36 hours
(Updated November 2018)

Duaa Zaheer, Melody Yun Chen, Reshma Menon

Tools Used
Sketch, Flinto, Invision, Figma, HTML, CSS

Visual Designer, Front-End, UX Design, User Research (Interview & Synthesis), Solution Pitch


In order to provide great customer service, Home Depot store associates need to know a lot about the different products and services they provide. They encourage their associates to watch their many Product Knowledge videos to expand their awareness of what the Home Depot has to offer.

The Home Depot wants to develop an app for their in-store associates that houses product knowledge content. The app should encourage store associates to learn more about their products, allow non-coders to easily manage content, be interactive and engaging, and include search functionality for ease of use and reporting functions.

Design Challenge
How might we develop a mobile app for in-store associates, who are unfamiliar with every product in a big box store, while being interactive and engaging?

The Solution

An app that delivers product knowledge instantly and enforces learning over time, empowering in-store associates to help customers, even if they just started the job, while tapping into their intrinsic motivations through a reward system.

Project Process Overview

Understanding the User

No one on our team had prior experience with being a sales associate, so we reached out to our friends and used mediums like Facebook to ask questions about their day-to-day lives, their on-boarding experience, how they dealt with questions from customers they didn't have the answer to, and challenges that they needed to overcome over the job.

Key Insights

Skimming Through Training Materials

Associates admitted that when they were doing at-home training, they would skim through videos quickly.

Pride in Product Knowledge

Everyone responded positively to a ranking system because it meant recognition for their product expertise.

Steep Learning Curve

The initial training is described as "strict" and "difficult". Most employees learned about their stores over time.

Reliance on Coworkers

When associates couldn't immediately answer a question, they will ask another coworker for the answer.

Defining User Goals

Following our research, we created personas in order to fully understand some of the struggles that different types of employees would have, based on our quick user research.

Information at Your Finger Tips

Empower associates to have answers when they need them to help customers in their time of need.

Gamified Learning

Tap into associates' intrinsic motivations to want to demonstrate and expand their knowledge.

Once we finished ideation and sketching out our preliminary wireframes, we designed more granular features, such as the Homebot. This is where I doubled down on what types of scenarios the associates would possible encounter and mapped out the possibilities of common questions from customers.

Prototype 1

After a couple of cups of coffee and no sleep, we were able to output the first iteration of Knowledge Depot which won "Best Home Depot hack" at Ellehacks.

I led the overall design vision, user research, and interaction design while also working on a web app with the developers.

Impact of Iteration 1

Home Depot announced, to our pleasure, that we were the winners of the Home Depot Challenge because of our due diligence. According to Jacqueline and Umesh,  the fact that we conducted user research to understand the pain points, and designed a learning application that they wanted to build out, with features such as Homebot, they felt that we were the clear winners of the category. We are so thankful to Home Depot for sponsoring women in technology and giving us the opportunity to solve a problem using our skills.

Redesigning Knowledge Depot

After the hackathon, I realized that I really enjoyed working on the concept of this mobile app and wanted to also work on a project that I was passionate about. I decided to redesign Knowledge Depot as a personal project and set out to do more user research to make the experience even better and also enhance the visual design of the application to challenge myself. I reached out to big box employees to test the first iteration and gather insights.

User Research Findings

chatbot needed to be more intuitive

Users really liked the concept of the chatbot, but wanted prompts or ideas of how to get started with the chatbot to have an idea of what it could do.

unnecessary forum

While the forum was a good idea in theory, I decided to remove this feature since users were still more comfortable asking questions in person.

improve dashboard hierarchy

There was a lot going on in the original dashboard and they felt that it was kind of confusing to look at as a new user.

Visual Design

Home Depot has a very generic e-commerce feel for the customer-facing digital products, but since this will be employee facing, we can make the application look more powerful by using a dark UI and still retain a lot of Home Depot characteristics.

Mobile Prototype

A walkthrough of Knowledge Depot's features to help Home Depot employees perform at their best in their own time.

Product Quizzes

Gamified learning experience

Each time quizzes are updated, you can do these quizzes during your breaks, at home, or anytime you find yourself not doing anything. You can learn more about other departments, in addition to your own, in your own time.

Prestigious Leaderboard

Recognizing the best of the best

The top 10 sales associates with the most knowledge will get updated on the leader board continually. We were selective about how many sales associates to display so we don't shame associates for not doing the quizzes.

Video Warehouse

Training videos in one place

With simple search functionality, look through hundreds of product videos to enhance your product knowledge. Finished watching? Earn extra points by doing a quick follow up quiz to test your knowledge.

Acknowledge Coworkers

Give shout outs to all stars

It's a personalized thank you note that coworkers can send to one another. When your coworkers help you out with something and are proactive with helping out customers, this is the perfect opportunity to acknowledge them.

Informative Dashboard

Keep track of your knowledge

With one glance, associates can see how many quizzes they've done, their performance compared to other associates, and keep track of the points you've accumulated to win the monthly giveaway.

Intelligent Homebot

Instant Answers, Instant Customer Service

Find everything you need through a simple chat interface, no matter where the customer asks you a question. Not in your department? No problem, just look up a product or category using Homebot and you can instantly give customers the answer on demand.

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