In a previous article, we talked about UX portfolios and how they carefully craft a story of how designers work. Interestingly enough, recruiters decide if a UX freelance designer or an agency is a good match within 5 minutes into the portfolio. In order to persuade these recruiters, the portfolio needs to present an appealing story that showcases the skill, the thought process, and the choices taken for key parts of the designs. With this in mind, today we’ll talk about UX case studies and give 15 excellent examples of case studies with compelling stories.
The Storytelling Approach in UX Case Studies
An essential part of the portfolio of a UX designer is the case studies that pack a showcase of the designer’s skills, way of thinking, insights in the form of compelling stories. These case studies are often the selling point as recruiters look for freelancers and agencies who can communicate their ideas through design and explain themselves in a clear and appealing way. So how does this work?
Photography by Alvaro Reyes
Just like with every other story, UX case studies also start with an introduction, have a middle, and end with a conclusion.
- Introduction: This UX case study example starts with a design brief and presents the main challenges and requirements. In short, the UX designer presents the problem, their solution, and their role.
- Middle: The actual story of the case study example explains the design process and the techniques used. This usually starts with obstacles, design thinking, research, and unexpected challenges. All these elements lead to the best part of the story: the action part. It is where the story unveils the designer’s insights, ideas, choices, testing, and decisions.
- Conclusion: The final reveal shows the results and gives space for reflection where the designer explains what they’ve learned, and what they’ve achieved.
Now as we gave you the introduction, let’s get to the main storyline and enjoy 15 UX case studies that tell a compelling story.
1. Car Dealer Website for Mercedes-Benz Ukraine by Fulcrum
This case study is a pure pleasure to read. It’s well-structured, easy to read, and still features all the relevant information one needs to understand the project. As the previous client’s website was based on the official Mercedes Benz template, Fulcrum had to develop an appealing and functional website that would require less time to maintain, be more user-friendly, and increase user trust.
- Intro: Starts with a summary of the task.
- Problem: Lists the reasons why the website needs a redesign.
- Project Goals: Lists the 4 main goals with quick summaries.
- Project: Showcases different elements of the website with desktop and mobile comparison.
- Functionality: Explains how the website functionality helps clients to find, and order spare parts within minutes.
- Admin Panel: Lists how the new admin panel helps the client customize without external help.
- Elements: Grid, fonts, colors.
- Tech Stack: Shows the tools used for the backend, mobile, admin panel, and cloud.
- Client review: The case study ends with a 5-star review by the marketing director of Mercedes Benz Ukraine, Olga Belova.
This case study is an example of a detailed but easy to scan and read story from top to bottom, featuring all relevant information and ending on the highest note: the client’s review.View The Full UX Case Study
2. Galaxy Z Flips 5G Website by DFY
This is a big project that covers every aspect of the website, including the UX strategy. The creative studio aimed to fully illustrate and demonstrate the significant upgrades over previous models and to enable two-way communication with the customers through an interactive experience.
- Intro: Summary of the project and roles.
- Interactive Experience: The main project goal.
- Demonstration: Explains the decision to feature 360-degree views and hands-on videos instead of technical terms.
- Screens: Includes high-quality screenshots of significant pages and features.
- Ecosystem: Highlight a page with easy navigation across different products as a marketing decision that makes cross-selling seamless.
- Essentials: Showcases a slider of all products with key features that provide ample information.
- Showroom: Interactive experience that helps the user “play around” with the product.
- Credits: As a conclusion, DFY features the stakeholders involved.
A strong presentation of a very ambitious project. It keeps the case study visual while still providing enough insight into the thought process and the most important decisions.View The Full UX Case Study
3. Jambb Social Platform by Finna Wang
Here we have a beautiful case study for a platform that aims to help creators grow their communities by recognizing and rewarding their base of supporters. It tackles a curious problem that 99% of fans who contribute in non-monetary ways don’t get the same content, access, and recognition they deserve. This means the creators need a way to identify their fans across all social platforms to grow their business and give recognition. To get a clear picture of what the design has to accomplish, Finna Wang conducted stakeholder interviews with the majority of the client’s team.
- Intro: Listing roles, dates, team, and used tools.
- Project Overview: The main concept and the reasons behind it.
- Exploration: What problem will the platform solve, preliminary research, and conclusions from the research. The section includes the project scope and problem statement.
- Design Process: A thorough explanation of the discoveries and the exact steps.
