A UX case study is a sort of detailed overview of a designer's work. They are often part of a UX designer's portfolio and showcase the designer's skill in managing tasks and problems. From a recruiter's perspective, such a UX portfolio shows the skill, insights, knowledge, and talent of the designer.
Therefore, UX case studies play an important role in the recruitment and demand for designers.
What Makes a Powerful Case Study
Building a UX case study includes showing the design process through compelling stories. They will use plain language to demonstrate how they handled key design issues, offering a comprehensive view of their process. Well done case studies often include:
- A problem statement and solutions with real applications.
- Relevant numbers, data, or testimonials to demonstrate the work and efforts.
- A story that directly connects the problem to the solution.
Any competent UX professional will know that creating a stunning UX case study is about the little details.
11 Best UX Case Studies for Designers
The best way to understand what a good case study looks like is to go over other examples. Each of these UX case study examples shows a designer's insights, basic skills, and other designers' lessons learned through their experience.
1. Promo.com web editor
For this video-creation platform, UX designer Sascha was brought on to revamp v2.0, adding new features that could work alongside the existing UX design. The point was to work on interface details that would help create a user friendly platform, and that users could find simple enough to use.
User personas mapped by the UX designer revealed the most common confusion to be the process of inserting particular features into the video, such as subtitles. The designer's goal, therefore, was to create a platform with improved editor controls.
The designer then used a common text-editor layout to include top and side navigation bars that made it easy to access and implement text editing.
Key Learnings from Promo.com
This case study focuses on addressing a particular problem that customers were currently facing. Its main theme is to show a problem, and how the product designer addressed this problem. Its strength points include:
- clearly highlighting the problem (i.e. inaccessible and limited video-text editor options)
- conduction research to understand the nature of the problem and the kind of solutions customers want
- implementing research insights into the redesign to create a platform that actively served customer needs
2. Productivity tracker app
The main concept behind this UX case study is to address a pre-existing problem through the design of the app. Immediately from the start, the study highlights a common pain point among users: that of a lack of productivity due to device usage.
This UX case study example addressed some of the main problems within existing productivity apps included:a poor UI and UX that made navigation difficult
- a poorly-built information architecture
- limited functions on the mobile application
Key Learnings from the Productivity app case study
The case study highlights the simple design process that was then used to build the app. Wireframes were created, a moldboard developed, and finally, individual pages of the app were designed in line with the initial goals.
3. Postmates Unlimited
This case study clearly identifies the improvements made to the Postmates app in a simple overview before jumping into greater detail. The redesign goal, which it achieved, was to improve the experience and other interface details of the app.
The problems identified included:
- usability that led to high support ticket volume.
- technical app infrastructure issues that prevented scalability.
- lack of efficient product management, such as batching orders.
A UX research course can help understand the kind of research needed for a case study. The app redesign involved bringing couriers in and running usability testing on improvements. The final model, therefore, had input from real users on what worked and what caused issues.
Key Learnings from Postmates
The Postmates redesign works as a great UX case study for the simple way it approaches problem-solving. Following an overview of the work, it addresses the problems faced by users of the app. It then establishes research processes and highlights how changes were made to reduce these issues.
4. TV Guide
Addressing the fragmentation of content across channels, this case study sought to redesign how people consume media. The key problems identified included:
- the overabundance of content across various TV and streaming platforms
- the difficulty in discovering and managing content across all platforms
To deliver on the key goals of content personalization, smart recommendations, and offering cross-platform content search, the design process included conducting interviews, surveys, and checking customer reviews.
The design of TV Guide enables users to get custom recommendations sourced from friends' and family's watchlists.
Key Learnings from TV Guide
Like previous UX design case studies, this one tackled the issue head-on. Describing the research process, it goes into detail regarding the approach used by the UX designers to create the app. It takes readers on a journey, from identifying pain points, to testing solutions, and implementing the final version.
5. The FlexBox Inspector
Designer Victoria discusses how she developed the investigator tool for the Mozilla Firefox browser. Surveys into understanding the problems with the existing CSS Flexbox tool revealed a need for a user-friendly design. Interviews with a senior designer and other designers helped developers understand the features design-focused tools ought to have. A feature analysis revealed what most users look for in such tools.
The final result of the development process was a design that incorporated several new features, including:
- a new layout
- color-coded design
- multiple entry points to make workflow management efficient
Key Learnings from the Flexbox
This UX design case study starts with a clear goal, then addresses multiple user needs. It clearly defines the design process behind each feature developed by the time, and the reasoning for including that feature. To give a complete picture, it also discusses why certain features or processes were excluded.
