It’s Time to Have a Site for Power Tool Sharing

4 min readJul 27, 2017

This was a design exercise to build a web service that lets users find power tools they can rent from others.

Here I’d like to showcase my design thinking and process.

From Coffee to Ideas

Mind mapping on tracing paper. And yes, I love sketching on tracing paper.

When getting any design tasks, I like to ask questions first to get insights on the “whys”. “Why do people want to rent power tools?”, “What do users actual want?”, “What are their goals?”. I mapped out a couple ideas targeting these users:

  • The Beginners — Want to learn how to DIY.
  • The Crafters — Know the tools, but don’t own many, often need the tools for short term.
  • The Professionals — Need a network for big machine renting and storage.

The goals I can think of for these users:

  • Make their own furniture
  • DIY home remodeling for unmovable areas: floor, roof, etc.
  • Build projects for clients on sites

Immediately you can notice the theme “DIY” is quite clear. It occurred to me that this could be an opportunity to position the brand for the DIY beginners. Instead of providing a rental service, it could build a community for the makers.

Furthermore, not all users want to pick up tools to a site. What if it’s easier for the users to go to a shop that’s already equipped with all the equipments they need? For the beginners, they might feel more comfortable using the tools where there are monitors at the shop to ask questions and learn how to use the tools.

A product statement was therefore formed:

Create a beginner-friendly power tool rental site that allows users to connect with other makers and discover shops near them.

Creating a Brand for the Makers

Now that we have expanded the market to the shops, I started to think about a common palette that I see in wood shops. Immediately I thought about orange because of this guy:

A common bar clamp used in wood shops.

Then I evolved my concept through these keywords:

“builder” >> “construction” >> “signs” >> “highway typography” >> “Highway Gothic”.

At first I tested Highway Gothic for the logotype. It didn’t work as great as I thought, so a quick google led me to this article: America’s Sudden U-Turn on Highway Fonts. An interesting read that helped formed the final logotype: Clearview.

With some quick sketches and brainstorms on the name, Makershare was born.

Tada! A brand is born with the logotype in Clearview.
Along with some branded icons!

Sketching Out the Bones

Sketches of the wireframes.

Nothing fancy here. I did some quick sketches of the wireframes to make sure the flows “make sense”.

From Sketches to SKETCH

Some Highlights

Since Makershare is a new brand, it’s always nice to have some quick intro copy.

A homepage for both marketing and utility.

The search gives users an opportunity to think whether they need to pick up a tool or if they are open to work at a shop.

Beginner-friendly explore section.

The “explore” section on the homepage aims to help beginners who don’t know the name of the tools but know the functions they need.

Using existing data to suggest products to lenders for better categorization.

There’s an opportunity to use data prediction as a lender categorizes his tool for renting. The more data the service has, the better it gets with the predictions.

The Final Designs

Try the following tasks when clicking through the prototype:

  1. Search for a drill and finish the rental process
  2. Post a tool you want to lend to others

You may also see a complete list of the UI screens here:

Hope you enjoyed my design process!