Case Study: Enhancing the user’s experience in the Bedroom
Learning The Design Thinking Process to make use of space in the bedroom more efficient. Less Is More.
Are you a person who loves to solve problems and is interested in designing? The course that I have recently enrolled in is a perfect fit for it — the UX Design Mastery Program offered by the GrowthSchool , which allows you to explore your true capabilities in real life. After getting divided into groups of 6–7 buddies we were assigned to do a Design Thinking Project. Considering your groupmates as your Users, we had to follow the so-called Design Thinking process to make users’ experience better by identifying the existing problems.
Having no background in design, I was filled with mixed feelings as I was doing it for the first time. We had to choose different places of a home as our topic area like living room, home office, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, terrace, etc.
WAIT! Did just thought that this is an interior design-based project? Well, You’re wrong my dear ❌. Hey! I am Bhawana singore pursuing Computer Science (B.Tech) from Amity University. Now, what is UX? , in my opinion it is solving the users problem through identifiying the problems faced by them, ensuring a greater experience. My first ever UX Case Study or the project focuses on these aspects of UX which have been breifly explained ahead.
I feel that bedroom is an important part of a house, hence I ended up choosing Bedroom Area as my topic. I have followed the Design Thinking process now you follow my lead to know WHAT, WHY, and HOW I have done in the project.
Before getting started let’s understand this. 👇
What is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking is a process for understanding users, empathizing with them, and identifying gaps in their experience. This process enables us to come up with the best possible solution to the user’s problems. It consists of the following stages:
Let’s us Deep dive into each of the topic separately.🦈
The bedroom is where you spend most of your time. Ugh oh! THE MISTAKE we make is ASSUMING things before experiencing anything. I unlearnt during this journey that I am NOT THE USER. That is why we have this empathize stage where we hear the perspective of the user. It is an important step in the process as it will help us to come up with customer satisfying solutions.
Always remember YOU ARE NOT THE USER.😷
I perhaps did not make this mistake as I was guided by my mentor Anudeep. To get the understanding of the user I wrote some interview questions which are supposed to be of conversational nature. the motive of this is to get an essence of their interaction in the bedroom and further figure out their problems.
I managed to arrange 1v1 interviews with my users ( groupmates ), it is suggested that to have at least interview 4–5 people for better results. I was able to conduct 4 interviews in zoom meetings and recorded them as it will be helpful in pinpointing the insights more effectively.
Starting with a clean slate I noted down the following question:
0. Introduction questions like name hobbies, where do you live etc?
1.Do you like sharing your room with others or hate it? Give reasons
2.How much time do you spend in your room doing what activities? Explain.
3. Can you explain the work or study setup in your bedroom and how the experiences are? Have you ever worked on the bed, how would you describe it?(working on the bed)
4.What are your thoughts on watching tv in your bedroom?
5.What all things do you store in your room? Do you feel you have enough storage for it?
6.How is the experience when you hang out with your friends and family in your bedroom?
7. What furniture do you use while getting dressed up, can you share one such experience getting dressed up?
8. When you sleep,do you get up to switch off the fan lights and switch on? Does this bother you?
9.How would you rate the overall experience in your bedroom and why?
After going through a lot of confusion and self-doubt I came up with questions but as I had conversations I was getting the hang of it. I had meaningful conversations and found out the following insights from the :
NAME: ANKITA BHARA
OCCUPATION: ENGLISH TEACHER
ABOUT HER: SHE IS FROM WESTBENGAL AND LOVES BRIYANI AND WHITE SAUCE PASTA.😋
USER EXPERIENCE: She shares her room with her sister and likes it.
- She feels that the room needs to have more storage space and be a little organized cause there is a lot of stuff lying here and there.
- She often spends her time in the dining area. She uses the bedroom for sleeping, chilling with her sister, and getting ready.
