User Research


The reading for the week was a foundation tool for the overall build of this assignment. Parts of the process that they laid out in the reading can actually be directly substituted for a few of the parts of this assignment. The reading also goes on to further introduce methods of studying people. This helped me to understand the complexity of observing people and trying to keep it as unbiased and natural as possible.

As i went through the assignment i found challenge with deciding who i would chose to observe. Given that my theme was bedside storage/organization this would require the observed to at least be someone comfortable enough to let me in their bedroom. I also became sick on the date that this assignment was actually do. Which resulted in the assignment being completed late.

Ask (interviews)

For the interviewing process i decided that i would focus specifically on students. I feel as if this them was personal to myself and i am seeking an outcome of ideas that would possibly would be used by myself. This lead me to ask some of my fellow students at the U of M Black Student Union. All of the interviews were conducted in the union. Each student was asked a total of 10 leading questions. The first 5 would be short and simple to start the conversation. The second five would be more personal to get more qualitative data. Follow up questions were also asked when they were appropriate.


  1. Do you currently have any form of storage or organization product near you bedside?
  2. Do you keep any personal items with you during the night?
  3. Do you ever eat or drink anything during the night?
  4. Do you read or work (computer/writing) in the bed?
  5. Can you describe to me the size and position of your bed in your bedroom?
  6. Can you describe to me the routine you go through before you go to sleep?
  7. Can you explain to me the routine you go through as soon as you wake up?
  8. Can you name 5 items that you would want to keep close to you while you sleep?
  9. What side of the bed are you most comfortable sleeping on?
  10. Do you feel as if you would buy a bedside storage product if one was offered to you at the moment?

D.M. : Male, 20, major: psychology


  1. “Not really. I have a desk in my room that is a few steps away but nothing right next to my bed.”
  2. “Yes, always my phone. Sometimes my laptop or my textbook if i fall asleep studying”
  3. “Yes. Most of the time ill have a bottle of water or soda somewhere in my room. I sometimes take snacks to bed too”
  4. “Yes. Like i said before i fall asleep studying a lot”
  5. “I have a full size bed. Its not really tall but it is raised up to store clothes and stuff under it.”

For questions 6–10 i allowed the interviewee to talk for longer as i just sat and took notes. He told me about how he tends to read for his classes while in the bed. He also plays video games in the bed and would like some place to store and possible charge his Xbox controller while he slept. Overall this persons nightly routine was one that was not heavily affected by not having a storage product directly next to his bed, but he did however say that he would be interested in purchasing a product if it was a reasonable price for students.

MK: Male, 20, major: business and marketing

  1. “Yes, my dresser is right next to my bed, but its at the bottom of the bed. ”
  2. “Yes, my phone, my laptop, my charger, my glasses, i even leave clothes on my bed sometimes. whatever is on the bed when i get to it usually stays there.”
  3. “Yes. i get really hungry at night so i am always eating in bed. Cereal, snacks, chips, candy. I got to have something to eat in my room. I usually have something to drink too.”
  4. “Yes. My laptop basically sleeps with me. Its always in my bed.”
  5. “I have a queen bed so it is pretty big. It is normal height i would say for a bed. My room is kind of small so the bed takes up majority of the space.”

For questions 6–10 i allowed the interviewee to talk for longer as i just sat and took notes. He told me how he goes to bed really late all the time so he never really cleans off his bed. He just moves things of the way and goes to sleep. The majority of the things on or around the bed are clothes. He said that he uses the dresser for storage, but the top of it is small and only has space for some of his personal items. He also said he would be interested in purchasing a bedside organization product if it would fit in his room and would not be in the way.

