Target Case Study


Overview ―


Target is a retail chain offering home goods, clothing, electronics & more, plus exclusive designer collections.


Part of the sales initiative is to develop a feature that will allow users to view items in AR prior to purchase. This will create a personalized shopping experience.


Researcher, Designer

Design Process ―

Discover ―

Specific Challenge

  1. Limited Hardware Capabilities

Mobile AR is the superimposition of quality visual data on the surroundings that have been captured by they user's camera. Various smartphones have difference capabilities. Most only capture 2D images, which isn't optimal for the creation of 3d hybrid reality . Optimizing the hardware to look streamlined & minimalist with accessibility to technology.

2. Software Challenges

Solutions for the developer's needs have recently emerged with the creation of Apple's ARKit Google's AR core. While they seem promising & capable it’s still early AR tech, and it is in its infancy. Developers are mainly challenged by having to adapt the new kits to recently launched devices. As a result, developers are building AR apps for a single platform. Also, there is not a way for the current software to be integrate a social media function with AR browsers.

2. Social Media

Also, there is not a way for the current software to be integrate a social media function with AR browsers. Meaning there is not a social media share button to share something in AR.


Comparative Analysis

The compares other online retailer’s AR flow, Online furniture shoppers want to know what a product will look exactly. According the the technology research of AR.

purchase online because they can’t see it live. Designing an AR feature for Target’s app will allow shoppers to visualize products in their personal space for an augmented demo of its size, shape, fit, color, and how the product would pair with other items before purchase. By researching what other companies were already doing with we came to a key finding that each company has different kits, accordingly to the technology research we found that Target needs designers to design its very own specific kit.

  • Amazon - “AR View” feature

    • Pins the point to a flat surface

    • Not Proportionate for placement and movement

    • Tap to add to cart form AR view, or meatball

      • UI Cluttered/many products, promos, visibility of AR camera is an issue

      • The team came to an agreement it was intuitive technology

  • Ikea Place - “Try in Place” feature

    • Scans room to measure

    • Proportionate placement and movement

    • Unknown what buttons mean, needs context

      • Ikea Place’s AR technology was the best out of the three, however the team did not come to agreements that some aspects were unintuitive

      • Ikea Place is a separate App that takes you off the shopping mobile site

  • WayFair - “View in Room” feature

    • Will inaccurately place item anywhere, on any surface, in all directions (vertical, horizontal, diagonal and flat)

    • Scaling is not accurate

    • From AR view, ability to add to shopping cart, intuitive check-out flow

      • Wayfair had an intuitive AR flow and walkthrough process

      • AR and shopping feature together in one app

      • However, the placement and movement was not proportional

  • Tape Measure’s measuring feature of a real-life chair.

    • Measures dimensions with a scan of space

    • Feature to pin points then add multiple

    • Works accurately on all surfaces, in all directions (vertical, horizontal, diagonal and flat)


Screeners, Survey & Follow up Interviews

Process: Interviewees were recruited through social media (Facebook & Instagram stories)

Total # of:

Screeners: 33

User Surveys: 29

Follow up Interviews: 5

(Surveyors ranged from ages 22-66)

Quantitative Insights/Findings:

  • ONLY 27.6% of our participants do currently use the target app.

  • 93% of our users feel “neutral” to “Very Comfortable” using an augmented reality feature on an app.


Affinity Mapping

Key Trends & Patterns

  • Customers want consistency when it comes to online & in store products.

  • Customers want a way to visualize how a piece of furniture would fit in their personalized space.  (Color, size, fit)

Develop ― 


Kimberly, a marketing strategist who wants trendy but affordable products inspired by home collection bloggers. She is frustrated with apps that are not simple.

User Scenario

Kimberly, a newly engaged millennial, is moving into her first official condo. She loves the look and feel of the new place but wants to purchase a couch to compliment it. She is unsure of the dimensions of her new living room, but needs a way to visualize how a new couch will fit in the corner of her living room. See Storyboard.


Define ― 


Customers feel dissatisfied because they are unable to visualize how furniture will fit and match with their current furniture and room dimensions.


By offering a feature to view products in augmented reality (AR),  it will allow customers to make more informed decisions regarding furniture purchases.

We will know this to be true when customers feel more satisfied, have more brand awareness and Target’s app sales increase by 5%.

Testing & Iterations ― 


Paper Prototype

Once we had our user flow down we created a paper prototype. We started usability testing immediately and started making changes

  • Some screens we added and removed

  • We were unsure of a few screens

  • We made more adjustments and did more testing until we were ready to move to our high fidelity prototype


High-Fid Iterations

  • Iteration A: View multiple pieces in AR room.

    • For Next steps iterations: I would add a cognitive affordance or a form of symbolic communication to add more items to room, view still in the AR flow. But not over flood the view to reduce the cognitive load for the user.

  • Iteration B:

    • Shopping Cart with Suggested Items, the icon next to it is Apple’s ARKit icon that was supposed to be a button. For further iterations, I would make the button more of a clear signifier stating it’s a CTA. My intention with using Apple’s ARKit’s symbol is that it’s a universally known symbol.


In Conclusion―

It took several rounds of iterations to reach the final prototype. Overall it was a great experience and I learned about technology of the iOS ARKit, which was utilized in this case study. I look forward to the possibilities.

Next Steps:

  • More Usability Testing

  • Continue to iterate on the design

  • Build in more functionality


Wireframes for next steps.


Final Prototype―