- She doesn’t like the windows that are above the window, in the afternoon it disturbs their sleep. When it is sunny the room becomes very hot(ceilings are high and there is one fan). When she works in a room, the room gets messy and she is too lazy to keep it organized.
- There is no extra furniture like sofas or chairs when they hang out with guests in her room, she usually keeps the food on the bed. She feels like the room is full of stuff.
- When studying on the bed, her sister keeps a small desk which becomes uncomfortable after some time and as it is small she can not use it to keep two things.
- The switchboards are near the bed.
ADD-ONS: Aesthetic Décor Stuff
WHY: not organized, looks ugly sometimes, spacious but full of things, when it is hot when it is sunny.
OCCUPATION: GRADUATE STUDENT
ABOUT HIM: He is a student studying visual communication, lives in Chennai. He loves to play online games with his friends and plays guitar. He loves to eat biryani. 🤩
USER EXPERIENCE: He has his own room, quite a small one. Since it is locked down he spends most of the time in his room.
- Plays the online game with his friends
- Study and work. He sits on the floor sometimes if it becomes uncomfortable he switches to bed.
- There is no TV, and he uses my phone to watch movies.
- Dumbbells are kept on the floor, and he finds it irritating. When he opens the almirah door, it needs to be removed from there.
- Need more storage and be organized
- For getting dressed up, the mirror is on the Almira, and clothes and other products are inside of it.
- One sidelight, sometimes it gets dim.
- When hanging out with others it becomes congested.
ADD-ONS: a shelf-like thing near the bed’s plug point so as to keep the phone while charging.
WHY: It is a small place, unorganized gym equipment, wants to have space for work(home office) or study.
NAME: SUNPREET SINGH
OCCUPATION: PRODUCT DESIGNER
ABOUT HIM: Lives in Bangalore. Loves butter chicken and rajma rice. He is crazy about superheroes, reads comics, and has watched every superhero movie. 🦹♂️
USER EXPERIENCE: He likes sharing his room. He spends most of his time in his room.
- He finds working on the bed uncomfortable for longer hours and tends to switch places while working.
- He can not find his water bottle sometimes.
- There is no fixed structure for keeping things for him like his laptop and books are randomly placed on the bed.
- He has a TV, which is on the right side of the room, and in the center, there is a wardrobe which becomes difficult for the person sitting on the left to watch the tv.
- In the afternoons the sunlight comes in, and he needs to shut the curtain on the window to avoid watching tv. There is a table with drawers under the tv.
- Storage is enough
- No extra furniture, hence facing problems when hanging out with guests.
- He has a dressing table, things are kept behind the mirror, there is no chair for the dressing table. (he wants one)
ADD-ONS: sofas and table
WHY: decor-wise it is done, lighting is fine, storage is good. The tv is not in the right place and there are no extra sofas in the room.
NAME: NAVEEN A PAO
OCCUPATION: OPERATIONAL MANGER
ABOUT HIM: Lives in Karnataka. He likes to read, and technology intrigues him. He is crazy about Paulo and paneer. A south Indian with north Indian taste. 😇
USER EXPERIENCE: He has his own room but the Almira belongs to his parents. He calls the room a public place.
- Do not spend too much time in the room, work in the living room.
- He believes that when we sleep our subconscious body releases negative energy therefore he wants to come to the bedroom only to have rest.
- He does not keep the phone while sleeping, only sometimes reads books on the bed or watches movies on the phone.
- There is no table or chair or sofa though the room is pretty spacious.
- Only one lamp on the stool and a huge mirror.
- Can’t work on the bed, tends to sleep.
- Switches are far and do not require charging ports near the bed.
- He Likes light-colored bedrooms and natural lights. He doesn’t like empty rooms.
- Drinks water stored on the dining table, cannot keep the water near him while asleep.
- Do not watch TV in the room, do not like it.
ADD-ONS: A window and his own wardrobe.
WHY: the room is big enough, the ambiance is pretty good. Don’t like the bedroom much.
