HEEM

HEEM is an augmented reality (AR) interior design app. With a number of top furniture store partnerships, HEEM is looking to provide a better experience visualizing furniture in their customer's own space.

UI/UX Designer
August 22, 2019 - September 5, 2019
Self-Directed (Mentor/Peer feedback)
Note: This project was part of a course assignment through Designlab’s UX Academy. All research and design is based on real user interviews as well as feedback from mentors and fellow students.

The Challange

Design an app that allows customers to view a catalog of furniture and place it in their home via AR.

The Solution

• Design HEEM's brand and guidelines
• Design and prototype HEEM's app showing AR capabilities
PHASE 1

Research

I began the process with doing some market research to gain a better understanding of the furniture industry as well as user demographics within the space. This was followed by identifying competitors and conducting user interviews.
Market Research
Competitive Analysis
User Interviews

Market Research

Research revealed there are a number of furniture stores introducing advanced technical aspects to their business. They are having to reinvent themselves to keep up with technology of today. More than 60% of consumers want to shop for furniture with AR and the majority of users fall within the 25 - 34 year old range followed by the 35 - 44 year olds.
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Competitive Analysis

Next, I looked at apps of direct and indirect competitors including houzz, DecorMatters, Homestyler, IKEA Place and Wayfair. I was able to see pros and cons of their apps to see where HEEM might stand out of the gate.
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User Interviews

I conducted several user interviews in order to collect information about their overall experience with shopping for furniture both online and in-person. Of the interviewees, 4 were female and 1 was male. All the interviewees fall between the ages of 34 - 45. Through these interviews I was able to learn more about who the users are and the experiences they have with furniture shopping as well as their experiences with AR.
PHASE 2

Define

To fully understand who the target user is and cultivate empathy, I first constructed an empathy map based on the interviews performed in the research phase. From here I was able to see the users' needs and most common patterns from these users. This allowed me to create a Persona and begin exploring solutions to those needs.
Empathy Map
Persona
POV Statements + HMW Questions

Empathy Map

Through the interviews I performed, I was able to get a good understanding of users and their furniture shopping habits – experiences, feelings and concerns with shopping for furniture. Using an empathy map, I was able to organize this data to better synthesis my research findings. This helped me identify patterns and discover insights and needs of the user.
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Persona

Next, I created a persona "Shannon" based on the findings from the empathy map. Shannon represents HEEM's target demographic. With Shannon, we can better empathize with the target user throughout the design process.
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POV Statements + HMW Questions

After defining the target user, Shannon, I needed to better understand how I can help Shannon with HEEM and its features and functionality. I created point-of-view statements and how-might-we questions to help encourage solutions for those needs.
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PHASE 3

Ideate

Here I explored, through various techniques, potential features keeping both business and user goals in mind through the process. I then followed this up with visually seeing how a user might navigate through the app interacting with these features.
Brainstorming
Product Roadmap
Sitemap
Task & User Flows

Brainstorming

To start, I referenced the how-might-we questions, and conducted a short, brainstorming session to generate possible solutions.

Product Roadmap

After brainstorming, I was able to gather all the potential features and create a product roadmap focusing on a few of those features presented. Below is a list of features chosen for each of the how-might-we questions.
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Sitemap

Next, I created a sitemap in order to visualize the information architecture of the app. This helped me determine the best location for each of the features.
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Task Flow

To better understand how users will navigate through the app performing specific tasks, I produced a task flow diagram. This allowed me to think through the user's process and make sure all possible screens are designed to help the user perform the given task at hand.
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User Flow

I also created a user flow diagram. This helped me think through different scenarios while a user explores the app and gets the information they are searching for.
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PHASE 4

Design

To begin the design process, I sketched out various screens for the app thinking through how the user might navigate to the selected features. I then proceeded to add more context
Sketches
Mid-Fidelity Wireframes

Sketches

I sketched out several low-fidelity wireframes of various sections within the app. Using general design patterns, I added annotation so that sections were clearly defined allowing me to gather quick feedback.
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Mid-Fidelity Wireframes

From the sketches, I designed some mid-fidelity wireframes. These wireframes are what I plan on using for my usability testing in the prototyping phase.
PHASE 5

Prototype

During the prototyping phase, I imported the mid-fidelity screens into InVision app to create a working prototype. This is the prototype I had participants test, going through a few different user tasks.
Mid-Fidelity Prototype
Usability Testing

Mid-Fidelity Prototype

In order to gain insight into how users might react to HEEM's new app design, I put a mid-fidelity prototype together and tested this with users.

Usability Testing

I conducted 5 in-person interviews and had each participant perform certain tasks based on different scenarios. I was able to collect valuable usability feedback from each participant.

Test Objectives
• Test if users can accomplish tasks successfully
• Identify areas of difficulty with the app design that can be improved
• Determine the overall usability of the app

Tasks
• Browse for an ottoman, use AR mode to see how it looks, share with [husband/wife/roommate]
• Check status of order and setup notification for recent order
PHASE 6

Iterate

Here I gathered the feedback from my usability testing through the use of an affinity map. The findings discovered helped me make key adjustments to my screens for the wireframes. I also began putting my research together for coming up with HEEM's brand and overall design.
Affinity Map
Branding
High-Fidelity Wireframes + Prototype
UI Kit

Affinity Map

After conducting the usability testing, I was able to identify key insights and generate the top recommendations from test users through an affinity map. Taking these recommendations, I now had areas of the app I could improve upon, making for a better user experience.
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Branding

Before moving into the high-fidelity wireframes, I began the process of creating HEEM's brand. I created a logo, selected a color palette and fonts as well as styling for imagery. I also created a mood board to help gather ideas for these various elements.

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High-Fidelity Wireframes + Prototype

Next, I created the high-fidelity wireframes using Sketch continuing to use common design patterns for iOS and the new branding for HEEM. Overall, I ended up with 25 screens to help bring life to the chosen features and HEEM's app. Feel free to view the high-fidelity prototype below.
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UI Kit

Once I began prototyping, I maintained a UI kit throughout the process to document UI elements and patterns for future reference. I created all elements using Illustrator and Sketch for use in my high-fidelity wireframes.

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Wrapup

This project introduced me to a fairly new sector – Augmented Reality (AR). Having not really used AR before, I was able to research and explore new techniques and capabilities with regards to mobile devices. Given the time restraints, I could see more research and testing to further push the boundaries of what AR could really do on a mobile device.

Next Steps

• Expand upon the AR functionality to provide more ways for the user to use the technology when designing a new space
• Discuss challenges with developers and engineers with AR capabilities
• Continue with user testing and gathering data
• Continue improving UI Kit based on feedback and adjustments made to new features