Senior thesis project
4 months (Fall 2022)
Abby Guido
Figma, Miro, Illustrator, Photoshop, Procreate, After Effects
Primary, Secondary Research, Surveying, User Personas, System Diagrams, Brand Identity, App Prototype
Rummi is a digital platform aimed to help clean up communities and help its residents find free goodies while embracing and strengthening neighborhoods. Rummis main feature is a free, online marketplace that emphasizes the idea of stooping. Stooping is typically when people living in dense cities pick up abandoned goods that are normally found at the bottom of residents' stoops and cluttering the sidewalks. Picking up these items for a second chance at life is not a new idea for people living in cities. Rummi features posts of the free items, an explore page to discover items within smaller neighborhoods in your city, the ability for users to post second-hand items, and access to maps to find the items. Rummi aims to make stooping more accessible to city residents while allowing users to both donate and request goods as well. This concept has the potential to both benefit people on a small individual level as well as help the masses by decluttering streets and sidewalks.
While living in the city, I became desensitized to an excess of litter, cluttered sidewalks, and short dumping on empty blocks. I became frustrated with how mismanaged our garbage collection system is. Mondays were garbage collection days on my street, and over time I would see students moving in and out occasionally throwing away excess furniture. My friend introduced me to the Philly stooping account on Instagram - stoppingphl. The account posts images of discarded usable items spotted on the streets of Philly. I started sending the page pictures of items I would see around my neighborhood hoping to help someone else find something useful for free. I was able to successfully stoop from the page once and picked up a large mirror that was thrown away by its original owner. Later that summer, I painted the mirror to match my other furniture. I was so excited with my new piece of furniture and the experience of finding the stoop and upcycling it into something new.
Formative Research
It was clear that Philly wasn't the only city having a problem with abandoned goods, and there is a market of people that are more than happy to search and acquire these goods. While social media is a great platform to share stoops, I knew this concept had room for growth and a dedicated space of its own. To collect my thoughts on the issue of abandoned goods, I created a mindmap, considering who, what, and where this occurs. I started asking myself these questions and let them steer my research.
Challenge at hand
Why is so much being thrown away?

How can this platform help those in need while working to clean streets of abandoned goods?

How might stooping and donating goods be designed to engage and inspire the community while enhancing the connections between users?

How can this platform inspire its users to go the extra mile and upcycle their found item?
I conducted a survey with a goal in mind of better understanding my potential users and their habits while conducting competitor research. In the survey, I asked questions to gain insight into potential users' current practices and began to collect quantitative and qualitative data on participants' thoughts and feelings towards the use of second-hand goods.
Primary Research
The following information was collected from 80 survey responses.
Meaning a majority of potential users already have goods to donate and are excited about using other second-hand goods in daily use.
I was pleased with what I learned from my survey but wanted to dive deeper into the act of stooping and researched what others had to say about it. Most articles centered their focus around the viral Instagram account StoopingNYC which captivates its followers with beautiful second-hand goods abandoned on the sidewalks of New York City streets. Domino lifestyle writer Rebecca Deczynski wrote Stooping: The Best Way to Get Free Furniture and shared her experience. Rebecca saw an Instagram post on StoopingNYC and could not pass up the lamp of her dreams, so she stopped what she was doing to go pick it up. Rebecca posted her #stoopingsuccess online and was reposted by StoopingNYC. She was pleased to be greeted by a welcoming and supportive community that cheered on her victory.
Another article by Greenmatters states “The culture of NYC lends itself to the act of stooping in such an authentic way,” they tell us. “This city has a pretty transient nature to it, whether people are moving to and from the city or even just to and from different apartments yearly. People are always coming and going, and because there are so many ways to live in NYC, and no one apartment is the same, so many great pieces of furniture end up on the street.”
Secondary Research
Site Map
After developing my user personas, I decided to consider how to optimally organize the digital experience of Rummi. Since Rummis' main feature is a free marketplace, I knew that the first bit of information my users would want to see would be a feed of items posted near their location. I divided the home page into two subcategories - feed and explore. The feed would showcase items nearest to the users' location while explore would show users stooping successes or other inspirational second-hand flips. I designed Rummi to have similar patterns that can be found in competitors' market places such as searching for items, the ability to create and interact with post comments, likes, and favoriting items for later.

Rummi is unique in that the items that users post do not necessarily have to be their own, users may also post a discarded sidewalk good or request an item in need. Since this platform heavily relies on the locations of both items and its users I created an entire page dedicated to exploring nearby. While exploring nearby, users can pinch and zoom on the map, scroll by cards, or scroll by photos. This feature is great for users who are looking for items closest to them.

And of course, I created a profile page for users to view their own posts, activities, and favorite items. Even if the user is not able to pick up a certain item by favoriting they would develop a sense of style and have a better idea of what they might be looking for.

With a solid plan in mind, I was ready to start thinking about visual design!
Paper Prototype
Creating an initial paper prototype was my next step so that I could receive visual feedback. At this stage, I learned the importance of having a map feature within the app so users know where they need to go and look for items. I also considered the level of importance that having a messaging feature would be. I determined that messages could live within the top navigation bar along with notifications, keeping them both accessible at all times.

I considered several different methods of organizing information, particularly on the add page. Method one has all the information a user would need to fill out on one page. This seemed like the most practical choice at first. Method two broke this same process into multiple pages. This in turn worked much better for users by breaking down information into bite-sized bits rather than overwhelming them with information.
User Journeys
Having started the visual design stage, I was ready to consider how my potential users would move throughout this platform. Each persona was created with different needs and wants and will have their own way of navigating the platform.

The persona Eric is looking to browse the marketplace for furniture for his new apartment. His user journey shows how he would interact from browsing, to finding a stoop, engaging with posts, to picking up his new piece.

Maya might use Rummi for a different reason. They are tired of seeing items go to waste on or near trash days, and are sick of items cluttering the sidewalks. Maya knows these items are still perfectly usable, but they do not have a car to pick them up and take them to donation centers. Therefore Maya posts items they see on Rummi for others to pick up and enjoy.
Empathy Map
I created an empathy map for my persona, Morgan. Morgan might be using the platform for dual purposes. She is looking to redesign her apartment so she wants to both declutter and give some things away that she no longer needs. She would also like to possibly collect some items for her own apartment too. By creating an empathy map I was able to put myself in her shoes and think about what she might say, think, do, and feel while moving throughout this platform.
Low-Fidelity Wireframes
With this information in mind, I began my first draft of digital prototyping that aligned with my site map and user goals. I worked on wireframing each page I knew was needed for the flow, I decided where icons would be placed, and considered the language used in-app. I considered different layouts for pages, and with help from my professor and classmates was able to come up with a solution.
After solidifying the low wires, I moved on to the high-fidelity wireframes. This process consisted of applying my branding to my wires.
High-Fidelity Wireframes
While designing I spent time considering how users would interact with the app. One key feature I knew was needed was the ability to check if items were still available. This would work by notifying users when they are passing an item. They would click the notification and it would take them into the app asking to confirm if the item is still present in the place it was listed. This gives users the opportunity to confirm the items location and make changed if needed.
Another key feature I designed for Rummi was the ability to set notifications for a tag that they might be interested in. For example below the user is searching in the tag velvet. After not finding anything they are interested in they decide to turn on notifications. This way next time an item is uploaded the user will receive a notification right away, giving them the largest margin of time to go get the item.
Multiple was to search was another important feature for the platform. The home page features two separate ways to view posts, one being feed and the other explore. On the feed page users may search by post in chronological order. While on the explore page users have the opportunity to find inspiration and look for possibilities. This can be done in a few ways, viewing stooping successes or upcycled items. A stooping success is when a user will post a stoop they are excited about to share their awesome find with the community. An upcycled item is when a user takes a second-hand good and gives it some love an attention to make it their own piece
Here a stoop is being marked at picked up, letting users know its no longer available.
User Flows
Each user persona represents a particular user that will use the app for a different use case. For example, the persona Maya will be focusing on posting discarded goods they find in their area, while Eric on the other hand will be exploring the city he recently moved to on foot and will be using Rummi to find furniture to use in his apartment.
Below shows the user flow for Morgan, she is looking to gift a lamp to someone in need in her city of Chicago.
Maya is an active member in her community and uploads stoops to Rummi when she walks past them on her commute.
Special Thanks
I wanted to thank the wonderful people who manage StoopingNYC, Stoopingphl, and Stoopingchicago for allowing me to use their photos and for running these pages that benefit the community!
With both my project and time at Temple University coming to an end, I feel that this was one of the most meaningful projects I had the opportunity to work on. This semester-long project taught me both technical skills and reminded me to take a holistic approach to my design process. On the technical side, I became much more comfortable in Figma, learning and exploring UI patterns and implementing them into my design. Holistically, I improved my UX research skills, began asking the right questions, learned to solve problems with multiple answers, and pushed myself outside of my comfort zone. Overall it was a great experience to create a platform centered around an issue I'm passionate about.

Sustainability is a space I will continue to work in exploring issues and solving problems. If Rummi were to come alive I would like to see it start in dense cities on the east coast and focus on making stooping and free goods more accessible to all.
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