UX/UI Case Study №5: Furnishr
Imagine having to move to a new city and juggling multiple things during this process. Wouldn’t it be nice to if upon arrival to your new place all your new furniture was delivered, assembled, set-up and the packaging was recycled for you so that all you had to do was plop into bed and relax? Same.
Furnishr is an online platform which designs a room package for you, delivers the furniture, assembles the items in the right places and disposes of the packaging for you. (I recently caught on to the name being a combination of Furnish + Furniture)
The client wanted to create the user experience and user interface for their current site.
The design thinking process was followed to ensure that design decisions were supported by research and feedback — with an iterative process during the testing phase.
Research and Planning
Primary Research Methods
When initiating the research phase, I decided to conduct interviews with individuals who were looking into furniture, had experience relocating or were looking into relocating. Since Furnishr had an existing site, I wanted to understand how people felt about it and would go about using it. For this reason, I also decided to conduct contextual inquiries.
Primary Research Goals
- Understand the primary users and their motivation for furniture purchases
- Understand their experiences with moving and relocation
- Understand the considerations they take into account when making furniture purchases and before using Furnishr’s platform
- Tools used in the process of purchasing any furniture
- Understand their thoughts on Furnishr’s current website
Primary Research Findings
In general, I also wanted to find out what people thought of Furnishr’s platform. Here are a few quotes from the findings…
I’d say these responses are a good sign for Furnishr and their platform.
After consolidating the findings and insight from the interviews, I created persona’s of target users.
Primary User Persona
Secondary User Persona
Secondary Research Methods
To further understand the industry and their current site, I conducted an analysis of the most clicked components on their site (a heat-map analysis). I observed screen recordings of users going through their site. The goals were to understand user behaviour, where do users get confused? where do users drop off? and try to understand what might be causing these behaviours.
Heat-map and Screen Recording Analysis
From the heat-map and the screen recordings it was evident that users would most frequent the “Find your style” survey, How It Works page, Our Work page and lastly the About page.
A competitive-comparative analysis was conducted to understand how other furniture and furnishing businesses compared to Furnishr. Comparisons were made on whether price estimations were displayed on the site, do they explain their process? Is there social proof (i.e. testimonials)? Do they provide room pictures and product descriptions? and whether the services provided matched those of Furnishr.
Based on the C-C Analysis, it was found that Havenly seemed to fit most categories and was therefore one the main inspirations for the design. Other findings were that price estimates, room pictures and product descriptions were evident in all competitor companies. This indicates that these are key factors for users in this industry.
User Journey Map
A User Journey Map was created based on contextual inquiries and secondary research. I created this map so that I could visualize the biggest pain points for users with the current website and why.
This map indicates how an average user goes through the entire site and their emotions at each step. The least positive responses were found to be at the How it Works section, the “Find your style” survey, and the “Get Your Room” process. Positive responses were found at the About page, Blog page and the Look-book page (that is if they are able to find it). Majority of users are unable to find the look-book but when they did find it they enjoyed looking through pictures of rooms.
- Refine the user-flow with a redesigned “Get Your Room” Process
Currently users have to complete too many steps to reach their goal. They complete six steps in the “Find your style” survey and then have to complete another five steps in the “Get your room” process. The “Find your style” survey was removed to reduce the steps and make the process simpler. However, some of the questions from the survey were incorporated into the “Get your room” process so that the business is still able to get a sense of their users style.
- Make it easy to visually understand how Furnishr’s process works
The fact that Furnishr takes care of so many aspects from design to recycling the garbage is mind-blowing. However, many users don’t understand the entire process right away. Having interactive visuals which illustrate the entire process would help bring clarity.
- Add more room visuals, clear item details, and cost estimates
Adding more pictures of rooms allows users to envision themselves in the space. If they can see themselves with the furniture then they will be more willing to purchase that room. Adding clear details for each furniture item would allow users to find important details like material, size and more to help them make their decision faster. Cost estimates are also a key decision making factor. They want to know if the cost of Furnishr’s services would fit into their budget.
Mood Words and Colour
Versions of the prototype were tested on InVision. Users were given specific tasks to complete as they went through each prototype.
Additionally, throughout the duration of the project, individual screens were subject to approximately three screen reviews where multiple individuals would voice their thoughts and provide suggestions for each screen.
Usability Test Instructions:
As someone about to move to a new city, you use Furnishr to furnish your soon to be new home. Go through the website, find a room you like and check it out. Next, find a way to get a room that is customized for you.
Usability Test Findings
Issue №1: Users found it easy to ignore the tabs at the top indicating the different rooms. It is also inconvenient if the user has to click a tab every time to switch to another room.
Solution №1: Have the next room appear as the user scrolls down.
Issue №2: Users want to be able to see what filters are available as they land on the page and find it inconvenient to click the filter to see what the options are for each one.
Solution №2: Have all the filters on the left-hand side. This way users are able to see all the filters and the options within each filter.
After testing the prototype, making necessary changes, the link to high fidelity version of the prototype is here.
Conducting interviews as part of primary research helped me understand who Furnishr’s users and potential users are. Personas were created to consolidate key traits, goals, and frustrations of Furnishr’s users.
Contextual inquiries were also conducted to understand how users felt about the current site at each step. Heat-map analysis and screen recording reviews (as part of secondary research) helped identify which pages users would visit most. Based on both contextual inquiries and secondary research, a User Journey Map was created which helped visualize the pain points of the current user journey. It also helped with identifying which pages were priority screens to work on.
Pain points were identifies based on both primary research and secondary research. Pain points for business itself were also identified. Proposed solutions were to refine the user flow, make Furnishr’s process clearer, add more room visuals, consistent item details and clear cost estimates.
Lastly, Sketch was used to design mid-fidelity and high-fidelity wireframes. A prototype for the app was also created using InVision.