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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I wanted to thank the wonderful people who manage StoopingNYC
, 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.