Explore, Learn, and Create
The Ultimate DIY Project Guide for Outdoors


Designing a comprehensive platform for outdoor DIY projects



Since the COVID outbreak in 2020, many people have turned to DIY home improvement projects to keep busy while social distancing. However, finding good resources and useful information can be challenge for individual users. People are frustrated by spending hours searching for answers on Google or paying fees for contractors to visit their homes.

I see an opportunity for a coaching application, particularly for outdoor DIY projects, that allows users to quickly connect with reliable field experts or other users with shared interests. This platform could provide useful project guides with in-depth information.


May - Dec. 2022

(7 months)

My Role

UX Design

UI Design

UX Research


Individual Project




Google Forms

Google Meet

Usability Hub

Optimal Workshop
Sketching tools


Why do homeowners have difficulties in their DIY project?


Challenges in finding
reliable information

Finding relevant information takes time and effort, and users may struggle to determine its relevance.


Difficulty locating resources

tailored to DIY projects

Coaching platforms offer less detailed content due to covering too many categories, making it difficult for users to find specific information for their unique projects.


Information flows in 
one direction only

Search engines and video platforms are one-way communication channels, limiting interaction between content creators and users.


How can I assist homeowners in overcoming challenges
and reaching their objectives?

THE BACKYARD empowers homeowners with quick solutions for their DIY projects issues. Its main features include,
Mockups 2

Outdoor Project Guides

Discover step by step guides in various difficulty levels for projects
Mockups 3

Get Advice from Experts

Schedule a call with experts to get advice for the projects
Mockups 4

Community Channels

Share ideas or activities in community channel based on project or interest
View Final Prototype


Let's illustrate how the process applies to a design project

Design Process


  • Market Research
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Survey
  • User Interview
  • Affinity Map
  • Synthesis


  • Persona
  • User Journey Map
  • Problem Statement
  • Goals
  • Feature Priorities
  • Design Requirement


  • User Flow
  • Sitemap
  • Ideation
  • Sketches/Wireframes
  • Design System


  • Prototype
  • User Testing
  • Iteration
  • Collect Feedback


Many people want to enhance their outdoor living spaces
for better home enjoyment

Since the pandemic started, there has been an increased interest in outdoor DIY projects, as many people have been spending more time at home and looking for ways to improve their outdoor living spaces. With restrictions on travel and indoor gatherings, many people have turned to their backyards and outdoor spaces as a way to stay active, entertained, and connected with loved ones.

The trend towards outdoor DIY projects has been strong throughout the pandemic, and it is likely to continue as people prioritize their homes and outdoor spaces for both work and play.


of sales in outdoor living products increased in Q2 of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.


increase in searches for ‘Outdoor’ & ‘Landscaping’ in Q2 2020 on online marketplace than in 2019.


of prediction in global  DIY home improvement retailing market by 2023.


of homeowners are interested in having a patio, garden, outdoor kitchen, or fireplace.

Top Choice

for home improvement projects in the period spanning 2020-2022.


of DIYers are handling exterior/outdoor home improvement.


Collect user data for valuable insights in the right direction

To target homeowners aged 25-50, I conducted surveys for quantitive analysis and user interviews for qualitative analysis. The goal was to gain a deeper understanding of their behaviors and pain points related to outdoor DIY projects.

User Survey Bar Charts


of homeowners look for information such as project guide, video tutorial, and a list of supplies prior to the projects.


of homeowners work on their outdoor tasks or projects more than once a week


of millennials are DIYers and they lead the DIY sector of the home improvement industry in 2022.


of homeowners think they are in beginner - intermediate skill level for the DIY projects.


of homeowners have difficulties with limited time and budget when conducting outdoor tasks or projects.


of homeowners are interested in coaching application for outdoor projects.

After carefully analyzing the data from the user research, I incorporated the insights into the user persona to synthesize my findings and identify the main problems that need to be addressed.



Uncover valuable insights from user data


Each user is unique and special

Users want to personalize their projects to their own taste and receive useful information for their unique and situational projects.


Hard to find right information

Homeowners feel it is difficult and time-consuming to find useful information related to their everyday tasks or projects.


Users like to stay connected

Users want to have more social interactions with others. They would like to receive feedback and thoughts from other people on their projects, and share everyday stories.


Choose quality over quantity

Many homeowners prefer to have all-in-one project guides which can save their time and effort. They become frustrated when they find that the guide contains nothing useful or lacks depth in its content.


Prioritize key features while collecting powerful ideas

After identifying the problems and needs of users, I started to create ideas for relevant features and develop collective rationales that would justify including these ideas.

