Heather Sterman
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PostUp Design Challenge

Designing a better way for freelancers & remote workers to find great coffee shops & public spaces to work from.

PostUp Design Challenge

Project Goals & Details

PostUp is a new startup that simplifies finding great coffee shops & public spaces for freelancers & remote workers to work from.

This case study highlights my entire process of designing this solution - from learning the needs, behaviors & pain points of PostUp users, to designing a detailed sketch solution.

Research Findings

Affinity Map
Affinity Map

Research Findings

To learn more about the needs of PostUp users, I analyzed interview highlights & a User Persona, and also watched a user walk through how they currently look for a place to work.

Afterwards, I jotted down key findings on Post-Its to create an affinity map. Then, I focused on a few key themes that I wanted to consider in my solution.

Research Takeaways

Below is a summary of the most frequent needs expressed by our users that we decided to solve going forward in our design:

Users want to find a location that is nearby
Users want to know about amenities, such as free Wi-Fi
Users want to know about noise levels & crowds
Users want to see photos of the space to see if it meets their needs

Competitive Analysis

In order to get a better sense of how PostUp can help its users locate work spaces, I analyzed a few of its competitors' pages:

Google Street View
Google Street View

Competitive Analysis 1: Google Street View

Google Street View does a great job of visualizing what a place looks like, as well as the surrounding area.

For PostUp, we can use a similar design to help our users get a feel for the location to see if it meets their needs. They can also share their own photos of what the space looks like. 

Neighbors Map Screen
Neighbors Map Screen

Competitive Analysis 2: Neighbors
Map Screen

This map screen lets users locate the nearest coffee shop to their current location, even if they are out and about. 

For PostUp, we can use a similar design to help our users get a sense of where the closest work space is by simply typing in an address. 

Places Recommendation App
Places Recommendation App

Competitive Analysis 3: Places Recommendation App

This app shows what the inside of a location looks like, and also recommends similar spots based on various categories.

For PostUp, we can use a similar design to help our users see what they can expect when they step inside a coffee shop or work space. They can also receive recommendations on related locations. 


Napkin Sketch
Napkin Sketch

Napkin Sketches

Napkin Sketches are rapid drawings created to generate ideas for the features & visual design of the main flow of an app. For PostUp, I've demonstrated how a user searches for places, sorts through a list, and eventually lands on a detailed screen of the selected location. Next, I highlighted aspects to be carried over to the next round of design.

Here are a few concepts which I wanted to explore further:

  • Large photos, since many users indicated that photos give them an adequate idea of the space, and if it would be a suitable place to work from.
  • An "amenities filter" that allows users to search for places based on certain criteria including WiFi, quiet areas & available restrooms.

Detailed Sketch 

Detailed Sketch 

Detailed Sketches 

This more detailed sketch shows the path a user takes when searching for places near them. After inputting their current location, they can choose some important criteria like distance & amenities.

The user then views the results to see a list of places. From this roster, they are able to choose one to see more detailed information, reviews, & if it fits their work-related criteria. Once they find a place that is compatible with their needs, they get directions to the desired location. 

Next Steps

From Paper To Digital

Now that I have sketched out an idea for how PostUp will look and feel, the next step will be to create a prototype for limited user testing. Individuals who were previously interviewed during the research process will have an opportunity to try out PostUp's search capabilities, before the app is released to the public.