Target Home Decorator - A Mobile App MVP
UX Immersive Design Project
My Role: UX | UI, Design, UX Research, Personas, Visual & Interactive Design, Usability Testing
Tools: Whiteboard, Sticky Notes, Sketchbooks, Axure, Dropbox, Basecamp, Slack
Duration: Two weeks
Teammates: Keith, Tiffany
For my third project as a UX Design Student at General Assembly my team and I were tasked with creating a solution for Target that would push sales and brand awareness for its home goods products.
The goal was to design a mobile app experience that would allow customers to shop only at Target for all their home goods needs, while also offering the ability to discover limited-edition collections by featured designers like Emily Henderson and Dwell Magazine.
Design an engaging mobile app experience on the existing Target app, with the ability to purchase Target home goods directly from expertly designed inspiration rooms.
This was a class project so some of the lectures were woven into our work. For our first assignment we were tasked to create an online survey. My team and I chose to craft our survey as a way to capture insights into how people shop for home goods, and to also find candidates for our in-person user interviews.
We defined the perfect interview candidate as someone who:
- Has purchased furniture and interior design products in the past year
- Is a loyal Target shopper
- Uses mobile apps to shop for home goods
Over 90 people responded to our online survey within the first 24 hours, and the demographics from our survey were inline with those listed on Target’s Corporate Fact Sheet.
WHAT WE LEARNED
- The majority of our respondents are in the 25 to 44 age range.
- Over 50 percent have a bachelor’s degree
- More than half make $50k and above
- The majority describe themselves as advanced in using mobile apps for shopping
- And 63 percent said they use Pinterest for interior design inspiration
I then contacted seven people from our online survey to conduct further User Interviews. These people indicated in the initial survey that they shop at Target for home goods at least two to three times per year; they also care about interior design and finding great deals.
I had a hunch that we could improve the home goods shopping experience by helping customers better visualize interior design concepts. I specifically asked the people I interviewed how they've planned and designed rooms in their homes in the past, and the pain points they had along the way.
FROM THESE INTERVIEWS WE DISCOVERED THAT:
- They often look to Pinterest and designer blogs for inspiration, but are often disappointed when they discover the products in their favorite interior design photos exceed their budget.
- While shopping at Target, these customers have further difficulty imagining the products in their homes. For example, “Will this chair fit well in my room or will it be too big?”
Another key element that emerged from these interviews: customers will often choose a designer room and then look to Target to find similar products at great prices. For example, a customer can find a desk at Target for $500 less than an almost identical piece at West Elm.
We then used affinity diagramming to dive deeper into the data uncovered from our survey and user interviews, and to define our primary and secondary personas.
Primary persona, Kate, browses designer blogs and Pinterest for inspiration and goes to Target to find comparable items at an affordable price. She knows she can find what she's looking for at Target and therefore can save time from having to shop around at other stores. A strong relationship and trust in the Target brand has long been established.
THE CURRENT NATIVE EXPERIENCE
We then did an analysis of Target’s current native experience and noticed that the home goods section takes several clicks to get to, doesn’t quickly showcase their designers and doesn’t include designed rooms where the shopper can easily add products from the room to their cart.
We then looked at Target’s competitors to see how they help customers design their homes.
The store, Havenly, stood out and served as inspiration for our new concept. We loved that they point customers to a professional designer for extra help. Havenly also personalizes the buying experience by showcasing professionally designed rooms.
We then did a comparative analysis on the sites that people in our user research study said they love to use to inspire their interior design choices. Our primary goal here was to discover more features that could inspire Target's new home goods user experience.
Our team was particularly inspired (again) by Houzz as well as Pinterest - especially the ability to discover rooms through the masonry browsing experience.
When then sat down to design our new home goods shopping experience. Our strategy included:
- Create an MVP to quickly validate the feature
- Limit scope for focused goals and a lean process
- Create a masonry browsing and discovery experience
- Help inspire purchases with an image based, immersive and interactive discovery process
- Inform users of home goods designers and collaborator collections
- Bring product measurements forward in product descriptions
- Make the mobile app easy to use since many of our users said they use the Target app while on the go.
One of the core design decisions we made when creating our wireframes was to simply add our new concept to the already existing Target app, versus creating a brand new mobile app. The new concept would be prominently featured on the front page of the Target app, titled ‘Room Designer’. We made this decision because we learned in our interviews that many of customers already shop via the app, as well as in-store, before making their home goods purchases.
We also decided to add several interactive features, including a swipe left and right to see different angles of our designer rooms, as well as a scroll down feature, quick look product view and full product pages. We also created special designer pages, showcasing their how-to videos and the ability to easily add products from the designer rooms to the shopping cart.
My team collaborated on the initial wireframes, so we used a whiteboard to sketch our ideas. These sketches later informed our prototype in Axure.
My team and I made the choice to design directly in Axure due to the fact we planned to use much of Target's designs. This helped us save considerable time. We were on a super tight deadline, creating the prototype over the weekend in order to begin testing at the beginning of the project's second week. I wanted to make sure we got our prototype in front of users by Monday so that we would have time to make two rounds of iterations by the time we did our presentation at the end of the week.
INITIAL SCREEN DESIGNS
THE CATALOGUE PAGE
1. A full bleed view of Emily Henderson's expertly designed room specially for Target. All products can be found on this page can be purchased directly through the mobile app.
2. Kate, our Target Loyalist persona is concerned with finding great products at an affordable price. We brought prices front and center so customers can budget accordingly while shopping. Customers can click on the price tags here to open a quick view of the product and add to their cart or 'shopping list'.
3. I wanted to bring touches of quick education moments to the shopping experience, as brand loyalty is established when a customer learns from a business. Here we educate the customer about the Mid-Century Modern style.
4. One of the core goals was to showcase Target's featured designers. This element not only shows that the room was designed by Emily Henderson, but also links to her full designer page featuring her how-to videos and favorite products at Target.
5. Customers can access a quick view of the product by clicking on the price tags in the full bleed image. They can also scroll down to find a list view of the products in the room and add them to their cart or 'shopping list'.
6. We wanted to make adding items to cart or 'shopping list' fun and effortless. Perfect for shoppers on their bus ride home or on the go.
7. Customers are led to a full product page, complete with product measurements, reviews, product details, availability and related product recommendations.
FIRST ROUND OF TESTING
I then led the testing of our prototype by interviewing five users who fit our primary persona. We found that people loved the full catalogue page where they can browse and purchase products from that room. They also loved the masonry scrolling experience.
The main take-away from our first round of user testing was that many of the micro interactions on the catalogue page needed improvement, and a persistent back button was needed at the top of every page.
After the first round of testing, my team and I made adjustments and then did two more rounds of testing and iteration. I standardized the designer cards, as they weren’t clear to our users that they focused on Target’s featured interior designers. I also increased whitespace to lesson cognitive load in the masonry browsing experience.
We also built in a slider feature into the full-bleed catalogue in our third iteration, as many of our users told us they would love to zoom in closer to featured products. This allows the Target customer to view products within the designer room, with the ability to view pricing and quickly add products to cart.
My team and I created an immersive MVP that Target can launch via their native mobile app. The user experience allows customers to discover inspiring room designs and immediately purchase the Target products found in those photos. Customers are also introduced to Target’s featured designers, and can buy their products directly through the app.