Rooms to Go

A customizable 3D in-store B2C experience designed and built in 8 weeks

Rooms to Go, a national furniture store, sought to create a sectional-builder app to coincide with the launch of their new sustainable furniture line — Modular One. By analyzing competitive experiences (IKEA, Lovesac, Crate & Barrel, and West Elm), designing a clickable wireframe prototype, and conducting usability research, I delivered and validated an innovative solution to a complex challenge (a customizable 3D canvas and sales flow) in record time.

Role: UX lead

Tools: FigJam, Figma, Zoom, Otter.ai

Impact

Designed and validated an enterprise-level product in 8 weeks

Discovered opportunities to deliver a better product than Room to Go’s competitors

Developed an innovative solution when a major product pivot threatened to derail the project

Deep dive

Discover

Success criteria

I led a workshop with the client to bring further definition to our shared definition of success. I returned to these criteria at every client meeting to reassure everyone that we were staying on track with our project goals.

Business objective

To create an engaging product configurator and corresponding informational website that drives sales of the new product to consumers.

Jobs to be Done

  • Complete a sectional purchase online or in-store
  • Build a sectional from scratch
  • Build a sectional starting from one of 14 different configurations
  • Send a PDF of the sectional design to the customer’s email address
  • Change color of sectional
  • Change views of sectional
  • Troubleshoot design when some pieces are out of stock

Problem statement

Customers need compelling reasons to purchase a new product line of furniture that they are unfamiliar with because it’s easier to go with what you know or what already has word of mouth appeal.

Solution hypothesis

We believe that by offering customers additional ease and access in customizing their sectionals with a configurator tool and by appealing to the social norm of making more environmentally sustainable consumer choices, we will encourage early adoption of this new brand in the market. We will know this to be true when we see record-breaking sales compared to other Rooms to Go product launches.

Comparative analysis

To understand what design patterns users may have already been exposed to, I analyzed similar sectional builders by IKEA, Lovesac, Crate & Barrel, and West Elm. By comparing each of these experiences, I was able to generate ideas that would improve on these experiences while requiring less development time.

Define

User flows

By diagramming user flows for the customers and sales associates’ experiences, I reduced the steps required to add/remove/change sectional pieces, and I provided users with more freedom and control by giving them the option to either start from a base configuration or start from scratch.

Sitemap

These user flows provided the insights I needed to propose a new sitemap, namely where onboarding should occur for customers and that we needed an extra sign-in screen for the store manager so that the kiosk would only display inventory that was in stock for that location.

Wireframes

With the sitemap established, I had a clear inventory of key screens I needed to design to complete the experience. So I created some loose wireframe sketches to demonstrate the overall UX strategy to the product team.

Iterate

Prototype and usability research

I gathered additional insights through multiple rounds of usability research that allowed me to reduce friction or confusion. Some of the key takeaways were that the images of the sectional pieces were too small in the prototype and there was also no text providing information for users who wanted to go deeper. So I increased the visual prominence of the sectional pieces and created an overlay screen with more information about the individual sectional pieces.

Also, contrary to what we had anticipated, the 3D views of sectional configurations were not helping the user imagine the sectional in their space. Instead, the 3D views were confusing users who would customize the designs in aerial mode. So I further separated the 3D configuration views from the aerial builder views to avoid this confusion.

Adapting to product pivots

At the start of the project, our goal was to create a mobile-responsive web app with a shopping cart flow. By the time we reached the project’s midpoint, Rooms to Go changed the direction to be only an in-store experience with the ability to configure and save designs, but without a checkout flow.

While one might expect that this pivot would have reduced the complexity of the project, it presented its own unique UX challenge. The customer could no longer buy the sectional on their own; they had to have a sales associate present complete the purchase. By removing the checkout flow, usability research revealed that the experience defied users’ mental model about what the app would help them accomplish.

To respond to this challenge, I reworked the microcopy to make it clearer that the design could be saved but not purchased from the kiosk. I also design a flow for automated emails that would share the design and customer’s email address with a sales associate in the use case of the customer leaving the store before connecting with a sales associate.

Design system

I led the creation of the design system for Modular One. This allowed the product team to maintain consistency and a smooth workflow across multiple versions.

Next steps

The Modular One kiosk successfully launched in stores in the spring of 2023. In future versions, the product will evolve into an in-store/online experience, giving users the convenience of building and purchasing a sectional from anywhere.