Checkout process

Check out process

The Wish List

The Wish List

Wish list process

I also added 'Wish list' for Edda to share wish lists with her kids. Once her kids share their wishlists with Edda, Edda can receive an email notification and easily check out.  

I also added 'Wish list' for Edda to share wish lists with her kids. Once her kids share their wishlists with Edda, Edda can receive an email notification and easily check out.  

The Evolution

Main change 1 - menu bar

The Evolution

Main change 1_ menu bar

iteration for menu bar V2

I initially displayed too many categories on the menu bar and it required too many taps. Users preferred a simple process, so I reduced to two taps. 

I initially displayed too many categories on the menu bar and it required too many taps. Users preferred a simple process, so I reduced to two taps. 

Main change 2 - Product detail page

Main change 2 - Product detail page

iteration for product page

Users wanted to move the 'Add to Cart' button above the fold in case they don't have time to scroll down. I also added 'Frequently bought together' based on the behavior I found during the field trip. 

Users wanted to move the 'Add to Cart' button above the fold in case they don't have time to scroll down. I also added 'Frequently bought together' based on the behavior I found during the field trip. 

What's Next

Due to time constraints, I focused on only the primary persona. I would like to expand the research and competitive analysis to support the other two personas. 

What's Next

Due to time constraints, I focused on only the primary persona. I would like to expand the research and competitive analysis to support the other two personas. 

All Projects

RelProUX/UI & Product

BlushupClient project

DuolingoCase Study

MujiCase Study

I’m a lifelong learner who always tries to be a better designer than yesterday. If you need a collaborator on your project or just want to discuss UX/UI with me, feel free to contact me. 

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