- User Flows: 3 user flows based on common tasks that the target user/fan would do on the site.
- Design Studio: Visualization process with wireframes, sitemap, prototypes.
- Design Iterations: The designer highlights the iterations they were primary behind.
- Style Guide: Typography, colors, visual elements breakdown.
- Usability Testing: Beta site vs Figma prototype; usertesting.com, revised problem statement.
- Prototype: Features an accessible high fidelity prototype in Figma you can view.
- Takeaways: Conclusions.
An extremely detailed professionally made and well-structured UX case study. It goes a step further by listing specific conclusions from the conducted research and featuring an accessible Figma prototype.View The Full UX Case Study
4. Memento Media by Masha Keyhani
This case study is dedicated to a very interesting project for saving family stories. It aims to help users capture and record memories from their past. To do so, the design team performed user research and competitive analysis. The entire project took a 6-week sprint.
- Overview: Introducing the client and the purpose of the app.
- My Role: Explaining the roles of the designer and their team.
- Design Process: A brief introduction of the design process and the design toolkit
- Home: The purpose of the Homepage and the thought process behind it.
- Question Selection: The decision behind this screen.
- Recording Process: Building the recording feature and the decisions behind it.
- User research: a thorough guide with the main focuses, strategies, and competitor analysts, including interviews.
- Research Objectives: The designer gives the intent of their research, the demographics, synthesis, and usability testing insights.
- Propositions: Challenges and solutions
- User Flow: Altering the user flow based on testing and feedback.
- Wireframes: Sketches, Lo-Fi wireframing.
- Design System: Typography, colors, iconography, design elements.
- The Prototype: It shows a preview of the final screens.
This UX study case is very valuable for the insights it presents. The design features a detailed explanation of the thinking process, the research phase, analysts, and testing which could help other creatives take some good advice from it for their future research.View The Full UX Case Study
5. Perfect Recipes App by Tubik
Here we have a UX case study for designing a simple mobile app for cooking, recipes, and food shopping. It aims to step away from traditional recipe apps by creating something more universal for users who love cooking with extended functionality. The best idea behind it is finding recipes based on what supplies the user currently has at home.
- Intro: Introducing the concept and the team behind it.
- Project: What they wanted to make and what features would make the app different than the competitors.
- UI design: The decisions behind the design.
- Personalization: Explaining how the app gives the user room for personalization and customizing the features according to their personal preferences.
- Recipe Cards and Engaging Photos: The decisions behind the visuals.
- Cook Now feature: Explaining the feature.
- Shopping List: Explaining the feature.
- Pantry feature: The idea to sync up the app with AmazonGo services. This case study section features a video.
- Bottom Line: What the team learned.
This UX case study is a good example of how to present your concept if you have your own idea for an app. You could also check the interactive preview of the app here.View The Full UX Case Study
6. SAM App by Mike Wilson
The client is the Seattle Art Museum while the challenge is to provide engaging multimedia content for users as well as self-guided tours. Mile Wilson has to create an experience that will encourage repeat visits and increase events and exhibition attendance.
- Intro: Listing time for the project, team members, and roles.
- The Client: A brief introduction of Seattle Art Museum
- The Challenge: What the app needs to accomplish.
- Research and Planning: Explaining the process for gathering insights, distributing surveys, interviews, and identifying specific ways to streamline the museum experience.
- Sloane: Creating the primary persona. This includes age, bio, goals, skills, and frustrations.
- Designing the Solution: Here the case study features the results of their research, information architecture, user flows, early sketching, paper prototypes, and wireframes.
- Conclusion: Explaining the outcome, what the team would have done differently, what’s next, and the key takeaways.
What we can take as a valuable insight aside from the detailed research analysis, is the structure of the conclusion. Usually, most case studies give the outcome and preview screens. However, here we have a showcase of what the designer has learned from the project, what they would do differently, and how they can improve from the experience.View The Full UX Case Study
7. Elmenus Case Study
This is a case study by UX designers Marwa Kamaleldin, Mario Maged, Nehal Nehad, and Abanoub Yacoub for redesigning a platform with over 6K restaurants. It aims to help users on the territory of Egypt to find delivery and dine-out restaurants.
- Overview: What is the platform, why the platform is getting redesigned, what is the target audience. This section also includes the 6 steps of the team’s design process.
- User Journey Map: A scheme of user scenarios and expectations with all phases and actions.
