SUDSLOGO
iPhone-X-Flying-Mockup

SUDS

 

Project Background

What: SUDS is a local laundromat without a website, that wants to start providing residential laundry pickup and dropoff services for clients. I designed a laundry pickup and dropoff service for their business. 

SUDS' Business Objective: SUDS wants their customers to be able to have clean clothes as easily as possible. To allow seamless pickup and dropoff services to clients that do not want to do their own laundry, to generate more revenue for SUDS.

User Problem: People don't how much it costs for a wash and dry, what payments are accepted, when's the last wash, hours, and costs of other services such as wash and fold (person drops off dirty clothes and is washed and dried by the laundromat)

Design Solution: Build out a website for a local laundromat that addresses all these unknowns

User Problem: People hate schlepping their laundry, so they always go to the closest place

Design Solution: Design a pickup and dropoff feature so the person never has to leave their house to have their clothes cleaned

User Problem: People never know if there will be an available machine upon arrival, and will have to wait

Design Solution: Design a live machine feature so people can better assess their likelihood of obtaining a machine upon arrival

*Please note this last solution has not

been designed due to time constraints

Assignment:  Design and end to end mobile app demonstrating one full flow and design the responsive web experience for a few screens of the designed flow

Tools Used: Figma, Whimsical, Maze.co, aremycolorsaccessible.com 

Areas of Highlight in this Case Study 

The focus of business needs to have a higher financial gain, over what will appease the user but does not necessarily generate more revenue.  

The focus on mobile-first, over a website, as this is likely how the user will use the product.  

Prototype

Process

Research

Industry Insights
User Interviews
User Reviews
SME Interview 

Analysis

Mentor & Tutor Brainstorming
Interview Key Takeaways


Design

Site Map
Sketching
Wireframing

Test

Testing
Test findings

Iterate

Redesign based on test findings

Why a Laundromat?

I want to say 99% of laundromats don't have websites, simply because the owners think they wouldn't be beneficial as people simply need somewhere to do their laundry. I know as a user of laundromats, I wish I knew the answers to unknowns before going to the laundromat, and ideally have the option to compare other laundromats. 

Laundromat

How About We See What Problems People That Use Laundromats Face?  

Research Goals 

To learn why people use laundromats

To understand what people wish they knew about a laundromat before utilizing their services 

To determine their pain points when it comes to doing laundry


Market Research 

 

Industry Environment 
  • Having to wash clothes isn't a new concept, but laundromats themselves are a 70-year-old industry.
  • There is a higher demand for laundromats in renter concentrated areas due to space limitations.
  • A forever fact is that people will always need to do their laundry and it is considered a human right to have clean clothes. 
  • From a business standpoint, machine turns per day are indicative of how much revenue is generated on a daily basis 

 

 

Interviews

Using a laundromat on a regular basis, due to not owning a washer or dryer, does fall into a niche audience. However, even if someone has only gone to a laundromat once or twice, the person is still able to provide insight into the user experience, and their standpoint will differ from those that have to use a laundromat on a regular basis.  

I interviewed four people. Two frequented and two did not frequent laundromats. 

User Interview Key Takeaways

  • Dread going/it’s a chore
  • People hate having to wait for a washer dryer
  • They find it frustrating needing cash for coins
  • Hate having to schlep the laundry
  • Will use it for large loads (if already have a washer/dryer)
  • They go to the closest one and are at that laundromat’s mercy
  • They like having spacious laundromats, especially during Covid
  • Like CLEAN laundromats and machines 
  • Like to go to decompress and away from screens
  • Feel confused by how to use machines
  • Some feel they can reach out for assistance, but there can be a language barrier
  • There are times when no one is present to ask for help
  • Hate when there is a card for laundromat chains because then you are obligated/tied to that chain
  • Worried about people taking their clothes
  • Hate having washer/dryers away from each other

From my interviews, I deduced there were three main problems when it came to doing laundry at a laundromat


1.  People don't how much it costs for a wash and dry, what payments are accepted, when's the last wash, hours, and costs of other services such as wash and fold (person drops off dirty clothes and is washed and dried by the laundromat)
2. People hate schlepping their laundry, and therefore just go to the closest place 
3. People hate having to wait to use an available machine upon arrival 
     


Brainstorming: Reservable Feature

An idea that I brainstormed with my tutor and mentor is the idea of having reservable washers and dryers. 

