A Search for Home Improvement Nirvana: Creating A Central Hub to Do More Projects

For two weeks, UX designers; Theresa Bogart, Taylor Massey and I worked together to provide a new opportunity for The Home Depot to engage its “Do It Yourself (DIY)” customers with a supplemental feature in their smart phone app and web site. As a team, we conducted user research through one on one interviews, contextual observation, paper and wireframe prototyping. Our team refined our observations by developing multiple experience maps, user flows and scenarios before reaching our creative nirvana.

After our initial interviews, it was apparent our team’s target customers were not taking full advantage of Home Depot’s mobile app or its features and were frustrated with the complexity of the DIY section on their current website. We gained valuable insights from our user interviews and observations. Our users articulated their frustrations and gave us general suggestions for their solutions. As a group we were able to distill a visual and interactive solution for all DIYers.

What Do It Yourselfers Need and Why They Need It

Our users were frustrated by having to go to so many different resources during the project’s journey. They visited Pinterest, Houzz and other websites to get inspiration from their photo galleries. Also they visited multiple retail stores to compare pricing and to view products in person. DIYers normally visit YouTube for “project guides and how to” videos.

Our targeted users could use a central location to start brainstorming, planning, designing, tracking and documenting individual projects.

Our targeted users could use a central location to start brainstorming, planning, designing, tracking and documenting individual projects.

We discovered Home Depot had massive DIY content and products to support all DIY home improvement projects but our users were getting discouraged before locating the desired content.

How the Home Depot Will Help Customers Do More Projects

Our solution presented itself as a recipe card with ingredients to complete their project. The idea was the Home Depot application would suggestion ingredients (materials, tools, guides, and videos) to DIY users to complete specific projects. After wireframe and paper prototype testing, we found customers were not on a linear path during the project journey. Customers desired to be inspired from photo galleries online and in-store displays, compare pricing on websites and in-store, purchase items in-store rather than online, review project guide content and carry their editable lists and project details with them at all times. So the challenge became how to get users to the content they desired at any point during the project’s journey.

Insight #1: During user interviews, multiple users preferred the search feature over direct links to content.

“I like to type in the search field to quickly access content. I’m familiar with using Google. I don’t want to click on a lot of links.”

Insight#2: Several users vowed to use the lists feature which allowed them to start a list on a laptop or desktop but also carry and edit it via their mobile and tablet devices.

Final Solution: We added an additional search feature, which computes a suggested project list (recipe) for the searched project, in the mobile app and on the DIY web page. We made the list editable and transferrable to all devices. We decided to give customers the option to save project lists in addition to traditional lists.


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