- Heuristic Evaluation: Principles, issues, recommendations, and severity of the issues of the old design.
- First Usability Testing: Goals, audience, and tasks with new user scenarios and actions based on the heuristic evaluation. It features a smaller section that lists the most severe issues from usability for the old design.
- Business Strategy: A comprehensive scheme that links problems, objectives, customer segment, measurements of success, and KPIs.
- Solutions: Ideas to solve all 4 issues.
- Wireframes: 4 directions of wireframes.
- Styleguide: Colors, fonts, typeface, components, iconography, spacing method.
- Design: Screens of the different screens and interactions.
- Second Usability Testing: Updated personas, scenarios, and goals. The section also features before-and-after screenshots.
- Outcome: Did the team solve the problem or not.
A highly visual and perfectly structured plan and process for redesigning a website. The case study shows how the team discovers the issues with the old design and what decisions they made to fix these issues.View The Full UX Case Study
8. LinkedIn Recruiter Tool by Evelynma
A fresh weekend project exploring the recruiting space of LinkedIn to find a way to help make it easier for recruiters to connect with ideal candidates.
- Background Info: What made the designer do the project.
- Problem and Solution: A good analysis of the problem followed by the designer’s solution.
- Process: This section includes an analysis of interviewing 7 passive candidates, 1 active candidate, 3 recruiters, and 1 hiring manager. The designer also includes their journey map of the recruiting experience, a sketch of creating personas, and the final 3 personas.
- Storyboard and User Flow Diagrams: The winning scenario for Laura’s persona and user flow diagram.
- Sketches and Paper Prototypes: Sticky notes for paper prototypes for the mobile experience.
- Visual Design: Web and mobile final design following the original LinkedIn pattern.
- Outcome: Explaining the opportunity.
This is an excellent UX case study when it comes to personal UX design projects. creating a solution to a client’s problem aside, personal project concepts is definitely something future recruiters would love to see as it showcases the creativity of the designers even further.View The Full UX Case Study
9. Turbofan Engine Diagnostics by Havana Nguyen
The UX designer and their team had to redesign some legacy diagnostics software to modernize the software, facilitate data transfers from new hardware, and improve usability. They built the desktop and mobile app for iOS and Android.
- Problem: The case study explain the main problem and what the team had to do to solve it.
- My Role: As a lead UX designer on a complicated 18-month project, Havana Nguyen had a lot of work to do, summarized in a list of 5 main tasks.
- Unique Challenges: This section includes 4 main challenges that made the project so complex. ( Btw, there’s a photo of sketched wireframes literally written on the wall.)
- My Process: The section includes a description of the UX design process highlighted into 5 comprehensive points.
- Final Thoughts: What the designer has learned for 18 months.
The most impressive thing about this case study is that it manages to summarize and explain well an extremely complex project. There are no prototypes and app screens since it’s an exclusive app for the clients to use.View The Full UX Case Study
10. Databox by FireArt
A very interesting project for Firearts’s team to solve the real AL & ML challenges across a variety of different industries. The Databox project is about building scalable data pipeline infrastructure & deploy machine learning and artificial intelligence models.
- Overview: The introduction of the case study narrows down the project goal, the great challenge ahead, and the solution.
- How We Start: The necessary phases of the design process to get an understanding of a product.
- User Flow: The entire scheme from the entry point through a set of steps towards the final action of the product.
- Wireframes: A small selection of wireframe previews after testing different scenarios.
- Styleguide: Typography, colors, components.
- Visual Design: Screenshots in light and dark mode.
A short visual case study that summarizes the huge amount of work into a few sections.View The Full UX Case Study
11. Travel and Training by Nikitin Team
Here’s another short and sweet case study for an app with a complete and up-to-date directory of fitness organizations in detailed maps of world cities.
- Overview: Explaining the project.
- Map Screen: Outlining the search feature by categories.
- Profiles: Profile customization section.
- Fitness Clubs: Explaining the feature.
- Icons: A preview of the icons for the app.
- App in Action: A video of the user experience.
This case study has fewer sections, however, it’s very easy to read and comprehend.View The Full UX Case Study
12. Carna by Ozmo
Ozmo provides a highly visual case study for a mobile application and passing various complexities of courses. The main goal for the UX designer is to develop a design and recognizable visual corporate identity with elaborate illustrations.
- Intro: A visual project preview with a brief description of the goal and role.
