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ARitize Decorator

Innovating Online Furniture Shopping with Immersive Visualization

Nextech AR

2022

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OVERVIEW

 

ARitize Decorator is a cutting-edge web application designed to revolutionize the way customers interact with furniture products online. As the Director of Product Design, I led a team of two designers to conceptualize, develop, and implement this innovative solution. Our aim was to create a seamless and immersive experience for users, allowing them to visualize furniture in their own spaces with accurate scalability.

PROJECT DURATION 

February 2022

3 weeks

 

PLATFORM

Responsive Web

ROLE

Design Director

End to End UX

Research & Strategy   

IA & Wireframing  

 

THE PROBLEM SPACE

In the realm of online furniture shopping, customers often face challenges when trying to envision how products will look and fit within their own living spaces. Traditional product images and descriptions can be limiting, leaving shoppers uncertain about how furniture will complement their existing decor or fit within the dimensions of their rooms. This lack of visualization often leads to hesitancy in making purchase decisions and can result in higher return rates for furniture retailers. Additionally, with the rise of e-commerce, there is a growing demand for interactive and immersive shopping experiences that bridge the gap between online browsing and in-store exploration. For this design challenge I focused on answering this main question, 

 

“How might we empower online furniture shoppers to confidently visualize and customize furniture products within their own living spaces, enhancing their shopping experience and reducing uncertainty in purchasing decisions?”

The overarching goal of the ARitize Decorator project is to revolutionize the online furniture shopping experience by providing users with a seamless and immersive platform for visualizing furniture products within their own living spaces. By leveraging augmented reality (AR) technology and advanced 3D modeling techniques, the goal is to empower users to confidently explore, customize, and interact with furniture products in real-time, enabling them to make informed purchasing decisions with greater confidence and reducing the need for returns. Ultimately, the aim is to enhance user engagement, drive conversion rates, and differentiate our client's offerings in the competitive online furniture market.

CLIENT & TARGET AUDIENCE

ARitize Decorator is designed to address the unique needs and preferences of three distinct user groups within the online furniture industry:

Furniture Retailers with E-commerce Platforms

As the primary clients of ARitize Decorator, furniture retailers with e-commerce platforms seek innovative solutions to enhance their online shopping experience and boost sales. These businesses understand the importance of providing their customers with tools that facilitate informed decision-making and increase confidence in purchasing. ARitize Decorator enables retailers to offer a cutting-edge visualization experience, allowing customers to seamlessly integrate furniture products into their own living spaces. By catering to retailers' desire for increased engagement and reduced return rates, ARitize Decorator becomes an invaluable asset in their quest to stay competitive and drive growth in the online furniture market.

Interior Designers and Decorators

Professional interior designers and decorators are another key user group for ARitize Decorator. These individuals rely on visualization tools to bring their design concepts to life and effectively communicate ideas to clients. ARitize Decorator empowers designers to create realistic virtual mock-ups, facilitating collaboration and streamlining the design process. By catering to the needs of interior designers, ARitize Decorator becomes an indispensable tool in their toolkit, enabling them to deliver exceptional design experiences and exceed client expectations.​

Homeowners and DIY Enthusiasts

Homeowners and DIY enthusiasts represent a vital user segment for ARitize Decorator, as they are passionate about interior design and eager to personalize their living spaces. These users may lack formal design training but possess a keen eye for aesthetics and a desire to experiment with different styles. ARitize Decorator empowers homeowners to visualize their design ideas in a tangible way, helping them make informed decisions and transform their vision into reality. By catering to the needs of homeowners and DIY enthusiasts, ARitize Decorator becomes a trusted companion in their journey to create beautiful, functional, and personalized living spaces.

By designing ARitize Decorator with the specific needs and preferences of these user groups in mind, we ensure that the product delivers maximum value and utility to its intended audience. Whether it's providing retailers with a competitive edge, empowering designers to elevate their craft, or inspiring homeowners to unleash their creativity, ARitize Decorator is purpose-built to meet the diverse needs of its users and exceed their expectations.

MARKET RESEARCH & COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS​

 

Before embarking on the design journey for ARitize Decorator, it was essential to conduct thorough market research and competitive analysis to understand existing solutions, identify gaps, and define requirements for our project. We scrutinized various competitors in the online furniture visualization space to glean insights and inform our design decisions effectively.

Target 

Target's "See It In Your Room" feature allowed users to upload a picture of their space and position furniture within it in AR with their mobile device. They also offered a Room Planner feature, where users had to input room dimensions, floor and wall colors, and other details to achieve accurate furniture scaling. However, the process was somewhat cumbersome, requiring extensive user input. ARitize Decorator differentiated itself by automating the scaling process, making it more user-friendly and intuitive.

