Uniqlo’s digital revolution

In 2021, I wrote about how much opportunities Uniqlo has to improve their digital ecosystem. At that time Uniqlo only had a mediocre ecommerce website, which was a pain to navigate.

How things have changed: Today Uniqlo has a modern, best-in-class website, a superb native app, one of the best self-checkouts and a membership program that connects everything.

Let’s deep dive into each of them:

Revamped Website

While you usually want to gradually update your website to not to alienate your current user base, the complete revamp of the Uniqlo website was the only right thing to do. This way, they were able to adopt a lot of best practices when it comes to an ecommerce website; a smart idea when you want to create a solid foundation that you can gradually improve on. This aligns perfectly with one of the most important UX Laws: Jacob’s Law

Looking at their homepage, we observe the following best practices:

  • A very clean UI and great visual hierarchy which makes it easy to navigate.
  • Observe how they only have 4 main categories that expand into “mega-menus” with all the sub-categories.
  • Strategically positioned apart from the product menu, four distinct icons are displayed on the right-hand side of the interface. This layout is not only visually intuitive but also thematically coherent: the left side focuses on navigation options, while the right side is dedicated to functional elements such as search, my account, favorites, and my cart.
Uniqlo Homepage Screenshot
Uniqlo Website — Clean Visual Hierarchy

Moving on to the category pages and product detail pages (PDP), you see very similar design strategies: stick with mostly the best practices:

  • The interface has all of the important information about the products (price, rating, colors, available sizes,….). You might argue that there is too much information that makes it difficult to scan. For example, they could have show the favorite “heart” only when you hover over the picture and leave the reviews for the PDP.
  • Another interesting design choice is that instead of showing filters on the left or on top to enable the users to quickly filter through the 100s of products that Uniqlo offers, they are repeating the navigation items in the left column menu, which is really not necessary and pushes the filters off the screen (in my screenshot I minimised the menu to show you that there are filter choices, but otherwise you would not even know they are there).
  • Filters are one of the most important navigation items on a category page and all of the most advanced ecommerce websites (Nike, Louis Vuitton…) put great emphasis on designing them well and making them easily accessible to the user.
Comparing the Uniqlo (left) with the Nike (right) Category Page

Uniqlo enhances its online shopping experience with innovative services like digital alteration and fit guides, which bolster consumer confidence in finding the right fit. These features are ingeniously designed to narrow the ‘experience gap’ that often distinguishes brick-and-mortar stores from their online counterparts.

Screenshot of Uniqlo Online Alteration Service
Online Alteration Service

Native App

Designing an app presents a unique challenge: one must accommodate the same amount of content within a more constrained space. Without delving into the details, it’s evident that the app’s design surpasses its website counterpart in terms of innovation.

They came up with some very smart ideas to make this app very user friendly and add value to the customer:

  • Prominent search box. The predictive search will displays items while you type, which makes it super easy to find things.
  • A scanner functionally. Unlike the desktop website, the app is likely used on-the-go or even in-store. This context makes features like scanning items to check online size availability particularly valuable.
  • No hamburger menu, but tabs. Probably their shopper analytics has shown that a user shops for multiple categories at the same time (for examples families), so it makes sense to make the choices visible via tabs instead of hiding them in a hamburger menu.

Overall a very easy to use native app that helps connect the different user experiences at Uniqlo seamlessly.

Screenshot of Uniqlo Native App
Uniqlo Native iOS App

In-store Self-checkout

One of my favorite self-checkouts ever! It is so much fun to use that I don’t mind the lack of human interaction.

First there is the very well designed UI. From the photo below you can see that the navigational items are large, which makes it super easy to use. All of this is supported by great use of easy to recognize icons and a simple color scheme.

The process is also as simple as it can be, enabled by RFID technology: You drop all your icons in the machine and it will automatically scan all of them and total them up. Then all you have to do is to wave your phone to make the payment and you are done. 3–4 steps max.

They even fitured out a clever way to connect your membership on your native app with this checkout: You simple hold your phone screen below this display, so it can scan your barcode (you can see the red icon in the right bottom corner of the picture). Done.

And if you think “What’s the big deal?” I will invite you look at other self-check-out experience like the one from Marks & Spencer that wastes half of the screen with a computer images of a stereotype shopper.

Uniqlo In-Store Checkout (left). Good UI = Easy & fast to use. Marks & Spencer (right)
Uniqlo In-Store Checkout Machine
Uniqlo In-Store Checkout. Designed for a great Customer Experience.


Kudos to Uniqlo for evolving from an outdated, unresponsive website into a state-of-the-art digital ecosystem in just one to two years. Their bold decision to start anew and lay a robust foundation for future developments is commendable. It takes courage to acknowledge shortcomings and strive for excellence.

I’m eager to see what the future holds for Uniqlo’s digital landscape, as interacting with their various customer touchpoints continues to be both intuitive and seamless. Well done, and thank you.

Uniqlo’s digital revolution was originally published in UX Collective on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *