Camille Horstmann
UX designer

Less-Mess

A resource to reduce clutter and excess from one's life.

Overview

This project was based on the desire to help people find clarity in what serves them in their daily lives. So often our things begin to own us, instead of us owning them. The goal was to create a resource that would feel like a safe and simple way to start getting rid of the excess in one's life.

The Problem

  • Stress and shame around the topic of “stuff” and “clutter.”

  • Not prioritizing decluttering because there is always something else to do.

  • Not knowing how to start.

The Solution

  • Incorporating inspiration and motivation to users to help keep them motivated in their journey.

  • Finding a way to encourage new thoughts and ideas around the impact of stuff on a daily basis.

  • Creating simple actionable steps to begin decluttering. 

CLIENT

Mobile Conceptual Project

TIME

May-June 2021 (8 Weeks)

ROLE

UX Research, UX Design, UI Design, and User Tester

TOOLS

Figma, Miro, InVision

Research

Primary Research

My primary research was found by conducting five interviews with users I found through a short screener survey sent out through social media and other online platforms. I used the feedback I gained to synthesize my findings into affinity maps, empathy maps, and three personals.

Secondary Research

Through my secondary research, I found the average household has roughly 300,000 items. Up to 84% of Americans worry about the organization and cleanliness of their homes and 55% of them say this causes stress.

Exploring how to create Less-Mess for less stress

Synthesizing

Affinity Mapping

To bring all the data up to this point together, I created affinity maps to see the main themes and ideas across all five interviews.

Exploring how to create Less-Mess for less stress

Empathy Mapping

I found three empathy maps based on the affinity diagrams. The "organizer," the "matriarch," and the "easy goer."

Exploring how to create Less-Mess for less stress

Personas

Using my three empathy maps, interviews, and research findings three personas materialized:

The Organizer - She is young and ambitious. A full-time student working part-time and active in several student groups, she is always on the move. She strives to always be on top of everything she lets into her life while also wants to make time for her partner and friends.

The Matriarch - She is the head of her family. She and her partner have two children and are hoping to have another one in the next couple of years. Paying off the mortgage and building her family's savings are on the top of her list. Life is busy and it's hard to get to the bottom of each day's to-do list.

The Easy Goer - She is laid back and open to whatever comes her way. She loves to spend time with her friends and create meaningful work. She loves to travel in her spare time. Finding consistent work is probably her biggest stressor.

How Might We's

Finally, I rounded out the research process by coming up with How Might We (HMW) statements to target the main problems users faced.

  • How might we create a simple system for questioning what is allowed into our lives on a daily basis?

  • How might we relieve the stress around deciding how, when, and what to get rid of?

  • How might we encourage and promote conversations around decluttering both mental and physical things? 

  • How might we help people find the deeper pain points to why they consume as they do?

  • How might we create mindfulness around our physical and mental consumption?

Ideation

Site Map

Using the affinity maps, empathy maps, and personals as well as my HMW's I created a site map to set the groundwork for finding my user flows.

Exploring how to create Less-Mess for less stress

User Flows

Using my site map I formulated my top three user flows for a new user.

  • Creating a new account.

  • Adding a new goal.

  • Checking current goals and history of goals completed.

Exploring how to create Less-Mess for less stress

Sketches

With my three user flows realized, I began sketching my screens.

Wireframes

With my initial sketches done I moved on to the wireframes. This step made it clear that my original sketches were not as straightforward as I had originally thought. I spent a good week and a half on my wireframes, tweaking here and there and sometimes cutting out or adding full screens at times to create the simple flow and easy-to-digest screens I wanted.

Exploring how to create Less-Mess for less stress

Design

Exploring how to create Less-Mess for less stress

Moodboard

Next, I came up with my moodboard. I wanted my app to look minimal in design and in color. My intention was for users to feel uplifted and calm while using my app.

Exploring how to create Less-Mess for less stress

Style Guide

I created my style guide to help narrow down the color pallets, typography, buttons, and icons. I chose minimal colors and simple font to highlight the simplicity and peacefulness I hoped to bring to the user.

High Fidelity Frames

Using my mood board, sketches, style guide, and wireframes, I began crafting my high fidelity frames.

Prototype

After finalizing the high fidelity frames I created a working prototype for user testing.

View the final working prototype here.

Exploring how to create Less-Mess for less stress

User Testing

Usability Testing

With my prototype of high fidelity frames done, I created a usability test covering my three red routs. Some of my qualitative and quantitative findings are as follows:

  • 3 out of 5 testers struggled with signing in vs. logging in.

  • All 5 testers were able to create a new goal from the home screen.

  • All 5 testers were not able to find the goals/history page on the first try.

  • Some of the testers loved the social feed and some hated it.

  • Several of the testers wanted the goals shown on the home page to be clickable buttons.

  • Several of the testers enjoyed the color pallet and layout.

Final UI Design

After conduction my five usability tests, I added the following to my app.

  • Changed the social feed to an inspirational feed.

  • Made today's goals into clickable buttons.

  • Labeled all icons.

  • Changed the color on the words Sign up/Log in.

Project Learning

This 8-week project was a great way to dive into user-centered design. I definitely learned to ask questions early on, to enter each phase of this project without too much attachment to what I had on the page, and to think outside the box as much as possible.

During each phase of screening, interviews, and testing, I found it so helpful and eye-opening to see what others saw when looking at the same page. Finding the features that clicked and those that didn't was the most exciting part for me during this process.

Reflections

I found this project to be very exciting. Throughout the interviews and style guide, testing, and wireframing, I found I am so passionate about the idea of helping people help themselves. I want to assist people in reducing their stress and creating healthy lifestyles instead of hobbies. I hope to continue improving this project, focusing on creating an easy-to-use and inspiring resource to start questioning what we allow into our everyday lives on a more regular basis.