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roomvo (from Rugs.ca)

Roomvo provided users with a gallery of rooms to use or the option to upload their own room image. While users could move and rotate furniture and rugs, the functionality was limited compared to ARitize Decorator. Roomvo excelled in showcasing product categories and browsing options, providing valuable insights into effective navigation and user engagement.

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EQ3, Houzz, and Wayfair

EQ3, Houzz, and Wayfair offered augmented reality tools for furniture visualization, primarily targeted at mobile users. While these solutions provided some level of interactivity, they were limited to mobile devices, restricting accessibility. ARitize Decorator's responsive design ensured a seamless experience across all devices, catering to a broader audience of users.

Market Research Impact on Requirements

The insights gathered from market research and competitive analysis played a pivotal role in defining the requirements for ARitize Decorator. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of existing solutions, we identified key features and functionalities that would set our product apart in the market. These requirements were meticulously documented and aligned with the tech team to ensure feasibility before initiating the design process.

DEFINING REQUIREMENTS

Analyzing Market Insights

The market research revealed several key trends and pain points within the online furniture visualization space. We observed that existing solutions offered varying degrees of interactivity, from basic room positioning to comprehensive room planning. However, many of these tools lacked intuitive scaling features and were often cumbersome to use, particularly on mobile devices.

Identifying User Needs

Drawing from our market insights, we identified three primary user needs that would guide the development of ARitize Decorator:

  1. Seamless and Intuitive Experience: Users sought a seamless and intuitive platform for visualizing furniture within their own living spaces, without the need for extensive manual input.

  2. Accurate Scaling: Ensuring accurate scaling of furniture models within uploaded room images was paramount to providing users with a realistic visualization experience.

  3. Accessibility Across Devices: With the proliferation of mobile devices, it was essential to design ARitize Decorator to be responsive and accessible across a wide range of devices and screen sizes.

Defining Feature Requirements

Based on these user needs, we outlined a set of feature requirements that would differentiate ARitize Decorator from existing solutions and deliver a superior user experience:

  1. Automated Scaling Technology: Implementing advanced scaling algorithms to accurately size and position furniture models within uploaded room images, eliminating the need for manual input.

  2. Responsive Design: Designing the platform to be responsive and accessible across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices, ensuring a consistent user experience regardless of screen size or device type.

  3. Intuitive User Interface: Creating an intuitive user interface that streamlines the furniture visualization process, making it easy for users to explore and customize products within their own living spaces.

  4. Robust Editing Tools: Providing users with robust editing tools to customize room images, including features such as image cropping, rotation, and color adjustment.

  5. Seamless Integration: Facilitating seamless integration with furniture retailers' e-commerce platforms, allowing users to seamlessly transition from visualization to purchase.

Aligning with Tech Team

Once the requirements were defined, we collaborated closely with the tech team to ensure feasibility and alignment with the project scope. This iterative process involved refining the requirements based on technical constraints and feasibility assessments, ensuring that the final product would meet both user needs and technical requirements.

USER JOURNEY & TASK FLOW

Crafting a seamless user journey and task flow was paramount in ensuring that ARitize Decorator provided users with an intuitive and engaging experience from start to finish. By mapping out the user's interactions with the platform, we were able to identify key touchpoints and streamline the process of visualizing furniture within their own living spaces.

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Flow Overview

1. Browse Furniture Site: Users begin their journey by browsing a furniture site, where they encounter a call-to-action (CTA) inviting them to try ARitize Decorator.

2. Open the Decorator Dashboard: Clicking on the CTA opens the ARitize Decorator dashboard, where users are greeted with a simple diagram illustrating how to use the tool. Below the diagram, users can view their recent projects.

3. Create a New Project: Users initiate the creation of a new project by clicking the "Start Creating" button on the dashboard. This takes them to the "Create a New Project" page.

4.1 Select a Room Image: On the "Create a New Project" page, users have the option to select a room from the gallery or upload their own photo. They also enter a name for the project.

4.2 Upload Room Photo: If users choose to upload their own photo, they are guided through an information screen detailing the types of pictures that work best. After reviewing the information, users click "Done" to upload their photo.

5. Image Editor: Once the photo is uploaded, users are taken to the image editor, where they can crop the image, change wall colors, or use the magic eraser tool to remove unwanted items.

​6. Enter the Decorator Studio: After editing their image, users are directed to the Decorator Studio, where they can begin adding furniture to the room.

7. Add Products to the Scene: In the Decorator Studio, users can browse and add furniture products to the room. They can customize the arrangement, scale, and rotation of the furniture to suit their preferences.

8. Save, Download, and Share: Users have the option to save room images, projects, download them, and share them with others. This allows for easy collaboration and sharing of design ideas.

