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User Journey Mapping: Renovation and Redecoration


Platform: N/A - UX Research

Deliverables: User interviews, visualization of user needs throughout the funnel

Objective: Product managers were considering building a new content management system for customers working on large renovation or interior design projects. We needed to identify the problem space and determine the user needs and where we could incorporate such a feature.


I completed nine interview sessions--some with single folks, and some with couples. All were homeowners, and all were planning or in the process of a large renovation project (like re-doing a bathroom), or an interior design project (like buying new living room furniture). 


I structured the study as an open-ended storytelling session, where users walked me through their methodology with opportunities to dive deeper into what they were thinking, feeling, and doing at each stage of the process.



The findings were grouped and summarized; notes are at the bottom of this page.

User Journey Map

Using the findings from the interviews, I then created a user journey map that married users' expectations and pain points with corresponding opportunity areas on the website.


(Open the image in a new tab to view larger.)

The journey map visualizes users' goals, actions, and emotions as they move through each stage of the shopping funnel: research and planning, shopping and comparison, buying items and/or services, delivery/installation, and post-purchase.


PMs were able to incorporate these findings into their product roadmaps, as it covered various touchpoints that went beyond the original scope of the project.


As a result of the success of this research, I conducted a workshop on the usage and creation of user journey maps for the rest of my product design team.

Interview Notes

Planning & Research

  • Consumers utilized various methods of research before starting projects

    • Pinterest boards, Houzz, Zillow

    • Watching DIY videos and TV shows

    • Talking with family/coworkers/friends with renovation experience

  • Some tried to establish a timeline, which averaged around 2-6 months, as well as a budget, but found that it was difficult to adhere to and always ended up longer/more expensive than originally planned

    • A first-time DIYer mentioned “I have no idea what I’m doing” and that advice and guidance was helpful

    • “I don’t necessarily understand everything needed”

  • Users created floor plans to lay out planned placement of furniture, fixtures, and appliances

    • Methods included drawing on paper, 3D modeling, and using IKEA’s floor planning software

    • “Fun” to create

  • Created to-do lists of tasks to complete

    • Evernote, Google docs, Excel sheets, Trello boards


DIY vs Contractors

  • DIY

    • Pros: saving money, more control, “feel good” value

  • Contractors

    • Pros: “gets work done right,” has expertise especially if something goes wrong

  • Interior designers

    • Pros: help with finding style, taking the guesswork out


Choosing Products

  • Use idea boards/wishlists or external documents with links to save and share product ideas with each other

  • Look for the “sweet spot” between price/quality and delivery/returns 


Post-Project & Planning for Next Project

  • Disposal of trash/old furniture

    • “I have to clean pretty much immediately after I do any work so that the dust and chemicals don’t affect my son”

    • “Craigslist is easy bc people pay you to come and take things off your hands”

    • Haul-away services- interested if town offers dumpster rental, or if it was a painless process

  • Planning future rooms

    • Varied between already laying out floor plans and gathering resources for future areas, to just listing out next projects with no timelines or other details established


Pain Points

  • Coordinating with contractors can be difficult

  • Product choice is paralyzing -- especially online

  • Empty rooms feel intimidating -- “It’s the same as looking at a blank piece of paper when trying to write an essay”

  • Communication between partners is challenging, hard to “stay on the same page”

  • Coordinating colors and styles is difficult to decide upon, as well as “mixing and matching” what looks good


Useful/What Could Help

  • “Project Tracker” of to-do list, tasks that can be crossed off in one place

  • Room builder -- a floor plan that can be laid out and arranged in 2D and 3D with products and even colors

  • Buying guides/renovation guides with detailed instructions on what is needed and steps to take

  • While shopping, the ability to message/chat/call someone who is able to provide advice on renovation and decorating

  • Curated product selections that go together stylistically, as well as info on all related items that are absolutely necessary for installation