I was surprised by the fact that there various opinions on the same thing, I choose to listen more rather expressing my perspective. This helps to understand your users because we need to keep ourselves in the shoes of users. This stage is all about engaging with your user, listening, and observing.
Now lets jump into next step.🦘
In this stage I have to figure out the problems based on the interviews I have taken, the problems are typically faced by users as mentioned in the interview. From the empathize stage I wrote down all the problems I was able to find out for each of the users separately and focused on the WHY ( why is it important to the users ?) part.
I revisited all the insights I have gathered in the previous section and recorded interviews and noted down the following f problem statements that could be solved.
ANIKTA BAHARA 😊
- The room is hot and does not have proper lights for study purposes: She and her sister are not able to work in the room, they have to switch places in order to study comfortably.
- When the bed is being used for study purposes the desk used is small (can not keep laptop and notebook together and it becomes uncomfortable): Her sister is not able to work in the room, they have to switch places in order to study comfortably and is bad for body posture. Back and neck pain can also arise.
- The room gets sunlight from the window above: they get disturbed due to sunlight in the afternoon while trying to rest and also it becomes hot.
- More storage and an organized room( without putting too much effort): Their behavior towards keeping their room tidy is lazy and she wants the room to be organized and look good while doing much. She also wants to buy more cabinets but could not store books and other stuff.
- Fairy switch lights are far from the bed: So when she sleeps, she likes keeping it on for a while but forgets to switch it off as the switch is far, this can cause increased electricity bill and waste of energy.
- No extra furniture for the guest to keep food or to sit: so that the user and her family and friends can comfortably hang out in her bedroom.
- One side is dimmed, with no proper lighting in the room: in order to have no problem (stress on the eyes) while studying or working or doing any other activity.
- Gym equipment lying on the floor makes it difficult to open the cupboard: so he can make it easier for him to open the cupboard and don’t worry about the equipment and make it look more organized.
- Studying on the bed becomes uncomfortable for longer hours: so that he can study with convenience for longer hours and be productive.
- When a lot of people hang out, it becomes congested.No extra furniture like sofas: so that the user and her family and friends can comfortably hang out in her bedroom.
- No table near the bed: to keep his phone on the table while charging and other stuff too.
- No space for workspace: he needs it in the near future where he can be productive and work.
- More organized ( without putting too much effort): studying the behavior of the user would fulfill the user desired problem.
- Tv is not in the correct position: the user can have a better experience while watching it with his family
- Sunlight issue in the afternoon while watching t.v: so the user doesn’t have to worry about it and not get annoyed by it.
- Have to pull chairs and tables from dining when guests arrive: so the user can have a better experience while hanging out with his family.
- Don’t have a chair for the dressing table: can comfortably get dressed up.
- Can not work on a bed with a laptop for longer hours: so that he can study with convenience for longer hours and be productive.
- Keep things here and there, have to find them especially water bottles, books, and laptops: so the user can be productive and not waste his time on finding such things. Be organized.
NAVEEN A PAO 🐱💻
- The bed area and work area should not be in the same room: as per the belief of the user, he does not like to work where he sleeps, it would help him when he would not have an option.
- Own storage (cupboard): there is no cupboard for the user personally and he wants one.
- Switches are far: so the user can have a better experience while sleeping and does not have to get up once he is on the bed and sleeping.
The most exciting part of the journey has now arrived, after understanding the problems let’s now move to the next stage. 🧐
Now that my problems were defined, it is time where our Idea caps, human brain loves creativity hence I used the Crazy 8 technique to come up with solutions. It is basically writing 8 ideas in 8 minutes for a solution. After coming up with at least 20 solutions I realized that only a few of them could actually be executed. Below are those few ideas (out of which 3 top ideas were chosen).
💡 Moveable double-decker bed desk with cup and phone holders: to work on bed comfortable and have more space. Cup holder and phone holder will help to not create a mess and be organized.
