Moving away from a society of consumption – the use of… [Read more]
LUGU is a furniture store that allows users to adopt furniture pieces with stories for a reasonable price.
LUGU is a service providing upcycled furniture that utilises the principles of circular economy to enable easy access to unique furniture with a rich history for young families creating their dream home. It also helps to create connections between people and furniture and allows users to tell stories that would otherwise be forgotten.
The world’s consumption of materials surpassed 100 billion tonnes in 2020. In the UK, 22 million pieces of furniture are discarded every year. In the meantime, young families are having trouble finding furniture that's good in quality and comes from a sustainable source.
The aim of this project was to explore how discarded furniture items could be upcycled and sold to customers for a reasonable price. This would be in line with the aims of a circular economy, where most products should live in cycles instead of being thrown away.
Both secondary and primary research was part of the project to get insight into how young families buy furniture and how they create their ideal home.
- Literature review aimed at understanding the furniture industry
- Customer trends analysis using Mintel to determine emerging changes in three areas: accessorising the home,
spending on home, and sustainable spaces
- 5 in-depth interviews with young families, combined with artefact analysis to understand how they create their ideal home
- Card sorting activities to understand deciding factors of buying a furniture item
- Service safari conducted at a British Heart Foundation furniture store to identify the current process of acquiring used furniture
- Social media scan of the posts from the Reddit community r/ZeroWaste, to understand how people living sustainably manage to get furniture
Key Insights and opportunities
Data were analysed using thematic analysis, affinity diagraming and participant boards. Key insights included:
- Buying items that will last ‘for life’ is a top priority for young adults, but they often can afford them
- Furniture items often have a rich history that needs to be uncovered
- Shopping at charity shops is enjoyable, but there is still a lot of room for improvement
At this stage, a set of personas was also created, along with a UX vision statement and a set of principles.
During the ideation stage, HowMightWe statements were used to generate opportunities based on research. As a result, core HMW was identified:
HMW highlight the item’s history to make it a relevant element of the shopping process.
This statement was used as guidance during the ideation process, which resulted in the initial concept and its key features, established using the MoSCoW method. At this stage, it was also determined that the main touchpoint of the service will be a website.
Validating the main assumption behind the chosen concept - the user will care about the furniture's story - was a crucial step during the process. The validation consisted of a survey aimed to answer the following questions:
- What kind of storytelling would users expect when shopping for furniture items?
- Can storytelling be a purchasing factor?
- How do people tell stories about furniture?
It was also necessary to establish how the experience of using the service should be by conducting experience prototyping. It was conducted as a desktop walkthrough, using simple images (like the one above) to showcase to the target user how the service will work.
After validation, the idea was improved based on the user's feedback.
As a next step, the scenario from experience prototyping was transformed into flows, which were turned into low-fidelity prototypes of the website. Following the iterative approach, two rounds of testing were conducted with the user before creating high-fidelity screens. This allowed improving the flows and features of the website before thinking about the visuals, which were refined during high-fidelity testing.
LUGU (an Estonian word for 'story') is a service store that allows users to adopt furniture pieces with stories for a reasonable price. When they move house or want a change, they can return the item to the service, and attach their story to the item. The service aims to minimise waste by creating connections between people and furniture through storytelling. It creates items that are cheap in price, but rich in history, which is exactly what young families are looking for when creating their first home.
I'm a designer that cares about creating sustainable and ethical products
I'm from Krakow, Poland, and I have a degree in Media Production. With a very mixed background, ranging from front-end development to photography and design, I aim to create visually appealing experiences that will solve real problems society is facing at the moment.
I am passionate about accessibility, sustainability and ethics - I strive to help people through design and bring necessary change to create a better future.
After finishing the course I aim to venture into the start-up world, where my array of skills will definitely prove useful.
Moving away from a society of consumption – the use of recycled and reused items for creating a first family home
UXathon 2020 - Best Concept for GB Box, a skincare app for Asian men