A household management gamification app for couples because housework should be enjoyable and motivating. Do chores, have fun, and earn rewards.
As a user experience researcher and designer, my aim was to gain insights from heterosexual millennial couples on how they manage and plan their household tasks. I wanted to synthesize the insights from users, find out what their thoughts are and take the initiative to be able to create a creative solution for that problem.
Traditional ideas and gender roles are still maintaining a stronghold among Millennial couples.
More than half of US households consist of romantic partners; the vast majority (98%) are heterosexual couples.
Millennials are the most likely generation to embrace time-saving alternatives to daily mundane tasks and chores.
Research shows that most people don’t think of their own households as reproducing sexist societal dynamics.
This is a comparative data chart showing a high percentage of millennial women doing varied household tasks compared to millennial men.
While the majority of millennial men say they are doing household chores, they’re just not as likely to be doing them as millennial women are.
Millennial women are working and earning more than ever before. But they’re still doing most of the housework.
After my initial research findings and looking at the data statistics, I narrowed my key demographics as Millennial Heterosexual Couples in the US.
Why Millennials? Well, I felt that this age group couples belong to the era where they have seen the increased shift in women entering professional spaces and are also more open to changes. From my secondary research, it also became obvious that they do not enjoy doing housework. But there needs to be a balance and that is what I wanted to achieve through my solution.
I believe that most heterosexual millennial men lack incentive when it comes to household chores as compared to their partners.
I believe that most heterosexual millennial couples still follow traditional gender roles in regards to household chores.
Through affinity mapping process, I synthesized all the data collected from the user interviews. I sorted the pain points, behaviors, and motivations from each of the interviews by grouping them into 4 main themes and generating an insight statement for each.
I found out through the user interviews that both my hypothesis statements were proved correct. Although i noticed, pressing issue was not gender gaps but lack of incentive, communication and organization were among the top issues.
Pivoting Moment: So I decided to move my focus from gender gaps to more like how to make household tasks fun for users.
Focussed on my hypothesis statement and to further understand the problem and the people's needs, I conducted 5 interviews of people between the ages of 26-42 years in the US either living with their heterosexual partners or spouses. To better understand their thinking process, I constructed a series of questions to comprehend their motivations, behaviors, and pain points.
I was intrigued with the user insights which led me to take a slight shift in my problem space. I found out that the key problem was not gender gaps, instead the couples motivation to do the tasks. This led me to my design challenge:
Then I developed a user experience map highlighting my persona's current pain points and emotional highs and lows which my app FunChores will potentially alleviate.
After all the information gathered, I created a persona Laurel that would reflect the primary user of the app. I created her by collecting the common pain points, motivations, and behaviors from all the user interviews. She also matches description from the secondary research demographic.
Laurel is a 36 year old IT professional from Dallas, TX who lives with her husband Parry. Parry does not take initiative to do house chores and they both think that everyday tasks are not fun.
Core Epic - Rewards
Task 2 - Create a custom reward to motivate husband
Core Epic - Tasks
Task 1 - Assign a task and earn points
Once I had my solution sketches ready, now the fun part was to convert these lo-fi sketches into mid-fi wireframes using Figma!
I started to see my vision come to reality once I created the wireframes V1 using simple interactions.
Once I had a clear task flow in mind and I was clear on which direction I wanted to head towards, I started working on my exploratory sketches. I began making iterations of the tasks and the rewards screens that I will have in both my flows.
Furthermore, I selected the most compelling exploratory sketches and consolidated them into refined set of solution sketches.
I wanted to create a color palette that was fun, and exciting. I took the pink shades out since I wanted my brand to be gender neutral.
My primary color conveys a feeling of fulfillment and rewarding.
My accent colors bring fun, motivation, and harmony.
I found these colors to be a perfect balance and it gives a whole new dimension to "FunChores"
After the 2 rounds of user testing, synthesizing, and making all the revisions, I was ready to take my prototype to the next level. I defined the visual identity of my app next.
I created a "More A than B list" and defined how I wanted my brand to look like.
With this list in mind, I wanted my brand to embody emotions related to having fun, a feeling of togetherness and a drive to motivate.
So I collected images which evoked in me, the feeling of: working together, fun and energetic vibe, achievement, synergy, and enjoyment.
This was the initial moodboard I put together.
I realized soon enough that considering the adjectives for my app, these images felt too dark and serious rather than fun and happy. So I wanted to try out images with lighter colors.
This was my final moodboard which I put together after narrowing down from more than 30 images. I was very happy with this mood for my brand as it evoked the feelings I wanted to work with.
