UI DESIGN / UX DESIGN / BRAND IDENTITY
Shape is a concept mobile app that serves as a platform for roommates to assign, organize, and plan out household chores for their place of residence. The app offers an approach that involves teamwork between roommates to complete individual tasks that contribute to a larger goal — making the home a better and more comfortable place to live in.
Shape is the result of a 5-day design sprint that I tasked myself with where I designed a solution for a friend's real-life problem. Through this project, I conducted user research, designed the UI, and created a style guide.
Uneven distribution of responsibilities
Katrina, a friend of mine, was struggling with maintaining the upkeep of her apartment. Household responsibilities were not distributed evenly amongst members of her apartment — leaving her to bear the brunt of the chores.
She also found confrontation to be difficult with certain roommates that were uninvested in following through with their tasks.
Introducing a goal shared between each other
The solution involved the gamification of household chores where members of the apartment would all strive to contribute points into a collective meter that tracks how many tasks have been completed in the apartment through a given amount of time.
By introducing a common goal that would be shared amongst Katrina and her roommates, they would all feel more responsible for playing their part in creating a healthier living environment for their apartment.
Frustration with living situation
I started off this design sprint by interviewing Katrina. Prior to speaking with her, I didn't have any idea about what we were going to talk about — I wanted to approach the interview in a natural and conversational way that was void of any leading questions.
After roughly 45 minutes of conversation, I realized that Katrina kept mentioning her living situation and how she was frustrated with it. She felt that her roommates were not pulling their weight when it came to completing their household responsibilities.
USER INTERVIEW TAKEAWAYS
A few main points I found to be the most insightful from Katrina's interview were:
• All of her roommates seemed to have good intentions, but mainly lacked organizational skills
• Katrina got along best with her roommates when they played volleyball together at their rec center on weekends
Building on teamwork
After analyzing the information I had gathered from the interview, I subsequently began to ask myself these questions:
• If Katrina and her roommates worked well as a team on the volleyball court, why weren't they able to act as a team in the apartment?
• Was there a way to translate their teamwork from the court to their apartment duties?
• If a point system were to be introduced would it give more incentive to complete household tasks?
After completing my sketches, I wanted to receive feedback in the quickest and most effective way possible. I participated in a speed dating exercise, where I pitched my solution for 10 minutes to four other designers.
Most of the feedback I received was generally positive, however 2 out of 4 people had opinions about the point system potentially being too stressful.
Getting the green light!
After multiple iterations, I touched base with Katrina to see how she felt about the design.
Katrina gave me the green light in regards to my solution and liked the idea of integrating a point system. She also felt this solution would provide as a buffer device for direct confrontation when a roommate was slacking off in their tasks.
Home and Stats
The home screen features a meter in the form of an animated house. The house reveals the progress of tasks collectively being completed in the apartment. If the production of tasks were to decrease, the Tamagotchi-esque house would visibly become unhappy.
Katrina and her roommates would be able to monitor the progress of individual activity in the apartment on the stats screen. By revealing this data, it would hold everyone in the apartment accountable for how much they're contributing to the goal.
Messages and Profile
On the messages screen, members of the apartment would be able to communicate with each other regarding their tasks. This would ensure that everyone is on the same page with each other and there would be no scheduling conflicts.
The profile screens would feature details and analytics regarding individual progress and contribution to the apartment. Also, tasks can be assigned to members of the apartment by selecting the "Task" button.
Members of the apartment would be able to add, assign, or view their individual and group tasks by accessing the tasks screen. Adding tasks would be intuitive and easy — simply select "Add New" to enter a new one and then swipe right once its completed.
By toggling to Group Tasks, Katrina and her roommates would be able to view what tasks are currently in progress or planned out.
ship·shape: in good order; trim and neat
The name Shape derives from the word shipshape — which means "in good order; trim and neat".
I went with a pastel red-orange color palette for a lion's share of the visual elements, as it represents warmth and energy — it's also associated with vitality and the changing seasons.
I wanted Shape to have a fun whimsical look to it to conceal the unpleasantness of household chores. The brand has a friendly and inviting character to it that makes users want to participate.
Working within a time constraint taught me how to sacrifice
Overall, I'm really happy with what I was able to accomplish after 5 days of intense work — I feel like I was able to get a lot done within the time constraints I set for myself. In hindsight, I would have liked to interview Katrina's roommates and test a rough prototype of the design solution before proceeding into the wireframing stage, but I was not able to speak with them within my time frame.
Working on a strict schedule taught me how to pick my battles and work more efficiently. Being a perfectionist, I generally struggle with compromising and making sacrifices in my design. However, working with a tight deadline taught me how to value what's really important and what isn't.
My favorite part about this project was being able to witness the different stages of production — how an abstract idea can materialize into a working solution that's able to genuinely help someone out.