The Home Depot

The Client

The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement retailer with approximately 500,000 associates and more than 2,300 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The Challenge


The Home Depot wanted to create a prototype for a virtual project manager app that can help users conceptualize, plan, and execute DIY gardening projects. The app needed to guide users from inspiration to completion, and be a help them maintain the finished project in the future. This app was designed to create a relationship with the end user that would position The Home Depot as a trusted partner in the process, rather than simply being a vendor for supplies.


Problems & Considerations

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The Home Depot wanted to assist users in achieving the goals stated above, while also addressing the following ongoing concerns:

  • Customers depend highly on The Home Depot employees as designer, landscaper, personal shopper, etc.
  • Most customers don't know what they want and need inspiration.
  • Employees are vital to customers seeking to improve their yards, but garden center employees have so many roles at work that they have limited bandwidth to help customers.
  • Stocking of plants is problematic for online shopping
  • Customers get frustrated when desired products are not in stock
  • Employees are typically vital to the process for customers, but they receive no formal training and are heavily dependent on vendors/manuals to be able to help customers

Key takeaways: This tool will help customers and ease burden on employees. Additionally, this tool was designed for users of all experience levels, from a first-time homebuyer to an expert.

My Roles

  • UX Design
  • Copywriting
  • Prototyping

Research & Planning

The Home Depot wanted a prototype that represented the most vital part of the app to determine potential of a full app. After a series of meetings with subject matter experts at The Home Depot, user persona development took place. Once we had our primary target demographic(s) clearly defined, a design workshop was conducted with low-fidelity sketches and storyboarding. This exercise determined exactly what parts of the app were needed to effectively convey the potential for the full mobile app.

storyboard image for UX design
storyboard image for UX design
storyboard image for UX design
storyboard image for UX design

The app was intended to be used for ALL stages of creating a home gardening/yard improvement project. These stages include:

  • Inspiration and visualization of possible projects
  • Ability to start and track multiple projects at once
  • Guidance /estimation of materials and supplies needed to achieve the vision selected
  • Integrated shopping
  • Scheduling — to help users create a schedule within parameters that work for them, and revise that schedule when needed
  • Instructions and reminders at each step of active projects
  • Care and maintenance assistance after the installation project is completed

A key focus was to prevent users from getting discouraged in the process of planning and building their garden installation. How do we achieve this? By being a trusted resource that helps users finish what they visualized & started, thus creating an outcome in which they feel the satisfaction of succeeding at their goals.

The design workshop helped to clarify that the best area for the prototype was for the process of actually creating the installation, rather than the earlier visualization/inspiration phase. This prototype focus includes scheduling, help with the online shopping process, guidance to start and complete the project at scheduled times, and help after the project has been completed.

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Designing the Solution

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User flows were clear based on the design workshop and facilitated wireframing. Some considerations inherent to the project were that:

  • The app should leverage existing digital tools (such as Project Calculators, DIY projects and ideas, etc.)
  • The app should have a more native "mobile app" experience


Wireframing & Visual Design

Wireframes were created through various iterations/revisions until we had all screens needed for a maximally efficient user experience. Some highlights:

  • Scheduling - users were offered an intuitive wizard that helped to create a realistic schedule based on parameters that they could define, to set them up for success.
  • Shopping - users are informed of the tools and materials needed for each step of the project, and specific products are suggested to make shopping easy & painless. Material calculators are included so the user can determine how much they may need of a product like soil or mulch, to fit the size of their yard. The shopping process also allows users to account for tools they already own, so they don't spend unnecessary money.
  • Reminders - the app offers phone notifications/reminders when it's time to get to work, and allows for easy rescheduling at any point...because we all know that life happens, right?
  • Clear Guidance - each part of the project is broken down into small, clear steps with detailed instructions and helpful videos.
  • Encouragement - users are provided with encouraging success messaging upon completion of each step, with ability to easily share photos of their progress to social media.
  • Maintenance - users can setup automated maintenance reminders, to help them keep their handiwork looking its best
Visual design reflected the existing Home Depot brand guide, but with a nod to the future via subtle additions. Now it was time for prototyping, so we could test it.



Though Figma has solid prototyping functionality, proto.io was chosen as the prototyping tool because of its advanced capabilities. The goal was to really make this look and feel like a fully-developed mobile app for user testing and presentations.


User tests showed that users of all skill levels LOVE the design. Users were impressed, excited by its potential, and expressed strong desire to use this for their own projects.

The prototype also received rave reviews from the client, with lots of excitement about its potential.

Watch the video below to see the prototype in action, and to see feedback from user tests:

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