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Planner 5d

Planner 5D — home design app for creating 2D & 3D floor plans, detailed designs and photo-realistic images of your projects. You can create and share your designs anywhere, anytime, with anyone. You don’t need any special skills, just your phone or laptop and a little creativity.
With Planner 5D, redesigning your home on your own is easy. 

5-day design sprint

Planner 5D — home design app for creating 2D & 3D floor plans, detailed designs and photo-realistic images of your projects. You can create and share your designs anywhere, anytime, with anyone. You don’t need any special skills, just your phone or laptop and a little creativity.
With Planner 5D, redesigning your home on your own is easy. 

The Challenge

Your environment is everything and people who have just moved into a new home or apartment want to make it their own but don’t know what to buy. They generally have an idea of what look or feel they want but are overwhelmed when it comes to choosing specific items.

The Solution

Users tested said they went online to find decorations and while they found a lot of great stuff, they didn’t buy any of it. My answer for this is to create an app that curates products by room (i.e. living room, bedroom) and package them into a starter kit. This ensures that the items they buy all look good together.

Day 1 - Map

Planner5d provided research from interviews asking them to describe their experience shopping for items to decorate their new home or apartment. Their frustrations can be summed up in the following:

  • Budget is a big constraint. Users are looking to spend within the ~$200-$300 range
  • Don’t know how to go about achieving the look they have in mind
  • Items may look good individually but don’t fit in overall
  • Items may look good in professional photos but not in their home

UX Mapping

Mapping out a possible user flow

Day 2 - Sketch

I looked to competitors to see what they are doing right. Two main competitors were Houzz and Wayfair, both offering a large variety of furnishing products. I wanted to see how they present their content and products and deliver it to a more niche audience.

Houzz categorized their products in a ‘organized’ way. For users that already know what they want, say a mirror, they can select that category and Houzz then guides them through the process of selecting a specific item. Having a bestsellers and recommended section gives the customer confidence that they are choosing a good item.

Wayfair’s shop the look feature solves a big frustration among many customers. It shows how a particular product would influence the space and how it looks next to other items. The user can select the item right from the same screen to see details and even use AR to visualize it in their own home.

I sketched variations of what the critical screen could be using the Crazy 8s exercise. 8 screen in 8 minutes to ensure I wouldn’t get caught up in the details.

Wireframes-planner5

Day 3 - Decide

Users mentioned that they knew what look or feel they were going for. Thus it makes sense to make the focal point of the app something users are already familiar with. I decided viewing rooms by themes or looks would be the most important part of the users interaction and designed around it.

I fleshed out the rest of the solution by drawing a storyboard of the users experience from beginning to end. I began with the moving process to give some context, then elaborated on some of the interviewees experiences and tied in how they might discover Planner5.

Day 4 - High Fidelity Wireframes
& Prototype

I designed the interactive-prototype to keep the number of options users have at the beginning limited in order to make the process more manageable.
Planner5 homepage
Homepage
Planner5 Category
Category
Planner5 Detail page
Detail page
Planner5 cart
Cart

Day 5 - Validate

I tested the prototype with five users to see it’s strong and weak points. I wanted to see if the process was still too complex and see at which point(s) they were stuck. Users were people(20-45) who had moved into a new house/apartament within the past year.

Moved in ~9 months ago and have different styles. They want their own items but need ones that don’t clash with each other.

Most of her decor are potted plants. They offer enough variety of their own

Moved in ~9 months ago and have different styles. They want their own items but need ones that don’t clash with each other.

Has a somewhat urban, hip hop style

Moves frequently for medical residency. Wants items that can be picked up and moved easily.

Wants a few core items that he can set down in any place to make it feel less hotel-esque

Year to year lease where the rent is very expensive. Just looking for smaller items on a tight budget

Usually gets anything that fits with the jagermeister theme he already has

Year to year lease where the rent is very expensive. Just looking for smaller items on a tight budget

Looks at Pinterest for things that look good in smaller apartments

One of the biggest errors I found was the select screen needed to be split up into two steps. Choosing a room and then browsing through looks is too broad. 

The other big deterrence is prices of each item are not listed until they view their cart. People don’t want to get excited adding a bunch of stuff only to find out they’ve exceeded their budget. This solution caters to the budget shopper so price should be more transparent in the UI.

After selecting a starter kit, users wanted to see more options to keep adding to their cart but the only way to do so was to go back to the homepage and manually search. Having a section that recommends items based on what users have already added would allow them to quickly customize or mix and match to better fit their preferences.

Aspects of the prototype users liked was being able to search by room. There are many items that create a particular feeling in one room but an entirely different one in another room and these nuances are hard to search for so knowing if it was created for a specific area is helpful. They also liked seeing the products displayed in example rooms. Even though the rooms featured were model homes, users could gauge the size of the items and better visualize how it would look in their own homes.

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