I also made sure to consider accessibility when designing my solution and ensured that my application achieved WCAG compliance standards.
I started looking for my app icon inspirations next.
I narrowed down my choice to the one highlighted with a background.
I found it to be the most fun one and apt as the app icon and started to experiment and play around with it.
I played around with different shades of my brand colors to formulate my color palette in my UI library.
I extracted colors from the images from my moodboard that best resonated and connected with "FunChores" values of Fun, Motivation, Rewarding, Engaging, and Collaborative. After experimenting and testing with a wide array of colors, I developed the main colors for FunChores.
Next, I came up with a list of potential names before deciding to go with "FunChores" as the name for my app.
Since I designed a native iOS app, I decided to use this neutral, flexible, sans-serif typeface "SF Pro Text". I wanted to keep my text styles simple to focus more on the functionality of the design and I wanted to evoke the fun aspect using the mascot and play around with the text styles in my wordmark.
Final Wordmark and App Icon
I converted my sketches into digital wordmark by typing it using varied fonts types.
I narrowed down my choices to two that I really liked. One based on the simplicity and the other on playfulness.
I chose the simpler font to stay true to my original idea of keeping the font minimal and the icon mascot playful.
Next, I began working on my word mark. I started by sketching out some basic ideas of what I wanted my wordmark and brand icon to look like.
Since I wanted a playful and fun mascot to be the icon and also included in my word mark, I wanted to keep my wordmark very minimal.
I started inserting my brand colors on my app icon next. Also added a broom and gave it a base to go with the feel and purpose of the app.
I added a small incline in the letter"F" to give the type form a little asymmetry and played around with the letter spacing to be able to fit the app icon perfectly within the wordmark.
A robot holding a broom with the brand shows a sense of fun doing the tasks. It provides a fun light element to the brand that the robot mascot will make it playful and it wont be a boring chores app.
I added illustrations and icons to go with my brand. I worked on them to make sure the colors looked cohesive with my brand colors and that they stayed true to the brand identity. I used the Icons 8 plugin from the Figma community to download all the icons and illustrations for my app.
With my high fidelity prototype all done, I went on to design a responsive marketing website for both desktop and mobile viewports in order to promote my app FunChores.
Getting to the final version of your prototype is not the last step. It is equally important to provide to my users, a great experience before they even download the app and make it compelling so that they are eager to take an action to download my app.
I used the same color palette and the brand identity for my landing pages to keep the look and feel of my app and to evoke the same feelings as the mobile app.
I changed the font from 'SF pro text' to 'Inter' since I designed for Android phone with desktop this time instead of IOS.
With my persona, Laurel in mind, I started looking into what other devices, FunChores could be used on in the future. After some research, I decided to design for Apple watch 44 series.
To give an option to Laurel to use the app on Apple watch while on the go to send reminders to her husband for upcoming tasks added would give her a lot more freedom to use the app while she is driving or when she cant access bigger screens.
Whats next? FunChores has big plans for the future!
Improve - Based on user testing insights and feedback, I will continually make efforts to improve my app to achieve the best results.
Expand - Add more features and functionality and develop the entire app including all the task flows.
Test- I will then I will continue to user test the app for all the flows. It is all about user testing and giving the best experience to the target users.
If two friends use your product, how could it enhance or distract from their relationship?
If 2 BFF's use my app FunChores (currently will be used by BFF's who are partners or couples), they would be able to collaborate with each other with sharing tasks among them, adding custom rewards for each other, and motivate one another to keep it fun.
They would also be able to share their progress with other friends and have a friendly competition going for the leaderboard position.
It will enhance their relationship and also act as a therapist to alleviate their relationship.
What holds for the future is FunChores will expand its reach to roommates, and family as well which will help make household tasks fun for everyone involved.
Knowledge - It is important to have a strong knowledge of the design systems you are working for since the start to help enhance the functionality of the app. It is crucial to follow the design systems depending on which platform you are designing for. Also, UX design process is continuous and evolving and there is always room for iterations so it is important to keep yourself up to date on any changes in the UX world.
As many iterations my app FunChores went through, I believe I have also grown as much. I have learned many valuable lessons throughout this UX process and journey which will help me become a better designer going forward.
Open to changes - Making updates and changes to keep improving your design is a great learning. Feedback is invaluable in the UX process. Listen to your peers, educators and most importantly your users.
Foundation - It is very crucial to have a strong foundation of your components and UI library from the beginning so you are confident in making changes or updates without affecting the whole design in general. It also helps you be organized and streamlined.
Thank you for making it this far and to the end of my case study. Feel free to reach out if you would like to learn more.