6. The Current State of Checkouts
This Baymard UX design case study looks into the checkout process in over 70 e-commerce websites. Through competitive analysis, it isolates problem points in the UX design, which, if addressed, could improve the customer's checkout process.
The study found at least 31 common issues that were easily preventable. The study was designed and conducted on a large scale, over 12 years, to incorporate changing design patterns into the review.
Recommendations based on findings include:
- prominent guest checkout option
- simple password requirements
- specific delivery period
- price comparison tool for shipping vs store pickup
Key Learnings from Checkout Case Study
Each identified issue is backed up by data and research to highlight its importance. Further research backs up each recommendation made within the case study, with usability testing to support the idea. As far as UX case studies go, this one provides practical insight into an existing, widely used e-commerce feature, and offers practical solutions.
7. New York Times App
Using a creative illustration website, the designers proposed a landing page feature "Timely" that could counter the problems faced by the NYT app. Its major issues included too much irrelevant content, low usage, and undesirable coverage of content.
The goal behind Timely was to improve user incentives, build long-term loyalty, and encourage reading. Design mapping for the app covered:
- identifying the problem
- understanding audience needs
- creating wireframes
- designing and prototyping
The end result was an app that could help readers get notifications regarding news of interest at convenient moments (at breakfast, before bed). This encouraged interaction and improved readability with short-form articles.
Key Learnings from NYT App
The UX case study proposes a problem solution that works with an existing information architecture, instead adding custom graphics to the mobile app. It leads from a simple problem statement to discuss the project that could address these issues without changing was customers already loved.
UX case studies focused on redesign include the FitBit redesign, which started off by understanding personas and what users expect from a fitness tracker. Developing use cases and personas, Guerilla usability testing was employed to assess pain points.
These pain points were then ranked based on their importance to users and to app performance. They were addressed through:
- Highlighting essential parts and features of the app
- Changing easily missed icons to more recognizable icons
- relabelling tracking options to guide users better to its usage
Key Learnings from Fitbit
While the case study maps user experiences and offers solutions, it does not begin with an intensive research-based approach. The prototype is successful in testing, but problem factors are not identified with research-based statistics, meaning key factors could have been ignored.
9. Rating System UX
The designer behind the rating system UX redesign sought to solve issues with the 5-star rating system. Highlighted issues included:
- the lack of subjective accuracy of a 5-point rating system
- the issue of calculating the average of a zero-star rating
- average ratings are misleading
Better alternatives include:
- 5-star emoticon rating that relates the user experience
- Like/dislike buttons that make approval/disapproval simple
The final design incorporated both these styles to make full use of the rating system.
Key Learnings from Rating System UX
The UX case study stemmed from insight into the limitations of the existing rating system. The new design addressed old issues and incorporated better efficiencies.
The Intuit redesign was focused on making content readable, more engaging, and accessible. Looking into product personalization, the content was found to be lacking aesthetic value, as well as being hard to find. The goal was to create content that was easy to find, clear, and consistent.
The implemented solutions included:
- increased readability with increased body text and header spacing
- table of contents on the sidebar for easier navigation
- visible and prominent search bar
- illustrations and designs for pretty visuals
Key Learnings from Intuit
The Intuit case study approaches the problem from a practical point of view. It begins with isolating problems with the interface, in particular with the content. This is an example of a case study that breaks down problems into broader categories, and solves each problem with a practical solution.
This UX case study about a social platform tackles a commonly-faced problem from existing platforms. It addresses the issue of recognizing non-monetary user engagement, to help creators identify their user base.
The case study addresses the problem statement and establishes the design process (building wireframes and prototypes) as well as conducting user testing. The final result is to develop "Discover" pages, engaging layouts, and animated interactions to increase usability.
Key Learnings from Jambb
The study goes into detail regarding problem identification, then moves on to propose solutions that take into account the perspective of all stakeholders involved. It then explains why each design decision was made, and proves its efficacy through testing and prototyping.
Developing good UX case studies examples is as much about the details you include as the ones you leave out. Going over UX courses can give you a better understanding of what your case study should look like. A good case study should provide an overview of the problem, include numbers and statistics, and offer practical solutions that directly address the problem. The above-discussed UX case studies provide a good example of the dos and don'ts of a well-structured UX design case study that should be part of every UX portfolio.
Check out these resources to learn more about UX case studies: