Case Study: Lendable

Through my Devmountain UX Bootcamp, my group made an app for lending personal items out to individuals. This app prompt was given to us to practice creating a mobile app. The app gives you full control on your price and who rents your things. For the full case study below, please view the PDF.

My role

Conducting research, interviews, paper and digital wire-framing, low and high-fidelity prototyping, conducting usability studies, accounting for accessibility, and iterating on designs.

I played a key role in choosing the design scheme of this project, including the color schedule and overall tone. In addition, I was the primary interaction designer, connecting most of the pages to each other culminating in prototypes. 

Project overview

By creating a stuff lending app, we made it possible for people of any age to rent out their items for some extra cash. Our goal was to make the app as intuitive and useful as possible while maintaining simplicity. For the finished prototype, please view this link

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Research findings

We conducted interviews and developed empathy maps to create a better awareness of our users. We narrowed down a majority of potential users to probably being between the ages of 18 and 30, living in the suburbs or city, with an income of less than 50k a year. 

 

Research showed that users were interested in an easy way to connect with potential renters willing to pay money for lender's items not being used. Users wanted to a more personal experience meaning that the renter felt like an actual person, not just a random stranger. 

Here is our Persona:

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Initial Mapping

An empathy map revealed our users' thoughts and concerns about renting out their stuff. We learned that the safety of their stuff was important, but the possibility of earning some money on the side was just as important. Users also wanted to have a 'human' experience and to get to know the people who would potentially rent their stuff. 

In addition to what a user may say, do, think/feel, and hear, we also mapped out the users' pains and gains with renting out their stuff. We wanted to understand why someone would be willing to rent out their stuff and what their fears are. This allowed us to build out an app that addressed these concerns while helping them meet their primary goal of renting out stuff not in use.

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User story mapping

Planning out the users goals was helpful because it helped us identify our MVP and which features were essential to the app. We identified main goals of renting out stuff for money, renting out to good renters who are reliable, and following up with the renters afterward to build accountability.

 

These goals allowed us to create a narrative around the whole transaction, including putting items up for rent, selecting a renter, creating a rental agreement, tracking the rental transaction, and following up with the renter afterward. After the narrative was built out, tasks were identified for the entire process. 

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Starting the design

Drawing out our ideas made it easy to quickly map out what a page might look like. This helped with quickly identifying needed features. We started with sketching to quickly identify which features would go on which pages. This helped inform our wireframing.

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Wireframes and low fidelity prototypes

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We based early designs on user feedback and other similar apps, then made adjustments based on research. We gave users many options and rental preferences to give the most flexibility. We included detailed options on each page to give lenders the most flexibility to showcase their stuff. 

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High-fidelity prototype

After running the usability studies, we received feedback that the check button was unclear, so we changed it to a forward arrow so users know that means they will move forward to the next screen. We also made edits to some of the language to make the app more intuitive.

We noticed some of the pages transitioned to each other awkwardly, so pages were made to help bridge some of those gaps. A detailed menu page was included to help ease navigation. Based on feedback, we also increased the sizes of images to make the stuff being showcased as prominent as possible. An accessibility consideration made was the contrast - some of the lighter colors were not easily visible amidst the lighter background. We darkened the contrast and included some icons to further help with accessible navigation. 

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What we learned

  • You can never be too clear when designing an app. It should be intuitive; the user should anticipate what's to come. 

  • Functionality over aesthetics

  • Don't be afraid to take up space! Mobile screens are small, space is valuable.

  • Users want a personal experience that's easy to use and cuts down barriers to making money.

  • Special consideration must be given to accessibility when making design considerations. 

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