Personal contributions were to the user research, high fidelity prototype, and the final concept video.
Project length was 3 months.
Teammates were Chelsea Braun, Marina Lazarevic, and Erica Queen.
What is the Problem?
Laundromats are frequently... less than pleasant services. My group and I set out to reimagine that experience and propose a better way for running a laundromat service.
Swift Spin the Service
We aimed to change the typical laundromat experience by proposing Swift Spin. This is a laundromat that allows its members to reserve machines ahead of time. People can relax in an adjoined cafe while they wait. They even receive texts about when their laundry will finish.
Canvasing Seattle Laundromats for User Data
Our first step in this project was to gather as much user data as possible. We had to do this quickly, so we split up to visit as many laundromats around Seattle. From there, we moved forward to developing personas.
Starting with Doug Kerkowski, a Primary Persona
Doug's personal goal is to get his laundry done in the most efficient way possible.
▸ Patron of his local laundromat — but not by choice.
▸ Dislikes crowds and waiting.
▸ Values convenience.
▸ Doesn’t care about amenities.
Next, Jessica Garcia, a Secondary Persona
Jessica's personal goal is to make the most out of doing laundry.
▸ Her hectic schedule doesn’t allow her to regularly do her laundry.
▸ She seeks amenities like free wifi and work desks.
▸ Sometimes feels like socializing with other people too.
▸ Enjoys a well decorated laundromat.
Using a Lean Canvas to Define Swift Spin
We used our personas to drive the ideation part of our project. We were able to come up with many ideas, which we then pared down into a core experience using a Lean Canvas.
Note › It was too easy to want to deliver the world to our potential customers. A great way to limit this would have been concrete financial constraints. But pitching a startup to investors was not the focus of the project.
Imagining a Customer's Journey
Designing services are difficult because designers need to imagine all possible experiences. However, it is impossible to create perfection on the first try. So to start, we used a customer journey map to consider one potential experience.
Behavioral Prototype Scenario
We simplified our customer journey into a quick scenario that participants could experience. At each critical point, we asked them questions on how they were experiencing Swift Spin.
We wanted to know how much they liked different touch-points. But also how they reacted to the service when it did not quite work as expected.
Behavioral Prototype Layout
By this point, we had proposed quite a few touch-points. We laid out our behavioral prototype to use each one as part of the service prototype.
It was key to keep it low-fidelity, but still as immersive as possible. Environments give subtle affordances to people on how they should act. Putting our interfaces in a featureless room would not have provided great feedback.
Making Wireframes for the Different Devices
We had proposed three different user interfaces as part of Swift Spin. That meant we needed to prototype those three different interfaces as part of the behavioral prototype.
Conducting the behavioral prototype for us was invaluable. Without it, we would not have been aware that there were some pitfalls in the experience we were proposing. Our 3 participants gave some great feedback:
▸ People really liked being able to reserve ahead of arriving.
▸ User Interfaces were too confusing.
▸ Canceled reservations caused a lot of anxiety.
▸ Having an adjoined cafe was a nice addition.
▸ Being fined made people feel like they were negatively setup.
Iterate on Usability Findings
The phone UI was one of the touch-points that was redone. Instead of reserving a 10 minute time slot that will expire, people can reserve a 100 minute time slot up to 4 days in advance.
As with any design project, everything is never truly done. If we were to continue forward with this project, we would iterate far more on the design assumptions we were making until we thought our service was solid enough to be deployed.
For instance, We would iterate on the user interfaces more to make them even more polished and great for Swift Spin customers to use.
We also would want to develop a higher fidelity service prototype to test those new user interfaces, as well as use a better space that would be better for a laundromat atmosphere.
Lastly, even though it would be a reach goal, developing a business model for Swift Spin to prove that it could be financially viable would make the proposal all the better.