Display your memories
Patchwork is an online retailer specializing in the sale of custom packages of frames to create decorative gallery walls. They have been fairly successful among interior designers in both commercial and residential markets, but they are struggling to attract homeowners and small business owners who have difficulty envisioning how a gallery wall will look in their own space.
They would like to create an AR mobile app to complement their web site that allows users to view a curated frame package in their own room, and move items around to suit their space and personal style. While the app will mainly be geared towards the average consumer, it should be sophisticated enough to be useful for the current interior designer users.
In addition, the team at Patchwork would like to refresh their branding as they launch this new exciting feature.
Patchwork is a fictional company for a DesignLab UX Academy project
Tell me about shopping for your home
How you decorate your home is often considered a way to express your personality. But are shoppers able to visualize how something will look in their space before they bring it home? Would additional tools to help them visualize how an item would look encourage making a final purchase?
With two interview participants and 25 survey respondents, the majority enjoy shopping for their homes, but do struggle with how something will look in their own space, and often end up returning items that don't work. Even with the prevalence of online shopping, a slight majority prefer to shop for home décor in person as they like to be able to touch and feel items before purchasing.
72% of respondents have returned an item after they brought it home
Consumers appreciate tools to help them envision how something will look
84% of respondents would consider using an AR Gallery Wall feature
The shopper and the non-shopper
Who should the app cater to? "The New Homeowner" and the "Tech-Savvy World Traveler" represent two types of shopper to design this app around: one who loves to shop and decorate their home, and one who finds shopping a chore and wants it to be as easy as possible. While both personas have different needs, the basic app experience should be easy, intuitive, and fun to use.
The New Homeowner
It’s been really fun to decorate our first home together. We’re probably getting a little too into it...especially around the holidays! Looking forward to getting it exactly how we’d like it.
The Tech-Savvy World Traveler
I need all the help I can get when I’m shopping for my home! It’s very “eclectic” but not always in a good way. I just find it so hard to figure out how everything fits together!
Make it your own
Our tech-savvy world traveler, Mary, wants to display some photos of her recent travels on the wall above her couch. She heard about the new Patchwork app from a friend and wants to see if any of the frame packages will work for her. What journey will she take through the app?
From user flow to screens
Based on Mary's journey through the Patchwork app, I utilized Figma to create wireframes based on a new user visiting the site - walking through a tutorial first, proceeding with any sorting or selecting of products, and then finally using the room visualizer tool.
After pinning many photos from interior design blogs as inspiration on current trends, I created a logo that represented the purpose of the app, and a soothing, neutral color palette that would not distract from the user's purpose of visualizing items in their own home.
Letting user feedback guide the design
Based on feedback from my DesignLab mentor, group critique sessions, and user testing, I made several iterations before my final screens.
Users found the original tutorial a little confusing during testing. I simplified the language to make it less "techy", adjusted the photos to more accurately reflect the final app, and added a back button in case they missed a step!
While I selected a very neutral color palette, my mentor commented that it came across as TOO neutral, to the point that buttons looked disabled. By deepening the shades, I was able to keep the original feeling of lightness and ease without it being too over-powering.
Room Visualizer Tool
A comment that came up more than once during both my initial research and testing was that people have used AR tools before, but that they don't always work right. While 84% of those I spoke with / surveyed in my initial research would consider using an AR gallery wall tool, it is clear that it needs to be easy and actually do what it says.
I downloaded and used many AR apps during this process, both in home décor and other industries, and took exhaustive notes on the easiest-to-use functionality. While I made minor tweaks after user testing, my homework paid off - while using a limited prototype certainly does not give the true experience of the final app, most users found the AR flow very intuitive, and would know how it works in a "real-world" setting,
With the Patchwork app, users can avoid "winging it" when they're hanging photos and create the perfect layout before making unnecessary holes in their walls. By using new technology, Patchwork is able to become a competitor in their industry and attract new users.