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Aery
An end-to-end home customization service for busy young adults.
Duration
Type

3 Months, 2019
Sponsor
FJORD,
Accenture Interactive.
Teammates
Sopia Deng,
Yuan Chen,
Bowen Shen.
User Research,
Brainstorming,
Prototyping,
UI Design.

My Role
Sponsored Product Design Project
Final Outcome
(This is a 90s pitch video with voiceover and mockups)
Project Overview
Fjord's Challenge
How Gen. Z & millennials (Young Adults) value about homes? How could we help them obtain that value?
Problem
Young adults who are busy and frequently moving need a more efficient and cost-effective way to customize their temporary living space for enjoying a more personalized home experience, because they think the current customization process needs a lot of time and money.
Solution
Aery is an end-to-end home customization service. It gets rid of the troubles in moving and enables young adults to focus on living their best life at home.
Value Propositions

1

Provide an intuitive and intelligent living space design tool, which can quickly generate visualized home customization plans based on user preferences and needs.

2

Provide an integrated multi-source furniture purchasing, delivery, and assembly services to ensure users can enjoy the most hassle-free moving process.

3

Provide pre-owned furniture options, as well as buy-back programs. Save the expense of home customization.

Research
Contextual Research
We want to learn about young adults' lifestyles and housing trends.
Key Findings
• Young adults are busier than previous generations, with over 40 working hours per week on average.

• They move more frequently, at least twice as often as the previous generations.
*From Manpower Group and Porch.
Their key value about home
• Young adults want to have more comfortable and personalized home experience.
*From 16 young adults' interviews.
Define the Problem
From the in-depth interviews of 11 young adults with moving experience, we discovered 2 problems:
THE NEED
Young adults want to have more personalized home experience.
HOWEVER...
They are busy.
Young adults think the current customization process is time-consuming. So every time they move to a new rental place, they compromised on creating better home experience.
"Being able to personalize my home is important… but that takes time where there are so many other things you would rather be doing."
Michael Suguitan, PhD Student
HOWEVER...
They move frequently.
Young adults worry it is not worth investing a lot of money in temporary rental living space.
"It took me 3 months to finally put everything together...But I'm gonna move in a year."
Jon Lee, Product Designer
Design Objective
Based on research and synthesis, our design goal is:
How to help busy and frequent moving young adults more conveniently, efficiently and cost-effectively customize their temporary living space?
Synthesis
Persona, Mindsets, Journey
We defined our target users through creating persona, mindset maps, and their typical journey of moving.
Design Opportunities
• Online Customization Tool
Create an intuitive space design tool to enable them to quickly get customization plans that meet their needs and preferences before moving in.
• Integrated Service
Create a convenient end-to-end service by Integrating furniture vender resources, logistics companies, and furniture assembly companies to ease their move.
• Recycling Service
Provide second-hand furniture options and buy-back programs. We can provide recycling services when users move away, so that we can reduce the cost of customization.
Ideation
Concept Storyboarding
Hero Flow
Business Viability Consideration
To support our concept experience journey, we have two business strategies.
• The Product Circularity Model.
The buy-back furniture will enter the this model, to provide users with low-cost but quality-guaranteed pre-owned furniture options.
• Partnership with furniture venders.
Our platform can provide users with very diverse product options. And we also can directly get 3D model data from venders.
Market Positioning
We considered how our solution differentiated from potential competitors.
• Ikea
Customers can use Ikea customization tool to make plans of living space. However, it only provides its furnitures.
• Feather
Customers can rent high-end furniture, but it only provides limited options.
• Amazon
Amazon has the most various furniture options. However, it doesn’t have customization tools to inspire customers.
• FB Marketplace
Customers can browse many low-price and pre-owned furniture. However, it has a lot of risks as it's a C2C model.
Conclusion
Our product can have three unique advantages:

1. The efficient whole set recommendations empowered by AI technology.
2. The visualized and accurate design tools.
3. The end-to-end service from online to offline.
Design
Info Architecture & Flowchart
Please Click the images below to see the larger version.
UX Wireframes
We designed two version wireframes. Mobile version can scan the room and use AR to project 3D furniture models into real space, while the laptop version uses full 3D space simulations.
User Testing
Positive feedback
• The whole set combo recommendations by AI save them a lot of time to find customization ideas.

• The seamless integration of online visual living space design and offline services is more convenient and can save a lot of time when moving.
Consideration
Privacy concern of AR. Users worry that using AR might leak private information when scanning the room, such as what they have at home.
Laptop version is better. Laptop version provided a larger view for users to achieve accurate interactions for the furniture fine-tuning function.
*From two testing sessions with 12 target users:
UI Design
Style Guide
Reflection
Keep testing with users to validate ideas, assumptions, and iterations.
I learned it's essential to conduct the speed-dating user test session at the beginning of the design step. During the early user testing session, I must deliver connected prototypes rather than individual images to achieve basic usability. Otherwise users may have too much space to "imagine" the ideas or solutions, and designers might can't get reliable data from the test.