Some ideas were:

-Uber-style surge pricing during peak times

-Book ahead of time like with Citibike and start paying ahead of time


Some issues I hypothesized:

-Guests would get mad that they could be standing there for a machine waiting for it to be available and someone “cuts” in front of them by reserving when they’re not even there

-Guests would feel obligated that they had to reserve in order to be able to wash their clothes 

-Would the reservable machines be mixed in with the non-reservable? How would this guarantee the reservable machines wouldn’t just sit there with people actually in the laundromat ready to wash/dry?

worldslargestlogo

SME Interview

 


I talked to Tom, the owner of World’s Largest Laundromat, located in Berwlyn, IL. He was

reluctant to talk to me as he initially saw me as a competitor, but I assured him not to worry

as I am based in NYC, and also this project is for a course, and not a real website.

Key Takeaways from SME Interview

The biggest takeaway from the interview was helping me decide not to have reservations be part of my site. He said it’s not economical for the business. If someone has a 1pm reservation, the machine would just be sitting there after 12:30pm to ensure the machine was available on time. It would also make customers mad seeing machines just sitting there when they’re ready to pay and do laundry at THAT moment.

Other noteworthy comments: 

-Wash/dry/folds have increased 25%;  which Tom thinks is due to stimulus checks. This has been a challenge to the business to meet the demand.


-People doing laundry themselves make

the business the most money. 


-Tom doesn’t charge more at this place, despite having lots of amenities, because laundry is a blue-collar business. People save money where they can, so businesses aren’t able to charge more despite having more amenities.  


-Guests complain when the business is using the machines they want to use (like the super large machines). The business uses large machines for the wash/dry/fold demand.

-Tom thinks the reason most laundromats don’t have sites is that owners are mostly machine inclined and don’t know anything about creating sites. Tom’s son does his site. 


-Small laundromats have to be cheap to make any money at all (to bring people in). 

-Large places affect small businesses because people feel safer in larger places. 


World’s Largest strengths: 

-Ownership presence with himself and two sons is super helpful.

-Mechanics work around the clock. If a machine is down it’ll be fixed within 18 hours.

User Persona

The persona as a whole is anyone that uses laundromats. But, my site’s direct user for whom I designed, W, lives in a high-rent area, doesn't have a car, and has some disposable income to utilize a laundry pickup and dropoff service to save time. They do not want to wait for a machine to be available and do not want to carry a heavy load of laundry to the site.

Information Architecture 

Site Map

Suds-Site-Map

Task Flow

I designed the flow of placing an order for laundry delivery service.

SUDSTaskFlow

Sketching and Wireframing

I decided to start designing mobile-first, thinking that my users will likely be using this site via their phone rather than a desktop in the majority of cases.

The initial sketches focused on all the categories that a laundromat website would need to fulfill the user needs.

Sketch1
Sketch2

Branding

Testing with Maze.co

I worked with 11 usability testers for my mid-fidelity mobile prototype.

Testing Feedback

  • Make the selection boxes bigger/clickable areas were small 
  • The choose your language area was in a weird spot
  • Put the Wash and Fold pricing in a grid format so it doesn’t blend in with the rest of the text
  • Update the editing/canceling to be able to X out rather than just being able to go BACK so people aren’t afraid to lose their saved info
  • Move the info about reservation up rather than all the way at the bottom
  • Collapse the times so it’s not one big scroll option
  • Inconsistencies with the change of button color 
  • The language(wording) for pick up from the doorman for both drop off and pick up was a little confusing.
  • Those that were not in UX thought the process of easy and straightforward
  • Misclick rates happened due to too small of boxes and also users thinking the prototype was more interactive

Iterations

I made the pricing clearer to distinguish. I moved the Select Your Language to the top right. 

Small-2PRE
Small-2-2

I moved the reservation info to the top of the screen and condensed the reservable times.

Small-23PRE-1
Small-24

Responsive Page Designs

Although my focus was on mobile design, my assignment was to also design some responsive frames. 

SUDSResp
SUDSResp
SUDSResp
SUDSResp
SUDSResp
SUDSResp

Post Mortem

Maybe when I have more time, I'll build out the live machine feature of this app. This is another design solution for the user’s needs, and will be a good feature to demonstrate my UX skills.

I am glad that I had more practice with utilizing Figma's prototyping capabilities and learned how to set up the slides to better suit the prototyping experience for the usability tester. With more time, I would make all the screens stay in place, and not have the user scroll when choosing a pickup and dropoff delivery time. 

I started showing my wireframes earlier in the process which was beneficial, but I also feel that I had a tendency to focus too much on the layout of the wireframes, and not focus enough on other UX deliverables. 

Also, the boundaries within this project: Due to the fact that I had only 80 hours to complete this case study, I was not able to build out the site in its entirety, like designing the live machine pages and building out more of the UI features.

Overall, those that tested my idea liked the concept of having their laundry picked up, cleaned, and then brought back to them. This is not surprising considering we are at a point where we can get delivery for most anything, so as long as the user trusts SUDS to bring back their clothes unruined, users would be likely to utilize this feature. 

SUDSResp