Loading parrot. Har Har.


Mock-ups of Chor set against a teal background.


Worked in a team of self-run student marketers, developers, and product managers to deliver research findings and mock-ups for an iOS application released on the App store.


Product Designer


September 2018 — December 2018

01. Background

A household management app for college students

Chor is a mobile application that delegates, manages, and aids in the completion of common household tasks. Users can create, assign, and complete chores for a household, keep track of what chores they need to complete throughout the month and get a quick idea of what the rest of the house is responsible for.

You can check out our Instagram here.

02. Problem

College Homes are Kind of Gross

If you've even been a home occupied by college students, chances are you've noticed they're pretty dirty. Scattered solo cups, old dishes in the sink and strangely sticky floors are common encounters when hanging out in shared college living rooms.

A typical messy room of a college student.
A common sight when visiting a freshman dorm room. (Not my room!). Source: collegerentals.com

So why do smart, typically capable people let their homes get to this point? We hypothesized that housemates have trouble communicating their expectations about home cleanliness and chore division.

03. Research

Analysis of similar household management apps

Analyzing the domain space situated our application within the competitive space. Some key takeaways:

  1. Most products are aimed towards families, not roommates.
  2. Having a "point" or "reward" system seems ineffective for our use case.
  3. Each application keeps individuals accountable through generating reports on the performance of users.
Competitive analysis of the chore management space.
Competitive analysis of the chore management product space.

Talking to College Students

In a survey of 22 undergraduate college students, 81.8% of respondents used some sort of chore scheduling system (such as whiteboard systems, Google calendars, post-its). 70% of respondents reported that the most common problems in the household were lack of communication or cleanliness. Traditional household methods don't work for some reason or another.

Competitive analysis of the chore management product space.

I conducted six structured interviews with college students to understand what their current living and chore situation was like.

Notable quotes:

“Keeping shared spaces clean and having people stay accountable for their messes is the hardest part.”
“Dividing up how much work we all put into the house is a pain and doesn't work. Once one person slacks off, the rest of the house does.”
“I wish they wouldn't get mad at me when I tell them to clean up or turn things off when they're not being used.”

Primary and Secondary Personas

After taking note of major pain-points, goals, and similarities between interviews and survey responses, two personas were developed: the primary persona of the "college student" and the secondary persona of the "millennial". We kept the "family man" persona in mind as well but ultimately decided to focus on college-aged (18 – 27) students who are likely to have similar aged roommates.

Ashley, our persona. She is a freshman college student getting adjusted to her new life in college.
Our primary, secondary, and back-up persona. We focused mainly on Ashley, the college student. Incoming freshman are more likely to be unaccustomed to shared living than new-grads entering the workforce.

04. Solutions

Planning out design

Keeping our personas in mind, we brainstormed potential solutions to problems brought up in user interviews. Focusing on the goals of keeping housemates accountable to one another and limiting potential awkward conversations between housemates (e.g. "Are those your dishes?"), we ranked each feature on a high impact and high user expectancy chart, focusing on quadrant I features.

Ranking features based on user impact and user expectations.
Ranking features based on user impact and user expectations.
  • Delegating chores. Users can create, assign, and complete chores.
  • Managing your chores. Insights on what chores you need to complete for the day, week, or month.
  • Report generation. A breakdown of how many chores are left for you and your housemates
  • Calendar integration. Integration of chores into iOS calendar.

I then went through the process of sketching out user flows, information architecture, and wireframes on paper before prototyping in low-fidelity in Figma.

Mapping out information architecture, user flows, and screens on paper to plan out design.

Prototyping the Chor Application

I consolidated planning and sketching work into the Chor prototype, a mobile application that delegates, manages, and aids in the completion of common household tasks.

Some wireframes from the first iteration of Chor.
Screens from the second iteration of Chor.
Screens from the third iteration of Chor.

Final Design Features

  • Chore Management. Users can create, assign, and complete chores for a "household". Household consists of members, each having a Chor profile. Chores are broken up into three main types: shopping, cleaning and bills.
  • Personal Overview. This gives user insight on what chores to complete for the day, week, or month (depending on which view you are in.
  • House Overview. An overview on the chore progress for all of your housemates. This shows you how many tasks are left for your house, each housemate, and more to get a snapshot into who is pulling their weight and who isn't.
  • Notifications. Updates on when tasks are due or when someone has assigned you to complete a task.
  • Integration with External APIs. Integration with Venmo for Bill chores and integration with iOS calendar to remind users to complete chores.

User Testing and Iterating on Design

I tested the user tasks of creating a household, creating and assigning a chore, and completing a chore through 4 think-aloud click tests. User testing revealed that the number of tasks initially shown to the user seemed overwhelming and to rethink the placement of task type when creating new tasks.

After two rounds of iterating, testing, and working with developers for design handoff, the final iteration was developed and released on the iOS app store.

Overview of Figma screens in the final prototype.
Overview of the screens of the final prototype.

05. Reflection


Although our team had the ultimate goal of becoming a funded start-up, we ended up burning out and was unable to maintain Chor post-release onto the app store. Nonetheless, this was a great learning experience.

  • When working in a cross-functional team, make sure to check in with everyone.
  • Don't rely on assumptions when working in a familiar space. Get input from the people who will be using your product.
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