An environmentally focused marketplace for second-hand furniture. Altering the habits of consumerist societies by offering a simple, accessible marketplace for second-hand furniture. With an ultimate goal of lengthening
the lifecycle of furniture and reducing the environmental impact of deforestation.
A growing consumer population and demand for furniture is effecting our forests and global wood resources.
Help consumers to buy second-hand furniture as a first choice by making the finding and collection process more accessible and informative.
Researching the problem space I learned that most mass produced furniture today is made out of partical board which is 85% wood. With a growing demand for furniture and a rapidly growing consumer population thats estimated to reach 5.6 billion people by 2030. It's significantly contributing to forest degradation worldwide. The furniture industry has become one of the most polluting, least sustainable industries on the planet. Americans discard more than 12 million tons of furniture each year, 80% of which ends up in landfills. This makes buying second hand furniture a much more sustainable option than buying new.
While keeping the above findings in mind I analyzed 3 marketplaces that offer second-hand furniture options. I found that all did not offer furniture only, some where not accessible to all users and did not have an intuitive user experience.
Improve the process of buying second-hand furniture for consumers, to help them reduce furniture waste in order to preserve forests?
I interviewed 5 people between the ages of 25 and 35 to help me understand their considerations when buying furniture. I asked them the below questions to help me gain insights into potential pain-points they may face when choosing to shop for second-hand furniture.
1. Can you share how you go about choosing furniture for your home? What do you like and disk-like about the process?
2. How much does cost, quality and functionality influence your choices?
3. How often have you tried shopping for furniture that is second-hand? How was your experience?
5. When considering used furniture, what do you look for to ensure it meets your needs?
6. What have been some of the obstacles you've faced when shopping for second-hand furniture in the past?
To help organize and make sense of the data I collected from the interviews, I used the Affinity Mapping process to identify key data points. This allowed me to find a common themes and insights among the participants.
Looking at the trends in my affinity map, I noticed that consumers are generally open to buying second-hand, but knowing if a product can be delivered or simply if it will fit in their car or an Uber is important to them. Without enough information they will consider the purchase process inconvenient and look else-were.
When a more convenient option is available to shoppers, such as delivery. They will likely choose that.
Shoppers are very concerned about wasting their personal time between work hours.
Shoppers are very concerned about information when considering making a purchase.
A lack of information available on items for sale has lead shoppers to look else-were.
Shoppers need to feel like they trust the seller and what they are getting.
With-out a feeling of trust, those who try buying second hand may not continue doing so in the future with-out trust in the process.
There isn't always deliver options for second-hand items. If shopper where given the option of delivery their chance of buying second hand
items is far greater.
Shoppers like Ava need as much information they can get before feeling confident in committing to buy an item. If shoppers felt more informed when viewing second-hand items they are more likely to follow through with the purchase.
Making the process of finding an item a shopper desires quickly means they are
more likely to make the purchase.
Allowing a fast reverse-image search would help users quickly find the item they want without having to type any information into the search bar.
I used user stories to clearly outline potential features that could provide value to the end user addressing their pain-points.
As a consumer, I want to quickly search for affordable furniture so that I can easily find the items I want.
To help me understand the key steps and decisions involved in the process of searching for a product, I developed diagram to outline the primary task flow.
I conduct 3 rounds of user testing to observe the usability of the application and gather feedback from users. Fine-tuning the design and making necessary adjustments before moving on to the next stage of development. These are 3 major improvements added after testing.
The rapid growth of consumer demand for furniture is contributing significantly to deforestation and forest degradation worldwide.
If we all buy new furniture, what happens to our forests?
Americans discard more than 12 million tons of furniture each year, 80% of which ends up in the landfill. Buying new items made from wood means cutting down trees. The furniture industry is one of the most polluting, least sustainable industries on the planet. While it may be convenient to purchase a brand-new furniture item online, buying new furniture is detrimental to the environment.
After researching deforestation, I was unsure of what type of digital solution would be effective in addressing this issue. I wanted to know what consumers want and need, so I asked a question..
Convenience - the most common consideration for buyers when looking for furniture items.
Consumers are generally open to buying second-hand, but knowing if a product can be delivered or simply if it will fit in their car or an Uber is important to them. Knowing if the item is heavy, difficult to move alone.
Accessibility considerations within my design system and style guide was an important aspect of the brand development process, not only choosing the type face but also the color pallet and icon sets.
Verb; to encourage the development or growth of ideas or feelings.
to encourage the development or growth of ideas or feelings
With a brand and prototype developed, to bring foster to the market I designed a responsive marketing website. Letting potential new users know exactly what foster is all about. How the key features could help them and why using foster to buy second-hand furniture could impact forest preservation across the world! I also expanded the app prototype to other potential platforms.
This 8-week project really drove home the importance of listening to user feedback when making design decisions. Going forward, I'm excited to expand on the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and build out the seller's side of the app to provide a more comprehensive solution. This project was a great reminder that when it comes to creating a successful product, solving a problem and putting the user first is absolutely essential.