HomeDepot Service Design

Year : 2013

Type : School project

Class: Observing Users

Role: Contextual research, Online research, Data analysis, Ideation, Concept evaluation

The DIY project with Home Depot aimed to design a new service for the company through understanding their customers.



The reality is, DIY is not what we thought...

1.DIY is an elastic concept

People have diverse definitions of DIY. There is no fixed and well-defined understanding of what level of project could be considered as DIY. 

2.DIY is an expansive concept

Doing DIY not only means you need to buying the materials and tools for the project, but it also means that taking the risk of damaging your house, investing unexpected hours and energy to complete the project. There are many factors to concern when doing DIY. 


Every DIY project has a story.

After using the online design research tool dscout to gain more understanding of our DIY and screen participants, we selected five participants to conduct contextual interviews. The participants are all home owners and young professionals who had considerably experiences of doing DIY projects. 




The ups and downs of DIY journey .

Our participants led us to draw the journey of a DIY project, which consists of six stages : starter, research, decide, do it, result and extend. 

This unique journey has a lot of ups and downs, illustrating every DIYer’s experience. In the first three stages, starter, research and decide, DIYers are building up knowledge and motivations , as well as assessing the pros and cons of DIY projects. The experience of the last three stages, do it, result and extend, will determine wiliness of doing the next DIY project. Please view the slides to see some interesting findings from our research analysis.


How might we better support the DIY experience? 

Three concepts that satisfy DIYers' needs and have business potential caught our eyes when generating ideas. They are DIY planning app, DIY apprenticeship and Home Depot Hackspace. 

DIY planning app turns complexity into a well-inform processes. Using augmented reality technology, the app can easily measure user's space and render the final result of their DIY project. Also, the app tells the cost, time and steps and compares this to the experience of hiring someone instead.

DIY apprenticeship allows DIYers to take baby steps with the help of professional. The users will be working as apprentice supported by an experienced professional. Optionally, the apprenticeship can serve to help someone in need that has a similar DIY challenge to yours. The user not only learn skills that are relevant to your project but also gets discounts for tools and materials.

Home Depot Hackspace is for when you don't have the space, the tools or the expertise. Providing users with a space for working on projects that are difficult to tackle at home. Additionally, Home Depot mentors are always around to help and you can use the tools available in the space.