Web Application

Moving is a pain. Not to mention stressful and tiring. Every year, thousands of university students flying home for the summer find themselves in a pinch, scrambling to find storage for their belongings.

In 2019, we developed a simpler way to store; a full-service storage solution along with a proprietary web app just for students.

Project Type
Product Design
Visual Identity
Project Year
Web Application
Brand Assets

Storagehotel makes storing

simple and stress-free

The new Storagehotel online web platform allows for easy appointment bookings for students, a smooth checkout experience, online item management, and a more informed and easy to run management system for administrators.

Research Process

We began looking at this problem by interviewing the different stakeholders. We identified 2 main groups of stakeholders: Current/Potential customers and Storagehotel Team Members. These stakeholders helped us better understand the problems with the current system. From these interviews and conversations, we crafted user personas with some key insights and pain points that would later help inform our ideation and design processes.


We had several major constraints we had to consider for our final solution. Some of these constraints included needing to make the entire process responsive for mobile users, a limited budget for development, and a limited amount of time for the project. To make the checkout and order management process more intuitive on this platform, we focused on the core needs for each user group:

Students want an easy booking and checkout process, and to be able to manage their appointments and stored items. They want to have peace of mind that their items are being handled properly and being stored securely.

Storagehotel staff want to make sure that bookings are scheduled properly, appointments go smoothly, and all items are checked and accounted for. They want to be able to track each item easily and stay up to date with any order or appointment changes.


Using an Affinity Diagram, we took each of our data recordings of user feedback and responses from the testing sessions and put them onto a board. From this, we grouped together the responses based on themes that emerged, putting together things that seemed similar then labelling the respective categories by issue and area of concern such as the design & layout, quality of information, and general comments about the interface.

This helped us identify key concerns, uncover issues and interaction strengths, as well as determine what to prioritize given our time and budget constraints. This was highly important when it came down to discussing feasibility concerns and the practicality of the project as a whole. From this, we could thoroughly understand the scope and constraint of the project, while outlining the “must-have’s” from the “nice-to-have’s”.

Research Findings

Through our research, we were able to uncover a couple of issues and pain points that were needed to be addressed, as well as some strengths of the current system that we should consider keeping or refining upon.

What Worked

  • The pages were heavily detailed and accounted for things such as timing and different person’s of contact during pick-up/delivery
  • Pricing was transparent
  • Service seems credible, website is trustworthy
  • Phone number is widely displayed throughout website for quick contact

Outstanding Issues/Pain Points

  • Item sizes are hard to differentiate, difficult to determine what category an item is considered in
  • Order status is unknown, users want to know the status of their items or order
  • Checkout process was too tedious with a lot of fine print. Most checkout processes could take more than 5 minutes resulting in several customers leaving off
  • Booking pick-up’s required users to also know their desired delivery date, which in most cases would be many months later. This is very difficult to account for and most would be required to rebook deliveries closer to the date.

Ideation & Wireframing

We spent a lot of time researching our targeted users before ideation began. It was important that the platform not only served these two, distinctly different user groups, but also made sure that the user experience was cohesive across each touchpoint.

While developing solutions for the each of the two stakeholder groups, some questions I had to work through during this process included:

  • How might we create an item selection process that is intuitive and easily understood?
  • How might we design a checkout process that allows users to store all sorts of items?
  • How might we build a better way for admins to manage and change order details?
  • How might we simplify the checkout process to require as little information and effort as possible?
Initial sketches of the user journey map and flows based on our first rounds of user interviews


After we had brainstormed potential solutions and analyzed pain points, I created a detailed site map outlining where each of the features would be developed. This allowed us to get a grasp of how the platform would work system-wide.

User Flows and Scenarios

These flows provided clarity on where we should focus our efforts as a group, and the necessary steps we had to design for. This helped our group realize we had some discrepancies with the system-focused mapping of our platform above, and allowed us an opportunity to blend these two conceptual charts early. Additionally, these charts also allowed an opportunity to consider important non-visual aspects of the product, such as when confirmation and reminder emails would be sent out to customers.

Userflow 01 | Ordering Storage Services

Userflow 02 | Retrieving Items from Storage

Userflow 03 | Changing Appointments

User Testing

Our group had the opportunity to test our prototypes throughout the project. These testing sessions included both students and Storagehotel admin, and allowed us to receive a lot of valuable feedback and insight. We were able to gain a lot of unique perspectives on the problem space through this, and overall learn more about how the product could be improved or better suit user needs.

Overall, users were able to navigate within the created space fairly easily and intuitively understood the checkout process flows and action items given to them. We found that there were some visual and aesthetic issues with a few of the icons or colours, and throughout development the mobile version had to be updated to match the interaction of the desktop version while retaining the same level of intuitivity and user experience. Through this testing, we were able to detect these issues early on and correct them.

Final Solution

Through a combination of user interviews, data analysis, user personas, and site maps/user flows, we were able to pinpoint key user pain points, needs, and areas of interest. Throughout the entire research and design process, we continuously reiterated based off user feedback and testing to ensure our product was as user-centered and feedback driven as possible.

Specific Item Selection

Allowing customers to select from a pre-configured list of items as opposed to categories of sizes removes the need to measure any items or determine whether their item is considered a small or medium item. We created this list based on previous customer order data and interviews with students.

Custom Items

To accommodate any unique items not displayed, a Custom Item Section automatically determines the storage price for a customer’s item based on its dimensions. While this requires students to measure their items, we felt this was a more transparent and fair method of pricing that would lead to fewer discrepancies and future disputes between both parties. This solution accommodates any items that are not within the current system. It also helps notify Storagehotel staff of special items that may require special care or handling.

Item Retrieval

By logging in, users can track the items they’re storing and schedule item delivery retrievals at their convenience. Users no longer have to determine a delivery date at the time of their initial booking. This feature allows users to put off deciding on when they want their items closer to when they actually need them. They can also select the certain items they wish to retrieve while continuing to store their other belongings.

Lessons and Takeaways

Through this project I learned many things. Aside from new skills and lessons in UX/UI design, I also learned a lot about entrepreneurship, developer hand-off, and most importantly, project management and organization. With a tight schedule and limited resources, it was imperative that I completed this project as efficiently and effectively as possible. While there were many things I wished I had done differently, this experience taught me that I won’t always have the time, resources, or ability to develop something I want. That being said, I’m proud to have completed this project and cherish the memories made building out an amazing new product that will help many students every summer.

What I learned

  • Be agile, rapidly mock up ideas and carefully consider each decision
  • Dedicate extra time to testing and other unforeseen obstacles you will surely face
  • Understand your users as much as you can before diving in
  • Stick to UX guidelines and trust the process, they’re there for a reason
  • Iterate, iterate, and iterate