Meijer – Global Illustration Style
I was brought into the Meijer UX team to create an illustration style that would take the app and website beyond a transactional experience. It was something Meijer had tried to work on previously but without success. They had labeled it “Project Fun” but the ideas, while nice, were not creating a connection with their users or the internal teams. I was confident we could solve the puzzle and create a style that spoke to users and give them the complete Meijer feeling.
To design an illustration style representing Meijer’s core values while creating a connection and bond with their user base. To make the illustrations fun while adding value and respecting the page designs created by the UX team.
Illustration, Motion Graphics, UX Designer
Time To Learn My Audience
I had never heard of Meijer and only visited the midwest twice in my life. I wasn’t familiar with traditions, lifestyle or nostalgia but I knew all of those were going to be very important when reaching Meijer’s audience. I was able to review the website, app and review internal information that spoke to the history of the company. I also had the most valuable piece at my disposal, people who worked for Meijer and were Michigan locals and Meijer shoppers. Now I just had to put it all together and solve the problem Meijer had tried to complete for a few years.
Great UX Research
One of my favorite things is collaboration and I was lucky enough to work with a great UX Researcher who had some valuable information about Meijer, their users, and how the two perceived each other. The researcher shared interviews, data, and everything I needed to understand what had been attempted, what was learned, and how previous attempts had fallen short. I then leaned on them to help with new research specific to styles, nuance, and energy.
Let’s Make It Meijer
With the data in hand, my direction was far clearer and I started creating ideas to review internally. A great conversation came with a small group where we all started talking about lifestyle illustrations and how they could be more relatable to our users. I created several ideas but full color was too busy. I decided to create layers, specifically a fun, but relaxed foreground, a midground that was the supporting actor for what Meijer offered their customers and then a background that consisted of Meijer’s “joy dots”. It was all coming together.
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Present, Collaborate and Integrate
As of November 2022, I have been presenting internally to UX Designers, IT, Marketing, and other stakeholders with overwhelming support and excitement. The next steps are to integrate the illustration work into the Marketing’s style guide and create usage parameters around the work. I will also be creating Figma libraries for designers to use while creating pages for apps and the website. The queue has already started filling up with requests for illustrations for Pharmacy, Accounts, Payments, internal employee apps, and more.