digs-home

Digs

Helping make your decor dreams a reality.

Role

  • User Experience Researcher
  • User Experience Design
  • User Interface Design
  • Development/Strategy
  • Branding
  • Information Architect

Deliverables

  • User Surveys
  • User Personas
  • Competitive Analysis
  • User Stories
  • User Flows
  • Paper Prototype
  • Wireframes
  • User Testing
  • Hi-Fidelity Mockups

Tools

  • Google Forms
  • Figma
  • InVision
  • Google Chat

What is Digs?

Digs is the solution to a lack of purely home decor related platforms.

The Problem

Home decor has become a massive industry due to several factors like HGTV, DIY bloggers, and influencers. There are sites that can be used for home decor and DIY, but nothing that has been tailored specifically for this particular user or experience.

Research


User Survey

A survey was created to research the habits and interests used by a millenial targeted audience.

The questions were used to focus on which features are most important, and what features in existing products could be improved on.

  • Level of familiarity with cloud storage.
  • Which features are preferred.
  • Level of familiarity with Pinterest.
  • Interest in a site for specifically home decor related projects.
  • Preferred methods for sharing and collaboration.
Survey Results

82%

collaborate with family members.

68%

collaborate with coworkers.

59.1%

want to be able to create files.

41.2%

feel existing products have unfair pricing structures.

58.8%

have used Pinterest

60%

said favorite Pinterest feature is the large quantity of content.

  • Need the ability to collaborate.
  • Prefer a reasonable pricing structure, including a free option.
  • Enjoy access to a wide range of content.

Competitors

evernote
Evernote

Strengths

  • Straightforward, well explained onboarding process
  • Compatible with Google
  • Easy to save various elements from web browser (images, text, snapshots, etc)
  • Easy to add photos, create lists (numbered, bulleted, even have functional checkbox that can be added in anywhere)
  • Web site is very informative (includes plan comparison with list of features available on each)

Weaknesses

  • Frequent user complaints of glitches with newer versions (crashing, unnecessary password prompts, loss of all saved data with update)
  • Recent changes in executives at the company, combined with potential financial concerns and changed branding/pricing have put Evernote in a less than positive light in the news and with its long time users
  • User complaints about sub-par customer service support
morpholio-board
Morpholio Board

Strengths

  • Wide variety of useful features (real world color selection tool, ability to grab images from searched for in web browser, intuitive controls)
  • Offers free version (though it seems mostly to tempt users into purchasing the pro version)
  • Nothing else like it currently exists in the phone/tablet app market
  • Seems like pro version includes ability to create spec books/automatically produced spreadsheets for cost analysis/ordering (to give clients etc)

Weaknesses

  • Lack of clarity regarding how to use the app (walk through is vague and difficult to understand, website is sparse on details/relevant information, videos are choppy and don’t provide much actual content or insight into how the app functions)
  • App can be glitchy - many user complaints of app freezing during onboarding
  • Limited compatibility with other apps/sites due to not having been on market very long
  • Icons aren’t as intuitive as a user might like - difficult to know what a button might do before you tap it
google-drive
Google Drive

Strengths

  • Wide range of features available - ability to create word docs, spreadsheets, slideshows, surveys, etc.
  • Compatible with hundreds of other apps, including Google products (Gmail, Google calendar, etc)
  • Intuitive user experience, easy to understand and use, simple/clean design that mimics how files are organized on a desktop
  • Easy collaboration with other users
  • Offers 15 GB free

Weaknesses

  • Ongoing security concerns regarding how data is collected and used
  • Number of options available can overwhelm users
  • Doesn’t offer any password protection - if something is shared via a link, anyone with that link can access your file
  • Docs/Sheets are not as robust as Microsoft Office
  • Paid options are not as competitive

User Personas

jeff
Jeff Schmidt

Age: 58

Occupation: Retired

Location: Burlington, VT

User Type: Convenience

Motivations

Jeff has a smart phone and a home computer, which he mostly uses for email and calling his family. He doesn’t care much for the newest products in technology and generally upgrades when one of his kids gives him their year old model. He uses a cloud sharing service that came already set up on the phone, but only to download photos from his phone to his home computer.