JB: Female, 19, major: undecided

  1. “no. not really.”
  2. “Yes, my cell phone. my laptop and usually what ever book i am reading.”
  3. “Yes, sometimes i eat dinner in my bed if i want to be comfortable or i am watching a show.”
  4. “Yes. I do a lot of homework in my bed.”
  5. “I stay in the dorms so our beds are twin size but they are long. They are lofted too”

For questions 6–10 i allowed the interviewee to talk for longer as i just sat and took notes. She told me that she wishes she had something to hold her personal items at night but her bed is lofted so it would have to somehow hang off the bed. She said she uses her desk for storage because it is right under her bed. she also told me that her bed is against 2 walls so it is only possible to get in and out of it 1 way. She said she was willing to buy a bed side storage

Observe (Part 1)

For this observation section i asked my neighbors if i could observe and take pictures of their bedrooms. I made sure that they did not have a chance to clean or change anything, because i wanted to really see what their rooms would look like on a normal day. I just walked through the rooms and took pictures of the bedrooms and storage/organization products that they already owned and used.

The first room was shared by two males. One is a senior business student. One is a junior healthcare management major. Both of them said that they would definitely be interested in bedroom organization products. The majority of the mess in their room was clothing. They used the dresser, dresser top and beds for clothing storage. The room was sizable enough to fit two queen size beds and other furniture pieces,
The second room was of a senior design student. The bed was surrounded by sectional pieces that acted as seating and storage. This room was also full of scattered clothing. The student said that he would not be interested in more organization products because of the setup that he already had.
This room was of a sophomore economics major. He also had a sectional piece that acted as bed side storage. This room was cleaner and more organized. He also had a small 2 drawer end table on the other side of the bed.

Observe (Part 2)

Target: Target had a decent variety of organization products. Majority were plastic Rubbermaid type drawers and bins. Some were made with more aesthetically pleasing materials, like wood and metal. There was however a limited assortment of colors. For all of the items, everything seemed so bland and tasteless. Aside from a few items that would work on a dresser or desk, majority of the organization items at target would not be considered bedroom or bedside products. This has to be problematic for students who live in this area.

Walgreens: I went to Walgreens because i wanted to focus on students more specifically in my study. This store is the equivalent of the target in Dinkytown. It had a very limited supply of any type of organization products. It had a few daily bedroom products such as hangars and clothes organizers but nothing large enough to stand alone. This also has to serve as a dilemma for students who only frequent the stores that are close to the student housing.

Online: had a very wide variety of products for the bedroom and specifically the bedside. They also had an expansive selection of seating and storage products for the foot of the bed. Their products were reasonably priced for the most part, but i did notice that most of them required assembly. This is a small issue for some but can be a larger problem for other potential buyers. Overall, online definitely was better then in store when looking for any type of bedroom organization product. Better selection and better prices.


For the unpacking i first started by breaking down the information from the interview into three categories. The first was the things that the interviewees said about their bedroom as a whole. The second was what they said they would keep close to them while they sleep. The last was factors that affected their purchase of a bedroom organization product.

I then took the nodes from all of these categories and connected them with ones that could be considered within the same sub category. I then named these sub categories. They included, Dresser top items, Tech, Night Reading, Buy-ins, Food and innovations. The categories helped me to understand what others aspects of the bedroom are important to people. This will help to make a product that not only is convenient for when one is in the bed, but also for the organization of the bedroom as a whole.

Major Insights

  1. most people (especially millennials/students) sleep with their phones
  2. students like to read in the bed before they go to sleep.
  3. some students eat in their bed fairly often.
  4. People want charging directly next to their bed.
  5. Retail stores do not carry a wide variety of bedroom organization products.
  6. Majority of online bedroom organization products require major assembly.
  7. Clothes are the most unorganized item in peoples room.
  8. students will buy organization products if they are reasonably priced, even though they live in small spaces.
  9. bedroom organization products lack aesthetic design / personality.
  10. people like products that combine seating and organization.

Problem Statements

Students need a way to easily store books with a light source because they study at night in their beds

Millennials need a way to charge their devices at night that stores them to outside of their bed, but still within reach because technological devices can be broken overnight.

People need a way to store clothes that can be easily stored out of sight because clothes create the most clutter in small rooms.

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