Brain Storming & Affinity Map

To effectively address user needs and goals within the given project constraints, I had to make informed decisions about which features to prioritize.


Build a flow with users in mind

After the initial ideas, I began by identifying the necessary pages or screens for the app. My primary goal was to ensure that every user need is met at every step of the flow. I focused on designing user flows rather than individual pages so that the results would be more user-centered and successful form the users’ perspective.

User Flows


Empower users with personalized resources and collaborative tools for informed decision-making


The product should deliver a personalized user experience within a limited budget.


The product should deliver a personalized user experience within a limited budget.


The product should deliver a personalized user experience within a limited budget.


Homeowners should have access to relevant information and resources that are specifically for their projects or any other issues.


Users should be empowered to communicate openly with each other, share their thoughts and expertise on specific topics, and enable others to learn.


The product should deliver a personalized user experience within a limited budget.


The product should deliver a personalized user experience within a limited budget.


Intuitive tools and resources can help homeowners save their time and effort while still getting the information they need to make informed decision.


Minimize cognitive load to maximize usability and efficiency

When developing a product that requires a large volume of information, it was critical to ensure that it was visually well-organized to prevent overwhelming the users’ cognitive load. Equally important was ensuring that all necessary information was readily available to users to successfully initiate their projects.

To achieve this balance and solve the problem, I thoughtfully re-organized the overall layout and navigation system. Additionally, refining sitemap was necessary to ensure that the product is easy to navigate, and users could find the information they need without significant cognitive effort.


Wireframing for effective information design

The wireframe was designed to establish the structure and architecture of the information before moving on to visual and interactive elements.

Mid-Fi Wireframes


Develop a clear and intuitive visual design for easy navigation

Design System


Design with users in mind for a targeted approach

The process began with initial wireframe ideas, then moved to prototype. Here are some considerations that I had in mind during the process.

Cards and Images

The design should prioritize simplicity and convey useful information in a simple and intuitive way. Utilizing simple cards and friendly images would provide visual cues that help the users quickly understand the content.

Cards and Images

Connotations of Green

Use green color to create a nature-centered, people-oriented, comfortable, and energizing atmosphere for the product.


Uncover users’ pain points and usability issues

The usability test is to assess the learnability of test participants as they interact with the application for the first time. To achieve this, each participant was given three scenarios and tasks to complete initial functions. The entire process was observed and measured to obtain meaningful insights.


1. Test Type

Moderate Usability Test

2. Test Method

Remote and In-Person

3. Total Number of Participants

6 Participants

4. Participants Age

25 - 45 yrs. old

5. Average Time per Test

30 Min.



1. Browse DIY Project Guide

See how users feel comfortable finding project guides within the app.

2. Schedule a Video Call

See how uses proceed with scheduling and complete payment

3. Create a New Post

See how easily users can navigate and create a new post in group channel

View Usability Test Plan and Script


Refine the design steadily based on feedback obtained from users through testing

After completing the usability test, I prioritized the main issues experienced by users with the initial prototype; possible design solutions and rationales were then addressed, as they were directly related to essential features of the product.

View Rainbow Spreadsheet Analysis and Usability Test Result Metrics


Introducing THE BACKYARD: 

The Ultimate DIY Project Guide for Outdoors


Users can easily browse the carefully curated content of the app, based on their most interested topics and subjects, at a glance and quickly access it.

Project Guide

THE BACKYARD offers over 100 outdoor project guides in various levels of difficulty, ensuring that users can easily follow the instructions written by field experts and successfully complete their DIY projects or address day-to-day challenges.

Ask Expert

Users can receive consulting on topics of interest by directly engaging in voice or video calls with experts, enabling them to resolve issues or seek personalized advice for their unique and situational projects.

Group Channel

The community channel enables users to exchange opinions and feedback, as well as share their personal experiences in DIY outdoor projects, resulting in more engaging and meaningful user experience.


A few more things...

Learning #1 - Missing anything?

Due to project limitations, some important business opportunities could not be address, such as offering new users free trials for key features and encouraging membership sign-ups for additional resources. These are crucial for achieving business objectives and will require ongoing development efforts.

Learning #2 - Keep collaboration in mind

Knowing that not all designs can be easily implemented as code, I plan to focus on researching and improving communication methods to ensure quick and accurate information exchange in future team projects.

Learning #3 - Keep striving to improve design skills

I continually strove to discover better design techniques and methodologies to improve user experience throughout the project, practiced and familiarized myself with scenarios to derive more meaningful results and insights in usability testing. I would like to maintain this mindset in future projects to enhance user experience.