Goals
  • Doesn’t want to seek anything out or do research on new technologies
  • Keep in touch with friends and family
  • Back up mobile phone images to computer
  • Not get bogged down with dozens of different phone apps
Frustrations
  • Too many products on the market that make it difficult to find anything he might actually be interested in
  • Doesn’t trust anything that isn’t saved to his computer hard drive
  • Prefers one app to do everything, instead of several seperate services.
Bio

Jeff is a pretty easy going guy who likes to spend time with his family and have a couple beers with the guys. He watches football, but doesn’t care about streaming it anywhere beyond his television, and gets frustrated when his children can’t put their phones down for ten minutes to have a face to face conversation. He retired early and coaches the local little league in the evenings and on weekends. He loves playing with his golden retriever and taking walks in the evening with his wife.

jodi
Jodi Fowler

Age: 45

Occupation: Stay at home mom

Location: Nashville, TN

User Type: Personal

Motivations

Jodi is a stay at home mom who uses sharing services to send things to her tight knit group of friends and family. She likes to make to do lists for her kids activities, make meal plans, share aspirational images and photos of her family. She mostly does this from home, but likes to have access from her mobile phone as well, when she’s on the go for her kids’ activities or a family outing.

Goals
  • Mobility between home computer and mobile phone
  • Easy to share with friends and family
  • Help keeping track of daily activities/tasks
  • Streamlined ability to save content/tasks
Frustrations
  • Inability to easily share content
  • Too many steps involved in saving content
  • Inaccessible on mobile or desktop
Bio

Jodi has a full time job of taking care of her three children, ages 8 - 14. Between kids activities, planning meals, taking care of the house and shuttling everyone to their respective activities, she has little time for herself and looks for services that can help her manage time. When she has a moment to herself, she likes to save recipes, share pictures with her friends and family, and relax on the couch with the family cat.

brett
Brett Jones

Age: 35

Occupation: Insurance

Location: NYC

User Type: Professional

Motivations

Brett loves his job and is 100% dedicated to being the best and most efficient worker. He travels for work fairly often, but also prefers to be connected and know what is going in the office 24/7. He loves bouncing ideas around with his coworkers and is always looking for the best resources to make communication around the office as seamless as possible, regardless of a person’s physical presence.

Goals
  • Accessibility from all devices.
  • Easy collaboration with coworkers
  • Updates in real time
  • Staying in tip top shape
Frustrations
  • Not knowing what is going on in the office
  • Unreponsive coworkers
  • Slow internet connections
  • Flat bicycle tires
Bio

Brett is a workaholic. He spends most of his time working or thinking about work. In what little free time he has that isn’t devoted to work, he likes to ride his bicycle all over the city to stay in good shape. You have to stay in shape to keep your mind sharp, plus it gives him more free time to think about work! He also visits his family four times a year so his PTO doesn’t expire.

User Stories

Role Task Importance User Story
All user Save a link found online high As an all user, I want to save a link found online
Save an image found online high As an all user, I want to save an image found online.
Save paint swatches? high As an all user, I want to save paint swatches.
Arrange content by projects high As an all user, I want to arrange content by projects.
Arrange content in "rooms" high As an all user, I want to arrange content in "rooms".
Arrange content in "houses" high As an all user, I want to arrange content in "houses".
Rearrange order of content high As an all user, I want to rearrange order of content.
Create spreadsheet in app for budgeting high As an all user, I want to create spreadsheet in app for budgeting.
Upload image(s) from device high As an all user, I want to upload image(s) from device.
Upload spreadsheet from a device high As an all user, I want to upload spreadsheet from a device.
Leave comments on other users' projects high As an all user, I want to leave comments on other users' projects.
Publicly share a single item with another user high As an all user, I want to publicly share a single item with another user.
Privately share a single item with another user high As an all user, I want to privately share a single item with another user.
Publicly share a project with another user high As an all user, I want to publicly share a project with another user.
Privately share a project with another user high As an all user, I want to privately share a project with another user.
Save a video found online medium As an all user, I want to save a video found online.
Organize content with tags medium As an all user, I want to organize content with tags.
Create spreadsheet to document project planning medium As an all user, I want to create spreadsheet to document project planning.
Take notes on an individual saved item medium As an all user, I want to take notes on an individual saved item.
Upload a video from a device medium As an all user, I want to upload a video from a device.
Chat with other users medium As an all user, I want to chat with other users.
Share own project on social media medium As an all user, I want to share own project on social media.
Share own project via shareable link medium As an all user, I want to share own project via shareable link.
Create projects other users medium As an all user, I want to create projects other users.
Privately send content to other users medium As an all user, I want to privately send content to other users.
Publicly send content to other users medium As an all user, I want to publicly send content to other users.
Upload a PDF from a device low As an all user, I want to upload a PDF from a device.
Share other user's project on social media (with permission from user) low As an all user, I want to share other user's project on social media (with permission from user).
Share other user's project via shareable link (with permission from user) low As an all user, I want to share other user's project via shareable link (with permission from user).
Publicly share a single item with a non user low As an all user, I want to publicly share a single item with a non user.
Publicly share a project with a non user low As an all user, I want to publicly share a project with a non user.
New all user Enter email, create user name, create password high As a new user, I want to enter email, create user name, create password.
Verify email high As an all user, I want to verify email.
Terms of service high As an all user, I want to agree to the terms of service.
Try free professional trial medium As an all user, I want to try free professional trial.
Publicly share a project with a non user low As an all user, I want to take the "Getting started" new user tour.
Returning all user Enter username and password high As a returning all user, I want to enter username and password.

