How to enhance your bedroom space a design thinking case study

Source: Adobe Stock

I am always interested in learning UX designing, but don’t know where to put a start to my dream. My journey as a UX designer started when I came across the workshop of Growth School and I landed here as a beginner of UX design where we were thought everything from the scratch. I am a rookie in UX design, only thing I have is the excitement to learn and pursue my career as a UX designer. Though I worked as a graphic designer at several startup companies I made the designs as I wish them to be but no principles were followed.

We were sorted into groups of 5 each and given a room of house. We were provided with wide range of topics from where we have to choose one to work on. I chose my problem area to be Bedroom. I empathized with my team members and was asked to consider them as my users to develop this case study. I really don’t have an idea that talking with them would go in such smooth and comfortable and we became friends in no time.

This is my first ever case study and I am excited to dive in.

So here is my journey from nothing to something as a designer…Lets takeoff

Source: Storyset.com

What is Design Thinking?

To put it simple design thinking is a process where we prioritize the users and their needs and work on solving their problems by following a structured approach. The entire process starts when we approach the users and have a chat with them and try to identify their interaction with the product or design and find the gaps they are having during interaction. We then ideate to bridge the gap and then prototype our idea and send it to get user feedback and iterate until the user is satisfied with our design or product. So here we have 5 stages EMPATHIZE ->DEFINE ->IDEATE ->PROTOTYPE ->TESTING and repeat.

Source: storyset.com

Stage 1- EMPATHIZE

Here we make questions to understand about the users requirements and how they are interacting with the current design or product.

Making plain questions rather than closed questions makes us understand the user and his experience much better.

Source:Storyset.com

Interview Questions

All are plain questions rather than closed questions

1. Tell me about yourself?

2.Explain me about your house .And tell me about the places you wish to stay more time or spend more time in your house?

3.How would you spend your time in bedroom apart from sleeping like you have any hobby that you would do in your bedroom like painting, dancing etc.,?

4.What would you like to do when you get into conscious all of a sudden in the middle of the night?

5.Do you have a TV in your bedroom if no would you like to have one?

6.Does your bedroom have enough space or having any storage problems?

7.How many people do live in your bedroom and the present bed does it make it comfortable for you?

8.If you have a new bedroom how do you wish to have it?

9.Do you feel like you require something additional apart from the features you have at present in your bedroom?

10.What are all those that you would like to have in your bedroom forget about the space they occupy.

11.Tell me about your stay at your relatives or friends house during night and what is that you like the most about their house and worst about their house?

12.Tell me about the overall like of your bedroom.

13.Would you like to have a separate bed for you if there people other than you in the bedroom.

14.Any problems regarding cleaning?

All of my users come from different professions so I wanted to depict their talks along with their profession.

Stage 2- Define

In here we come to an idea for what type of users we are designing the product. In this stage we will conclude what the problems are, not that we draw solutions to them.

For instance, when we were asked what would you do to enhance the usage of fan we might have different ideas like giving it more no of wings etc., But what we need to know foremost is, what are the problems with the existing design and for whom we are designing rather than drawing conclusions on how we can hike the usability of fan.

After interviewing all my users I segregated all the problems they are facing under some common roof and I depicted the following problems my users are facing with the existing area.

Source: Edited in canva.com

As a result of these problems some of the users feel that they don’t own their bedroom and can’t have a private space for themselves in the bedroom i.e., they don’t have their own corner in bedroom.

1.A container bed so that Ashwinee can have more space to store her belongings.

2.A hydraulic bed so that bed can be raised up to ease cleaning underneath bed.

3.A raising tv or a closed tv cabinet so that space can be consumed less in Anuhka’s room.

4.Placing whirled stands so the aesthetic would be good to place plants or any other things in Nigil’s corner in her room.

5.Painting soul raising colors to walls to bring aesthetic in Vishwanath’s room.

6.Installing mirrors to make the room look big.

7.Inbuilt dustbin that rises up on voice control, so that Anushka and Ashwinee can put their trash without getting up from bed.

8.Movable cupboard so that it can have shelfs and inbuilt chair and foldable desk for Jayathi.

Stage 3- Ideate

The foremost principle we need to remember in this stage is that

YOU != USER

We should always design to satisfy the users needs and not according to our thoughts. We should put ourselves in the shoes of the user before designing i.e., USER-CENTERED DESIGN

This is the stage when we want to start thinking of solutions to the users’ problems.

YES, you get to solutioning only now, after you understand what the problems are. That is why it was important to not jump to solutions until this stage.