💡 Curtains and blinders that are automated ( uses voice or remote to shut down and shut upwards): So the users can have a nice experience while relaxing or watching t.v and do not always have to get up to put in off or on.
💡The bed comes work desk: Venkat does not have enough space for a home office or study space and has a small room, so this will him save space and work comfortably.
💡 Double-decker bed where on the top it can be a bed and below it work desk and shelves can be placed. There can be a small stair and on sides of it can be used for storage.
💡T.V in the center surrounded by the wardrobe or the storage area, shelves, or cabinets: this will help Sunpreet with his t.v situation without comprising the storage space in the bedroom.
💡Lights and fans can be switched on or off from the remote: so the user does not have to worry about getting up switch it off.
💡Switchboard can be attached with the bed, it can be placed with the bed’s head, the wooden stuff along with a rack and an expendable desk can also be placed along with some drawers where things can be placed: this will help the users to have a comfortable working on bed experience, gives more storage and does not have to get from the bed to switch lights off or on. (new bed)
💡A chair that can be used to sit and as well as store books or other stuff: this gives the user to sit somewhere else other than the bed as well as it can be used for the guest and storage space can be utilized to keep things and be a little organized.
💡 Moveable side bed desk with attachable cabinets and foldable chairs with attached light lamps and a cup holder: as most of the user studies on the bed it would be an easy option to have this desk on the side of the table, makes them a little organized. As the user have to keep the food on the bed when a guest arrives it can also be avoided.
💡Partitioning bed area with curtains from all four corners: keeping in mind Naveen’s belief, I believe that this will help him to work in the same room if there is no option to work somewhere else.
💡 Dividing the room with a wooden frame (which will have a storage area like shelves or cabinets and drawers and attachable table ) like a structure separating the bed area from the rest of the room: keeping in mind Naveen’s belief, I believe that this will help him to work in the same room if there is no option to work somewhere else. This has a lot of other functionality and solves his personal storage space.
💡 The extendable table attached to a rack-like column which on the sides can have foldable chairs attached to it: This gives a lot of storage space while having a desk which can be used when one has to work or a guest arrives. Makes things a little organized, and you have extra chairs for the guest without actually getting them from other rooms and saves space too.
💡A bed which can store foldable chairs and tables. It can be tucked inside the bed either on the side or in front of it: so as to when the guest arrives they have seatings without worrying about space and does not have to get it from other rooms. Other than that have an option to sit other than a bed and perform the activities.
💡 Wall attached moveable table on the side of the bed or above the side table or on the head of the bed which will have attached lamps and a bottle holder (attachable to the bed): as most of the user studies on the bed it would be an easy option to have this desk on the side of the table, makes them a little organized. As the user have to keep the food on the bed when a guest arrives it can also be avoided.
💡 A pouch-like structure attached to the wall which has chairs and table: so as to when the guest arrives they have seatings without worrying about space and does not have to get it from other rooms. other than that have an option to sit other than a bed and perform the activities.
🤔 IT’S TIME TO CHOOSE THE TOP 3 IDEAS FROM THESE!
Moveable side bed desk with attached light lamps and a cup holder.
⭐WHY: Most of my users work on the bed and they face issues while working or studying on the bed like backache, small desk (not able to keep more than two things), height issue. hence they are not able to work on the bed for a longer period of time. The light issue is also solved by the clamp lamps they do not need any additional light in their room and worry about the electrical connections or get up to switch on or off the lights. That is why I choose this solution so that the users can have a good experience while working on the bed.
The extendable table attached to a rack-like column which on the sides can have foldable chairs attached to it.
⭐WHY: The reason why I chose this idea is that 3 out of 4 users have guests or their family over in the bedroom to hang out. They use the bed to sit and eat which makes them a little uncomfortable or even worse they get the chair from the other room. Sunpreet and Naveen do not have a table and chair or couches in their room whereas Anikta and Ventak had things lying on the table and also did not have couches in their room. Considering the storage, organizational issue, and space I came up with this solution. This will help them to have an option to sit eat and work other than their beds and also provide extra storage.