User Flows

user-flow-sketch user-flow

Wireframe Sketches

wire-sketch
Takeaways:

Clickable Prototype

Before testing:
homepage
After testing:
revised-wireframe
Usability Test Results

Branding


Brainstorming

mindmap logosketch1
Keywords:

Moodboards

mood2

For the moodboard, I focused on a specific color palette of blues, greys, with a pop of yellow/chartreuse and a good balance of white space. Blue, grey and white are very popular colors for home decor products, so it was important to keep that front of mind. They are neutral colors that sit back, which allows the content to be the main focus.

Style Guide

"Helping make your decor dreams a reality."

Digs is about loving your home and all it does for you. It's about the extraordinary and the ordinary, finding and celebrating that which brings you joy, surrounding yourself with things that make you feel good. But more than anything, it's about making your digs feel like a place you want to call home.

Type Guide

h1: FreightSans Pro Medium 130

h2: FreightSans Pro Medium 35

h3: FreightSans Pro Medium 30

h4: FreightSans Pro Semibold 25

body 1: FreightSans Pro Medium 25

body 2: FreightSans Pro Medium 20

body 3: FreightSans Pro Medium 18

Spreadsheet: Gemeli Mono Regular 15

Patterns
like-icon exit-icon add-icon help-icon next-icon toggle-icon menu-icon primary-button dropdown-menu default-button alert-button input-1 input-2 house-icon room-icon apt-icon twnhse-icon
Typography

FreightSans Pro Medium

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

0123456789

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.


FreightSans Pro Semibold

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

0123456789

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.


Gemeli Mono Regular

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

0123456789

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Color Palette and Applications
black blue grey green white logo1 logo2 logo3 logo4 logo5 logo6
Logo Misuse
wrong-logo-1 wrong-logo-2 wrong-logo-3 wrong-logo-4
Brand Voice

  • fun | helpful | cool aunt | unfussy | relatable

Execution

High Fidelity Mockups

Before testing:
mock1
After testing:
mock1

After testing my prototype, I made some major changes based on the results. Using the letter "d" in place of the Digs logo did not work because the users were not well enough aquainted with the brand to understand what it was, so I replaced it with the entire word. (One user thought the "d" stood for "dashboard".) I also simplified the nav bar, taking out the "Projects", "Help/FAQ", and "About" links, and consolidating those options into a more streamlined layout. I also added in the users profile image, and reduced the overall height to give the content more room. I also reduced the space between the content, so it's more centered for a responsive site design that will change the number of projects displayed horizontally depending on the screen size.

Preference Testing

pref-desk1 pref-desk2 pref-desk3
pref-mob1 pref-mob2 pref-mob3 pref-mob4 pref-mob5
Takeaways:

High Fidelity Prototype

hifi
Takeaways:

Final Design

final-design
Future:
Takeaways:

What I learned

Conclusion

Throughout this project, I found it most effective to use very basic processes to make the site easy for users to understand, meaning that each process has to broken down into the smallest steps to make each process as clear as possible. Sometimes it seemed counterintuitive to be breaking things down so minutely, but when I didn’t it, became very clear in the user testing and people would get confused. It is also extremely important to use appealing imagery to attract and draw users in. If someone sees something they like, or recognize as well designed, they are more likely be intrigued and continue clicking through your site.


One aspect that didn’t pan out for the final project was the “Professional” subscription. It is still an option to potentially explore in the future, but it for the initial stages it made more sense to scale back the project and focus on more essential components. If time had allowed for it, I would have done more preference and usability tests to better understand what users are looking for, and explore a subscription option through surveys, but under the circumstances it felt like the right decision.


All in all, the testing was clearly the most important aspect of this process. While making the sight beautiful and appealing is vital, you’ll never truly know what people want or expect if you don’t ask them, and that was the biggest takeaway from this project. Make sure to take all user feedback into account, and remember that getting other people’s opinions is the easiest way to gain a more objective perspective on your work.