Conversational Sleep Assistant
For IKEA Germany, we developed their first interactive service assistant to help people find the right mattress without losing sleep over it. The dialog-based recommendation tool greatly improves product discoverability while at the same time offering an enhanced customer experience. By replacing traditional search with a guided conversation, we demonstrate a new level of product expertise to radically boost consumer confidence.
Assistant with Personality
We aimed to give our virtual assistant its own personality that adheres to the brands core values. The development of a persona with a strong character, which reflects playfulness, curiosity and differs from other assistants laid the foundation for further developments of the assistant’s tone of voice. Users experience a friendly, blithe dialogue. Tapping into user’s emotions, the assistant provides helpful reactions to their choices. It listens to, understands and thus adequately advises consumers. The assistant’s personality is particularly emphasized by the visual responses. Embedded in an appealing design framework, the dialogue flow encourages user interaction, while the character captures their attention and guides them through the experience.
Reduced and modular visual design
We created a compelling visual experience with eye-catching visuals and animations. Our team of art direction, illustrators and motion designers developed a variable design for the assistant persona that derives from the visual core of the IKEA-brand. In that sense, we distilled the brands voice into a conversational service assistant, while also strengthening and broadening the well-known visual world of IKEA. It is defined by a reduced and modular look, conveyed through meaningful animations, which foster the physical feel of the character. Inspired by well-established chat features, the design concept is completed by a very intuitive user interface and interaction design.
Ensuring smooth and dynamic animations
The animation concept supports the overall consultation process. It makes complex product features more easily accessible to users while also adding a playful note to the assistants character. In order to provide the highest quality and performance we worked with Bodymovin: an extension that allows us to render smooth, dynamic and scalable animations. In addition to that we embedded them into a custom-build framework, which helped make the transitions between the different animations seamless. Using this method, we ensured a frictionless and responsive implementation into the application and enabled the design team to focus on their craft.
The carefully designed concept for the assistants personality and appearance allows for extensions into additional product categories. Product information and questions can easily be modified and adjusted to meet the requirements of diverse use cases. The aim is to develop the product advisor to a more profound expert that offers guidance in finding the right product and optimizing the home environment. Moreover, IKEA is able to gather new consumer insights and build up further knowledge about conversational commerce.
Extending the Mobile Journey to Conversational Commerce
In building the mobile service assistant we set out to enhance the customer’s journey, by creating a seamless connection between e-commerce, retail and the customer himself. Shopping online is transformed into an experience, that provides a more personal feel than usual e-commerce platforms. The customer engages in deeper interactions, which gives a unique shopping experience. By providing value and service to consumers with personalized product recommendations the virtual assistant sets a benchmark in this highly competitive market. An interactive experience in a playful, approachable and intuitive way: Just what you expect from IKEA.