Upon starting at Ulta Beauty, design thinking and an iterative approach to product was a very new way of working. Up to this point, much of the app had been designed by the same offshore engineering team developing it. Homepage was the newly formed in-house app teams' first major redesign.










UX Design

Visual Design

Interaction Design


Core Team

Shaun Toomey

Nicholas Eby

Stephanie Chen


I would describe the Ulta Beauty homepage I inherited in one word, “static" — meaning every piece of content or text within the experience had to go through engineering and required a release to be changed.

Text-heavy lists without any visual cues were all that existed on the home screen. Session times for the app were quite low and returning visitors followed the same trend. Without content updating — guests quickly lost interest, bounced and had no incentive to return.

Legacy interface screenshots for Ulta Beauty cart and checkout


The design sprints began by conducting competitive analyses and interviewing internal stakeholders to gather business requirements. We also held a workshop to align the requirements with the feedback we had received from a survey that was sent to our different guest segments.

After aligning with internal stakeholders, Stephanie Chen (UXA) and I began to form and test our initial hypothesis. Our prototypes were tested on UserTesting.com, as well as, in-store with customers at our nearby Ulta Beauty location.

Brainstorming workshop in conference room
Testing in store and white-boarding session


  • Increase engagement with dynamic content
  • Create a media rich experience with regularly updated content
  • Align content to guests' needs and desires
  • Promote new technology such as augmented reality makeup try-on
  • Increase average cart value
  • Increase average session time
  • Increase return to app frequency
Mockups of some of the tested prototypes



Shortly after launching the redesigned homepage we began to see a number of positive results. Session times were increasing, time between sessions were shortening, average cart value saw growth and traffic to editorial content and tools was on the rise.

The internal teams supporting homepage also saw a reduction in time to launch new campaigns due to the dynamic architecture the homepage was built on.


The new homepage design was featured within the Apple App Store!

Screenshots of the Ulta Beauty app featured in the App Store
As good as it gets!

I’m so impressed with this APP. Like another review pointed out, the developers of this APP have totally nailed it. I just love opening up my APP in store to quick reference reviews for products I’m deciding between...Coupons are there at the touch of a button, no more fumbling on the internet at the register. If you are a die hard ULTA shopper, you must download this APP! It will help you save money and be on top of the specials and promotions! It’s that awesome.