I used CRAZY 8 strategy to ideate solutions for all my problem statements.

What exactly do this CRAZY 8 mean???????

For every problem you identified in the previous step, you must come up with 8 ideas in 8 minutes each.

These are the Top three ideas which I finalized among all the others to go forward with.

  1. Building container bed . Storage is the most important aspect of bedroom the more space that is available for storage the more tidy the room looks. rMost people have a storage problem in bedroom so having a storage bed is the best option.
  2. Television(entertainment).Most of the users wish to have a TV in bedroom so that they can lay down on bed and watch tv and go to sleep.
  3. Multipurpose Cabinet. It can have shelves inbuilt chair and a desk to work on. So people can have their own desk to work on and can store all the work regarding things in the shelfs and fold the desk after work so that it do not consume space in bedroom.

Idea 1 was taken further for the prototyping and testing stages.

Stage 4-Protyping

This is the stage where you actually make a representational model of the solution we came up with.

This is the stage where you renounce your perfectionist mentality.

PROBLEM STATEMENT — To enhance the storage capacity of bedroom.

IDEA — The idea was based on providing a container bed to the user in the bedroom for storage purposes. I thought of using the hydraulic lift in the container bed so that users don’t have to use their energy to raise the bed and also keep their clothes or useful elements in their bedroom not as a mess but can use this container bed for proper arrangement.

Container bed-The idea I came up with is a container bed which has a bed attached with a storage room at the bottom with a hydraulic push. Whenever we need to get under the bed for storing we just need to push the bed up with no manual power because of the hydraulic push. The bed rises up where a person with an average height can enter and store things inside it

Stage 5- Testing

It was time to take the prototype back to users and take their feedback.

Iteration 1 :

Most users were satisfied with the solution…

“Really awesome ! ”

“The design looks elegant…”

“This is really good

While they agreed that it was a brilliant idea, they also offered constructive feedback which brought me to my biggest learning so far in this project.

They told me that they require more storage space in addition to the container bed and they require a dressing room(the basic question in my 4th interview💢)

So I decides to reiterate.

Iteration 2 :

After a long brainstorming session where I tried to somehow modify my current solution to make it usable, I kept reaching dead ends. So I scraped this solution and tried looking at it from a different perspective altogether.

My Solution 2.0 —

A pocket closet which has a wardrobe where people can hand clothes rather than folding them to save time and energy. The hanger rod can be pulled outside to enable easy selection and decrease mess with clothes.

It also have many shelves with two partitions so there a person can walk between the two partitions and choose his outfit. Since there is a path in between two partitions it can be used as a dressing room.

This pocket closet can be placed as a inbuilt one or can be placed ahead of the wall. This pocket can be accessed manually or can be voice recognized or can be operated with the remote which has icons that are easily understandable.

Here everything can be sensor and be accessed through touch.

It looks like a shelf from front view which has a foldable working desk so it can be pushed back to its original position after use to consume less space with vital usability. It has partitions so that a tv can be placed and books and many other.

User feedback and rating: They seemed happy with the usability of this solution!

“Good idea 👍”

“Awesome, it’s easily installable rather than building the whole basin again! 👌”

“Good, this solves my problem!”

So I combined both my ideas to provide better storage for my users.

The ideas I Rejected:

1.I first thought of installing a inbuilt floor bed with a wooden plank covered on the bed to help easy cleaning and when the plank raises it consists of boxes that can be used to store belongings but I understood that it is not possible to reach the top shelf and also it does not offer more storage.

2.Then a 360 degree rotatable board that has bed and also a shelf. But I dropped this idea because of space. As one bedroom apartments does not have much space.

While it took some time to go back and start all over again but that’s the price you pay to learn. But what we should remember is To do error is to Human.

I really appreciate my users’ feedback, it gave me an opportunity to fix and present something which really does justice to their problem.

My Takeaways

✔️ My biggest takeaway was Design for the users. The fact that it is only they who matter. A solution may appear very simple to the designer, but to the users, it resolves their problem and that’s what counts 😊!

✔️ Having practically done the project, I got a better understanding of all stages and the overall importance of each.

During the program, when it was instructed to not assume, I reassured myself of not doing so but here I am, guilty of the same 🙊 I quite get now what instructors meant when they repetitively said to have comprehensive interviews and ask the most basic questions.

All in all, it was an excellent experience for my first time 🏆 I hope to keep learning and growing with the same enthusiasm 🔥

#StudentForLife ✌

UX enthusiast, Graphic Designer, ISTE(Indian Society for Technical Education)coordinator