College storage made affordable and simple

Overview

Stor is an app that helps college students find storage over the winter and summer breaks.

Roles

UX Designer

The Challenge

Create an affordable and convenient solution for college storage over the summer and winter breaks.

Early Insight

Most college breaks my friends are either asking me for a place to store their belongings or I’m asking them to store my belongings. This is because warehouse storage is too expensive for college students.

Interviewing Users

After conducting generative research with 14 potential users I discovered common pain points and suggestions from users.

1. Affordable prices

Every student said pricing was their main concern with the current storage solutions. Current warehouses price their storage per item which is expensive.

They literally tried to charge me $150 a month for my bed, desk, and lamp.

2. Convenience

Students want more convenient pick up and drop off locations. Driving to the nearest warehouse is usually too far.

The only friend that would hold my things lived like 30 minutes away from campus.

3. Flexible drop off dates

Since storage is during finals week, students usually drop off half of their belongings before storing their bed.

I drop off half of my stuff, sleep in my bed — then finish my last final and drop off my bed.

Job Stories

I also created job stories using the Jobs To Be done method to understand the situations, motivations, and outcomes of students storing/hosting belongings.

Situation

Motivation

Expected Outcome

Renter

When a long school break comes and I’m changing housing arrangements, I want to store my furniture, so I don’t have to carry my belongings with me over break.

Host

When I have unused space in my house, I want to rent out my unused space, so I can make easy money.

Competitive Analysis

Direct Competitors

These companies leverage homeowner’s free space by allowing people to rent out unused house space for a monthly fee.

Pricing

Pricing for Spacer is usually $150+ monthy, while pricing for Neiybor ranges from $60~$200 monthly.

Target Audience

Neiybor targets homeowners who are somewhat tech savy, which are around are 31~38 years old. Spacer targets anyone who can afford permanent parking spaces and home owners which are around 23~38 years old.

Indirect Competitors

These companies focus on college student storage, but act as traditional warehouses with cheaper prices.

Pricing

All of these services provide monthly storage that ranges from $70~$200. Most of these companies also price storage per item rather than giving customers a fixed amount of space to store.

Target Audience

These companies target college students who are around 18~23 years old. They typically provide storage for students moving over the break.

I also made a graph competitors to understand what the selling points were of the competitors. Most of the companies focus on being convenient, but charge high prices. Neiybor is the closest company to Stor. It provides almost the same service, but it does not focus on the college market.

Pricing

Pricing had to be cheaper than any other warehouses for the app to be successful. I compiled all the competitors pricing to ensure Stor would be cheapest.

The only company that comes close to Stor is Neiybor. Neiybor allows hosts to price their storage from $.01 to any amount imaginable. Pricing like this gives users too many options and creates bizarre price ranges.

I decided to allow storage hosts to price their spaces between $24.99 ~ $39.99 a month. These prices were comfortable with students and provided enough money to encourage students to list their spaces.

Flow and Structure

Mapping out the structure and flows of the service gave me a better understanding of how a student will use the app without directly designing the screens.

Booking a Space Flow

Post Booked Flow

After a booking is confirmed, both users are introduced to a timeline that keeps track of the order process.

Sketches

Sketching out different screens and states helped me quickly explore concepts and ideas. I went through many different iterations of each screen on paper before deciding on a direction.

Uploading Inventory

Users pick from a list of icons that represent their inventory, then take a picture to send to the hosts. This helps renters remember what they stored and helps hosts gauge the amount of inventory they can take in.

Booking Storage

Users are easily able to scan listings and book to their convience. Incorporating flexible drop off dates helps students book around their tough exam schedules. After booking, students can track their order on the booking timeline.

Hosting Storage

Tracking and managing customers is clear and simple. Hosts can choose to accept or decline renters based on the volume of inventory and manage booking orders on the dashboard.

Reflections

Empathize more with hosts.The case study currently focuses more on the renter experience. More time with the project would have allowed me to empathize more with hosts.

Flesh out the offline interactions during bookings.For the future iterations, I plan on thinking more about exactly what happens during a drop off day and book off day.

Typically college students rent out houses with multiple people. What happens if one of their roommates is a host and is making money? This is a problem that I wish I had more time to understand.

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