- Identity: Colors, fonts, and logo.
- Wireframes: The thinking process.
- Interactions: Showcase of the main interactions with animated visuals.
- Conclusion: Preview of the final screens.
The case study is short and highly visual, easy to scan and comprehend. Even without enough insight and text copy, we can clearly understand the thought process behind and what the designer was working to accomplish.View The Full UX Case Study
13. An Approach to Digitization in Education by Moritz Oesterlau
This case study is for an online platform for challenge-based learning. The designer’s role was to create an entire product design from research to conception, visualization, and testing. It’s a very in-depth UX case study extremely valuable for creatives in terms of how to structure the works in their portfolio.
- Intro: Introducing the client, project time, sector, and the designer’s role.
- Competitive Analysis: the case study starts off with the process of creating competitive profiles. It explains the opportunities and challenges of e-learning that were taken into consideration.
- Interviews and Surveys: Listing the goals of these surveys as well as the valuable insights they found.
- Building Empathy: The process and defining the three target profiles and how will the project cater to their needs. This section includes a PDF of the user personas.
- Structure of the Course Curriculum: Again with the attached PDF files, you can see the schemes of the task model and customer experience map.
- Information Architecture: The defined and evaluated sitemap for TINIA
- Wireframing, Prototyping, and Usability Testing: An exploration of the work process with paper and clickable prototypes.
- Visual Design: Styleguide preview and detailed PDF.
- A/B and Click Tests: Reviewing the usability assumptions.
- Conclusion: A detailed reflection about the importance of the project, what the designer learned, and what the outcome was.
This is a very important case study and there’s a lot to take from it. First, the project was too ambitious and the goal was too big and vague. Although the result is rather an approximation and, above all, at the conceptual level requires further work, the case study is incredibly insightful, informative, and insightful.View The Full UX Case Study
14. In-class Review Game by Elizabeth Lin
This project was never realized but the case study remains and it’s worth checking out. Elizabeth Lin takes on how to create an engaging in-class review game with a lot of research, brainstorming, and a well-structured detailed process.
- Intro: What makes the project special.
- Research: Explaining how they approached the research and what they’ve learned.
- Brainstorming: the process and narrowing all How Might We questions to one final question: How might we create an engaging in-class math review game.
- Game Loop and Storyboarding: Sketch of the core game loop and the general flow of the game.
- Prototyping: Outlining basic game mechanics and rounds in detail.
- Future Explorations: The case study goes further with explorations showing how the product could look if we expanded upon the idea even further.
- What Happened?: The outcome of the project.
This case study tells the story of the project in detail and expands on it with great ideas for future development.View The Full UX Case Study
15. Virtual Makeup Studio by Zara Dei
And for our last example, this is a case study that tells the story of an app-free shippable makeover experience integrated with the Covergirl website. The team has to find a way to improve conversion by supporting customers in their purchase decisions as well as to increase basket size by encouraging them to buy complementary products.
- Intro: Introducing the project and the main challenges.
- Discovery and Research: Using existing product information on the website to improve the experience.
- Onboarding and Perceived Performance: Avoiding compatibility issues and the barrier of a user having to download an app. The section explains the ideas for features that will keep users engaged, such as a camera with face scan animation.
- Fallback Experience and Error States: Providing clear error messaging along with troubleshooting instructions.
- Interactions: explaining the main interactions and the decisions behind them.
- Shared Design Language: Explaining the decision to provide links on each product page so users could be directed to their preferred retailer to place their order. Including recommended products to provide users with alternatives.
- Outcome and Learning: The good ending.
- Project Information: Listing all stakeholders, the UX designer’s role in a bullet list, and design tools.
These were the 15 UX case studies we wanted to share with you as they all tell their story differently. If we can take something valuable about what are the best practices for making an outstanding case study, it will be something like this.
Just like with literature, storytelling isn’t a blueprint: you can write short stories, long in-depth analyses, or create a visual novel to show your story rather than tell. The detailed in-depth UX case studies with lots of insights aren’t superior to the shorter visual ones or vice versa. What’s important is for a case study to give a comprehensive view of the process, challenges, decisions, and design thinking behind the completed project.
In conclusion, a UX case study should always include a summary; the challenges; the personas; roles and responsibilities; the process; as well as the outcomes, and lessons learned.
In the meantime, why not browse through some more related insights on web development and web design?