Moving has been classified as one of the 5 major stressors in a person’s life. As I experienced this first hand, I set out to identify the contributing factors to the stress and endeavoured to resolve them through a digital offering. After extensive research and many iterations I designed an app that utilises gamification metrics to help home owners discover their personal style by browsing through the inventory of multiple stores.

User Research
INTERVIEWS, PERSONAS, IA

 

Living in an entirely newly built neighbourhood gave me access to a large audience to research. Through interviews and an online survey I was able to identify my target audience to be a young demographic with affinity towards mobile applications. By evaluating their decision making factor, I classified 3 user groups (Couples, Families, Singles) and created a persona for each. Card sorting revealed user’s mental models formalising the feature taxonomy on which I built the information architecture. Finally, not wanting to confuse users with this new combination of features, I chose a recognisable pattern used by E-commerce apps as the basis for my navigational system.

5 Phases of Moving

Categorisation helped zoom in on matching features.

Navigation System

Reusing a recognisable system used by e-Commerce

Feature Taxonomy

What features did users expect to find together?

Usability Test

Could users complete the 3 main tasks the app offered?

Survey

Gaining an understanding of the context and competition

Information Architecture

How 6 interconnected features are arranged across the app

Market Research
COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

 

Not wanting to reinvent the wheel, I browsed the app stores and identified 4 types of home decor apps: Mapping, Inspirational, Decorative and Shopping. I inventoried the competitor's content and functionality in a table, which provided input for my strategy planning and helped me identify my competitive advantage. While each competitor focused on 1 specific user need, I would endeavour to satisfy all 4 categories with interconnected features, powered by data collected from many store’s inventory. More distinctively, I would try to resolve the phycological force driving these user needs - The Stressors!

The Stressors
TIME

What is the fastest way to know which store has what I like?

AGREEING

How can couples decide on furniture without killing each other?

LAYOUT

Will everything fit, and how can

we arrange the space?

CALCULATE

How much material do I need, does the store have it in stock?

BUDGET

How to keep track of spending

per area of the house?

DISCOUNTS

Where can we get the best prices

and when will things be on sale?

Wireframes
BALSAMIQ
1.  Landing Tab

Quantitive research = Budget. Qualitative research = Inspiration (Discover?) page. Quality > Quantity

2.  Calculator

Lotta manual input = Too long b4 results + Still need product info >> Auto calculate on product page. #Duh

3.  Financial Overview

Depressive to see debt + Not welcoming + No added value + Privacy sensitive = Remove.

4.  Total Items

Confusing: Purchased or wish list total? + Buying multiple items count as 1? > Brain hurts = Remove.

5.  Adding Items

Manually adding items = Tedious >> Skim websites, create product database: Search to add to list.

6.  Amount of tabs

Too many tabs = Intimidating >> Less features: Identify phases of "Moving" > Focus on 1. 

Style Guide
NAME + COLOURS

 

The project name was inspired by my son who started screaming “Kasteel, Kasteel” when he first saw the unfinished castle of Almere from the A6 highway. Considering an international audience I chose to spell castle the way an American would make the same pronunciation as the Dutch word. The subsequent design direction was to have a spacious interface which conveyed grandeur and royalty. The brand identity thus consists of a royal blue, complimented by a deep yellow representing the sun. Reinforcing the philosophy of stress deterring. 

The Result
VISUAL DESIGN
DISCOVER

Based on your shopping lists and matches, 

the algorithm learns your style and presents

suitable items and promotional offers. 

FLOOR PLAN

 Try different furniture lay outs with actual product dimensions in a 2D space and compare the total price with different items. 

MATCHING

Set the filter criteria and invite partners or friends to help browse the inventory of multiple stores in a Tinder-style experience.

CALCULATE

Using product details and your home’s dimensions the amount of material needed is automatically calculated.

SHOPPING LIST

A pre-filed list of items needed per living area helps users set realistic budgets that are automatically updated as they add items. 

COMPARE

Compare the prices of items in your shopping list with other vendors and get updates of sales and specials from the stores you shop at.