9. Cart & Checkout: Users can also add products to a cart directly from the Decorator Studio and proceed to checkout, making it convenient to purchase the furniture they've visualized in their space.

HIGH FIDELITY WIREFRAMES

In the development of ARitize Decorator, the creation of high-fidelity wireframes played a crucial role in translating the user journey and task flow into tangible visual designs. Leveraging the Nextech design system, we crafted wireframes that not only reflected the intuitive flow of the user experience but also adhered to established design principles and best practices.

Utilizing the Nextech Design System:

 

The Nextech design system served as the foundation for our high-fidelity wireframes, providing a comprehensive set of UI components, styles, and guidelines. By leveraging this design system, we ensured consistency and coherence across the entire ARitize Decorator platform, from the dashboard to the Decorator Studio.

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Dashboard

 

The dashboard served as the entry point for users, providing a clear overview of the platform's features and functionalities. Here, users could easily navigate to create new projects, access their recent projects, and explore the tool's capabilities through a simple and intuitive interface.

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Create a New Project & Room Gallery

 

The dashboard served as the entry point for users, providing a clear overview of the platform's features and functionalities. Here, users could easily navigate to create new projects, access their recent projects, and explore the tool's capabilities through a simple and intuitive interface.

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Image Editor

 

In the image editor, users were presented with a range of editing tools to customize their room images. From cropping and color adjustments to the magic eraser tool, the wireframe illustrated how users could enhance their room photos with ease and precision.

Crop Tool

 

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Magic Eraser

 

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Wall Color Tool

 

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Mobile Image Editor

 

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Decorator Studio

 

The centrepiece of ARitize Decorator, the Decorator Studio allowed users to bring their vision to life by adding furniture to their room images. The studio showcased the extensive catalog of furniture products available for selection, as well as intuitive controls for arranging, scaling, and rotating items within the room.

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Robust Filtering and Sorting

 

In the room image editor, users were presented with a range of editing tools to customize their room images. From cropping and color adjustments to the magic eraser tool, the wireframe illustrated how users could enhance their room photos with ease and precision.

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Favorites and Comparison Tools

 

Users can favourite products they like, take screenshots, and save the snapshots to their gallery for easy comparison. This feature streamlines the decision-making process for users by allowing them to assess different furniture options within their space.

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Favourites

 

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Snapshot Gallery

 

Mobile Portrait and Landscape Design Challenges

 

One of the main challenges we encountered was designing the platform for landscape mobile devices while maintaining usability and functionality. To address this challenge, we conducted thorough research, drawing inspiration from websites like Brilliant Earth, Target Brand Room Planner, and Rugs.ca, which offer similar interactive features for different product categories.

Portrait

 

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Landscape
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Key Takeaways

 

User-Centric Design: The development of ARitize Decorator was driven by a deep understanding of user needs and preferences within the online furniture shopping space. By prioritizing user-centric design principles, we were able to create a platform that seamlessly integrated into users' existing workflows, enhancing their shopping experience and empowering them to make informed decisions with confidence.

Differentiation through Technology: ARitize Decorator's innovative scaling technology set it apart from existing solutions in the market. By automating the scaling process and accurately positioning furniture within uploaded room images, we delivered a unique and immersive visualization experience that surpassed user expectations and exceeded industry standards.

Strategic Market Positioning: Through comprehensive market research and competitive analysis, we identified gaps and opportunities within the online furniture visualization space. By aligning our product requirements with user needs and market trends, we positioned ARitize Decorator as a leading solution that addressed key pain points and delivered tangible value to users and clients alike.

Collaborative Development Process: The success of ARitize Decorator was the result of a collaborative development process, involving cross-functional teams working closely together to translate vision into reality. By fostering open communication, sharing insights, and leveraging each team member's expertise, we were able to overcome challenges, iterate on designs, and deliver a product that exceeded expectations.

Continuous Iteration and Improvement: The development of ARitize Decorator was not a one-time endeavor but rather an ongoing journey of continuous iteration and improvement. By soliciting user feedback, analyzing data, and staying attuned to industry trends, we remained agile and responsive, continually refining the platform to meet evolving user needs and deliver unparalleled value to our clients and end-users.

THANKS

Thank you for taking the time to explore the journey of ARitize Decorator, from conception to execution. At every step of the way, the goal has been to revolutionize the online furniture shopping experience by providing users with a seamless and immersive platform for visualizing products within their own living spaces. By leveraging cutting-edge technology, embracing user-centric design principles, and fostering collaboration across teams, we've created a product that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of both clients and end-users. As we continue to innovate and evolve, we remain committed to delivering exceptional experiences that inspire, empower, and delight. Thank you for joining me on this journey, and I look forward to shaping the future of online furniture visualization together.

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