T.V in the center surrounded by the wardrobe or the storage area, shelves or cabinets.
⭐WHY: This will help Sundeep to resolve his problem ( t.v not on the center of the bed as there is a wardrobe on another side of the wall ) as welḷ as give other users to have an idea of how they can inbuild the tv their rooms. This idea uses space to solve the organizational issues and the position of t.v.
IDEA 2 was taken for the next stage.🌞
It is showtime guys! No one is perfect neither is my solution but I tried my best to come up with what would be workable in the case of my users as well others facing the same issue is Top Idea 2. I tried not to spend too much time and money on prototyping. I kept the Problem statement in front of me while working on the ideas as well as prototyping. Here is the Problem statement I choose to work on.
A way to have some space for guests in the bedroom for eating and sitting.
In this stage we were supposed to make a presentation model in any way ( clay, waste material, pictures on the internet, etc), I chose to make some digital sketches. and explain how, what and why we proposed the solution.
I have picked the rack ( column-like structure ) with an extendable table and on the sides, there some foldable chairs, best explain with the following picture.
For the explanation of the product, I have made a few sketches with the help of the above reference photo.
So the main idea is to use the table when it is required, have enough lighting for study and work purposes as well as have more space for storage. Since most of the users I interviewed wanted more storage, I tried to resolve it in an efficient way.
The basic structure of the product would look like this ( FIG 2.):
There are cabinets below and above the table for storage. Coming to the table area, there are two lamps that are moveable across the table, clamped to the rod-like structure, and are battery-operated. This lamp might look something like this ( FIG 3.) :
To open and close the table one has to lift the highlighted (blue) portion of the table up, fold the legs like in FIG 4. and bring near the wooden block (where the purple arrow indicated).
Once it is near the wooden block, one has to push it towards the right and press the table a little bit side then bring back that small piece of wood onto the table so as to hold and close it. This is the same process as you do on airplanes while opening and closing the eating tray table (FIG 6 ).
On the sides of the rack, there are four foldable chairs which would like and also be folded like in the picture. (FIG 7.) The users can also have their own comfortable chairs if they want to work for a longer period of time. The main purpose of the chairs here is to have extra sitting for the guest or family and given an option to sit other than the bed.
On the sides of the rack, there will be a hanger attached like (Fig 8.) where the foldable chairs will be placed. The dimension of the chair would be according to the height of the table.
The final product would be something like this.
WHY I DID WHAT I DID❓
💁♀️The reason why I have built it this way is that it gives a storage area which makes things more organized and secondly a table which can be used in various ways.
💁♀️It resolves the main purpose of the problem statement that when a guest arrives, the table can be used to keep things and the extra chairs can be used to sit ( one does not have to worry about where to keep chairs or to bring them every time from other rooms).
💁♀️ Other times the table can be used for study or work purposes.
💁♀️Even if the bedroom is small or big the user does not have to buy separate furniture for different activities.
💁♀️It also helps the user with the lighting for study and work as well as keeps things organized.
They as Customer is like God and so is their Feedback. 😇
This justifies the requirement of this stage - testing whether the product actually works or not. It helps in developing better solutions. Hence I ranged a group zoom meeting with all of my four buddies and presented my idea. They were very thoughtful, I am glad to have them as my groupmates. They encouraged me to work on the betterment of the model. All of them appreciated the efforts and pinpointed the problems they might face.
💭 ANKITA BHARA
👉Focused on usability rather than how good it looks, she also added it depends on the user how to use it and what for.
👉She finds it quite useful, she said it does not take up much space and can be used as per convenience.
👉She liked the overall idea and said it was a good design
👉One concern is that what about the users who already have too many things getting another cupboard like the product might be a problem.
