Meet “Agu,” a conversation user interface (CUI) that derives its name from the hometown of IKEA’s founder, the “A” in the acronym “IKEA.” Agu is here to address more complex customer needs such as requesting for a missing part. It is an alternative option to calling live agents.
When Agu interacts with the user, its different states give the user visual feedback on top of audio response, making transparent what it's "thinking."
As an additional feature of the IKEA app, at the sound of its name, Agu will spring into view, bringing forth both a voice-based and graphic user interface.
Users can choose to use voice only or combine touch screen in interacting with Agu.
While researching user pain points around IKEA customer support, we interviewed existing customers and synthesized their responses into two distinct personas. These two personas kickstarted our brainstorm around a flexible support system that can address a diverse range of needs instead of focusing on a specific population.
Below is a user journey map focused on an end-to-end flow of user interaction with Agu. Along the way, Agu guides the user with questions and confirmations, giving them options without overwhelming with too much information at once.
Since IKEA has a very established and well-loved brand, we built on top of it to design a new and exciting variant, adding pops of bright colors as well as creating illustrations to add to the delight factor.
When creating the form of Agu, we brainstormed various ways of representing IKEA through visual metaphors, exploring a range of options from simple to complex, abstract to literal.
To explain Agu, we created a campaign video that walks through one user flow. To build an exciting and delightful narrative, we used an illustrated style instead of heavily relying on photography, which the main IKEA brand uses.