IKOU – Multilingual Ecommerce
We assisted IKOU – a new inclusive kids brand – with UI/UX design and web development of their Japanese-English multilingual ecommerce website.
We were commissioned with information architecture, wireframing and the web design, such as user experience (UX), user interface design (UI) and web development. Also extensive quality assurance (QA) was provided along the way, including launch and post-launch maintenance.
The background story of IKOU is that a child of one of the founders was diagnosed with motor dysfunction due to cerebral palsy. Realizing about the challenges to experience normal indoor or outdoor activities together as family, the inclusive brand IKOU was born to alleviate these difficulties. Their first flagship product is the IKOU portable chair which supports children with conditions related to sitting posture. However, they didn’t only want to focus on the functional side but also on the aesthetic and design to create objects that parents enjoy likewise, something sorely missing in this space.
IKOU is an inclusive brand that caters to families with children of all developmental needs, giving them the confidence to experience things together as much as anyone else.
Inclusive design, a design concept to create products to be usable for as many people as possible, aims to remove the barriers that create unnecessary effort and isolation due to disabilities. Halu, a startup company based in Kyoto, is a pioneer in bringing this concept to the Japanese infant products market. Halu has been collaborating with IDEO and D4V since the conceptualization of their brand IKOU’s first product, dating back to before the company was even founded. From design research and prototyping, to branding a business design, IDEO worked closely with Halu as it established its brand, its product line and its business.
Initially we worked through the information architecture via a wireframing and UX design stages. Based on these we created the final UI design kit, styleguide and interaction examples. The aim was to create a variety of flexible section modules which allow to speedily build pages of all kinds.
As base we were provided with a branding kit which included logo, colors, fonts and various patterns, such as brush strokes and paper textures. Based on this we created organized and engaging asymmetric layout patterns. Sometimes we used offset elements to introduce surprises in the page rhythm. To this end we also made use of the brush strokes and paper patterns. The aim was to create a stylish and classy, yet approachable design.
Website Features & Technology
- Ecommerce Website based on WordPress & Woocommerce
- Multilingual English-Japanese setup with WPML plugin.
- Multi-Currency capability (will be enabled later)
- Multi-Shipping: Japan as custom shipping table with shipping classes for domestic carrier. Overseas as UPS live-rates API integration (will be enabled later).
- Multi-Checkout: Credit Card (Stripe) and Amazon Pay.
- Custom theme development with advanced Elementor theme builder features.
- Bilingual and design-optimized invoice label printing feature.
- Mailchimp integration with checkout flow. Integration with Mailchimp audience segments to create user list of English and Japanese language customers.
- Smooth AJAX add to cart function.
- Highly customized & refined copy text enhancements for Japanese orders emails, user account and checkout flow for best user experience.
- Webhosting with WPengine and Cloudflare Edge network integration with automatic & lightweight .webp image generation and security features.
We also assisted IKOU with the launch in various stages, such as:
- Initial go-live as sole product showcase with disabled payment function.
- Various website messaging changes during the crowdfunding campaign stage.
- Enventual activation of the payment function, domestic shipping and further messaging changes after the successful conclusion of the crowdfunding campaign.
- International shipping option roll-out is currently in planning stage.
Other site features and product range extensions are on the development roadmap.