👉She also suggested that there could be doors near the table area self to prevent things from falling.
👉It’s a really good idea
👉The foldable chairs can have an armrest which is also foldable.
👉He also adds a door on the shelf so that the things do not fall.
👉A couple of things on the table where will you keep it when you will fold the table?
👉As a part of a bedroom, it does not solve the purpose of the dressing table.
👉When the table is folded, they might look ugly as a part of the room, with the design you can hide and things could look better.
👉Since it is not the major wardrobe it can be used as a dressing table.
👉There could be a mirror on the back of the table ( make it more convenient as people tend to look at themselves in the mirror while passing by) and make the whole cabinet look better using different materials and this way the legs can also be hidden.
👉He also suggested on the lower storage area there could be two or four boxes ( detachable ) that have storage and can be used for sitting purposes.
💭 NAVEEN A PAO
👉He said that the design looks good, and put in efforts to make things more clear.
👉He suggested putting a mirror in the area of the table storage area so that the things do not fall off when the table is opened.
👉The door used to prevent the things from falling off can be a mirror as he thinks it will look good and even if the table is open it can be used as a dressing table.
👉Apart from reading and eating on the table, it can also be used as a dressing table
👉It is kind of a multipurpose table.
👉Solves the main issue
👉It is a perfect alternative as it invokes the user to eat or work outside of the table.
👉He also suggested having a height-adjustable table as it is very convenient for the users
👉Basic brilliant idea invokes the design to think about it more
👉It can be a superman table.
👉I tried to put in a lot of things at once.
Feedback helps to refine the solution, I choose the following area where I would like to make changes:
- Things might fall off if you open the table.
- The mirror can be incorporated
- Foldable Armrest chairs
- Cushions are at the bottom and have storage space.
✍ CHANGES I MADE
- Add a door which is like a mirror in the table’s storage area:
So for the door which is like a mirror in the table’s storage area will look like this (Fig 1. )
The dimensions will obviously be different like the size of this portion (Fig 2.) the highlighted blue portion. the extendable table will now be attached to this mirror area (the wooden frame around it) just like it was attached to the rack and so will be the wooden block. So now you will first open the table ( like you open the airplane tray table ) then you can see a mirror which when open ( like a door) has storage space.
I think the clamped lamps need to be dropped because you can only use them when the mirror door is open and to me, it does not make sense, so I would drop it and make just the user buy separately if they don't want it to keep lamps.
2. Foldable armrest chairs.
From one of the user’s feedback, I realized that the chair without an armrest is uncomfortable ( hands need support while eating or watching the phone, or reading ) so I changed the chair to the following chair (Fig 3.) The armrest and the sitting area will be folded and for handing the chair there will be a hole made on the upper backrest area. The material of the chair will be wooden so as to give it an aesthetic look, the pictures only describe the folding mechanism.
UX is more about usability rather than how it looks, the only way to make your product or solution better is by engaging and observing the users.
Following Are The Key Takeaways:-
⚡It is not There can be simple solutions too which can be used to solve the problem efficiently and it is not your job to solve each and every problem.
⚡Identify the problems of the user by understanding the user interaction.
⚡It’s better to fail than spend our time procrastinating and overthinking. One genius said “Ideas are bullshit! They don’t matter until executed.” ideas need not be unique unless it solves the problem.
⚡ Keep your Biases aside, be in the shoes of the user. Always
The process comes to an end , well NO! what i have learnt from this project is that degin thinking is a continous process, you come up with solutions — try it with the users — make it make better — then again the process continues.
Thank you for giving it a read, don’t forget to share your thoughts and feedback - you know how important that is! (firstname.lastname@example.org) See you on the next one till then Be safe and Be A STUDENT FOR LIFE 🤟, and if want to connect with me here’s the link to my Instagram and LinkedIn. Looking forward to doing exciting projects like this one!