ui/ux case study interactive prototype

A brand new remote storage experience.


Openbox is an on-demand storage service based on monthly subscription. Different from others, it not only allows customers to store things, but also helps them sell and donate unwanted items.

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People tend to buy more stuffs than they actually need, but they often have a hard time trying to figure out what do they need to get rid of.


Minimalism is all about decluttering. Starting from the big idea “minimalism”, I assumed that people could use an app/tool to help them free more space while taking them little effort.


What if a remote storage could help? Traditional self-storage is all about “going in”. What if there is this remote storage that not only stores, but sells and donates for its customers? Would it work?

Market Research

Remote storage is a good business model. Research shows that the demand for storage space is always there. Remote storage service actually costs a lot less than traditional self-storage.

User Research

The question is: What do they usually put into a storage, and why? People usually rent a storage when they are moving, but they also have strong desire to declutter and to provide more space at home.

Empathy Map


Project Goal

Design a mobile app for remote storage service to help people declutter

How Does Openbox work?

Openbox will send empty boxes for users in advance before the scheduled pickup date. Once Openbox stuff log the box into the warehouse, users can start managing their stuffs.

All items are labeled “Keep” as default. Users can change the label to “Sell” or “Donate”. Once the labels are changed, Openbox will match the items with possible demands on third party selling platforms or donation organizations. When an item get a match, Openbox will let the user know through push notification. Then the user could choose to decided to accept or decline the offer.

Information Architecture

Sorting information based on components. Mapping out the IA chart helps me decide the hierarchy of each component. I found that info about item status and message of selling and donating may be the most challenging ones to deal with.

Key user flows

Pickup order, return, and notification
These are three major user flows that users may find unfamiliar or hard to follow. I need to validate them through testing in the initial prototype phrase.

User flow: order pickup

User flow: request return

User flow: sell and donate


Sketching the initial idea of Openbox. The top three features of this app would be managing items, order pickup, and request return. I was trying to define the basic layout and screen flow.

Wireframe: Onboarding

Using 3 screens to quickly explain what Openbox is, the onboarding pages leads to either the sign up or login page.

Wireframe: Order pickup as first-time user

The first task for a new users is placing their pickup orders. They need to choose a date, take pictures of items they want to store, fill out their personal info, and adding a payment method.

Wireframe: Manage items

After a box is picked up by an Openbox staff, its owner could go ahead and change the status of the items inside. If an item is changed from “store” to “sell”, “donation”, or put into the return box, a badge will be displayed over its thumbnail.

Wireframe: Confirm sale or donation

When there is a buying or donation offer, the user will get a notification. The message would as if the user want to sell or donate.

Interactive prototype

Screen flow of the low fidelity prototype.

User testing

Users were given 2 tasks during this usability testing: ordering pickup and manage items (keep, sell, and donate). They pointed some problems of the original design.

User testing (problems and iterations)

Problems 1: Onboarding message is not clear enough, on pricing.

Users were curious about pricing of this service from the very beginning, but they can only know that during the pickup ordering process. Pricing should be clear upfront.

User testing (problems and iterations)

Problems 2: User giving up after onboarding

Giving users only the signup or login buttons would throw them off. So in the iterated version users are given options to decide later.

User testing (problems and iterations)

Problems 3: The app was not clear about the pickup process

Users were confused about the purpose of taking photos of their items. In the iterated version the app will show users the pickup process step by step.

User testing (problems and iterations)

Problems 4: Selling offers only appear in notification page

In the original prototype users can only find their selling offers in the notification page. The iterated version added a badge on each item and a inner page with CTAs regarding the item’s selling offer.

User testing (problems and iterations)

Problems 5: No item pictures in pickup confirmation page

During testing, users felt like they need to double check the items that are about to be picked up in the confirmation page.


Final design

Final thoughts

While Openbox is the Frontend, It Needs a Backend

While Openbox provides a solution for people who are pursuing a minimal lifestyle, there should be another app that helps people who love thrift shopping or those ones who need donation. Together these two apps are going to form a ecosystem. It’s important to create a steady flow between those two groups of people who have opposite needs. It would be a great opportunity for me to design this thrift shopping app in the future.

  • Human-centered design approach
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe XD
  • Sketch App