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Booking Self-Service Appointments at MakeSpace

The iteration from MVP to V2.

Self-Service mock.jpg



Live (Dec. 2020)


UX/UI design, Interaction design, Prototyping
User research, user testing
Product strategy, Data analysis
Design QA

Product designer | Ellen
Product managers | Michelle, David
Engineers | Alex, Patrick
Content strategist | Lalita


2 months

Self-Service appointment booking experience V2.png

Self-Service appointment booking experience V2

Self-Service appointment is new. People don’t know how to choose it and how it works.



  • 48% increase in booking.

  • 22% increase in conversion rate.

  • 34% decrease in support tickets.

  • User research process standardized. User testing method established.


MakeSpace is a late stage startup focused on disrupting traditional self-storage by providing on-demand pickup and delivery of all your home and business items. I worked as the sole Product Designer for over a year, carrying out multiple large-scale projects from conception to launch.  

As MakeSpace expands, many customers find it difficult to book an appointment due to operational constraints. To  increase the number of available appointments, we decided to add a new type of service to our offerings—Self-Service appointment—where customers visit our warehouse to drop off or pick up their stuff.

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Customers will be interested in Self-Service appointment because it provides more availability.
On our iOS app, customers can switch to Self-Service option when choosing a date.
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We’ve seen a spike in support tickets—the team has spent more than 500,000 min on "Self-Service" tickets in the past 90 days, which ranked No.1 in all tickets categories.


We’ve seen a strong signal that the Self-Service option was more enticing than we originally anticipated and we wanted to iterate to capitalize on that. This time I strongly advocated for more research to help us fully understand the problem and customer needs.


However, user research at MakeSpace was almost non-exist. There wasn’t any research process documented. What should I do?

My approach

  • Connect with stakeholders to understand data tools.

  • Synthesize previous research.

  • Review both quantitative data and qualitative data.

  • Document and share my research process.

Quantitative data offers me a good overview of the problem scale and a wide range of problem categories. Meanwhile, Qualitative data helps me understand the problems more deeply. I get to empathize with the customer on their needs, motivation and specific usability problems. 

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Smartlook recordings

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Zendesk support tickets

Note: contents are blurred for confidentiality 

Zendesk tickets dashboard

Customer David

“Can you help me arrange a warehouse appointment? I searched in the app, and Self-Service is not an option.”

Customer Sarah

“It’s asking for my own address. But I want to book a Self-Service appointment.”

Customer John

“I’m unclear about what the service fees are. And can I ask my moving company to come instead of me?”

Most importantly, the research findings disapproved of our initial hypothesis. Customers are interested in Self-Service appointments for various reasons—some moved to another state, some don’t have a physical address, some moved to places where we don’t serve yet… However, our MVP version was designed only for customers who need more availability. It wasn’t intuitive enough for people in other use cases.

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Self-Service appointment is new. People don’t know how to choose it and how it works.

To help customers understand this new type of appointment and enable them to easily book it for their needs. 

KPIs we want to impact

  • The number of Self-Service appointments booked on iOS

  • The conversion rate

  • The number of support tickets per appointment 

Other metrics

  • The time customers take to finish booking

  • NPS and LTV (as reference, but we won't set them as success metrics because they are affected by a number of factors)


Designing for a broader set of use cases

Customers with different needs should be able to choose it easily.

Helping people understand

Information must match human needs.



How might we make sure the new experience works for a broader set of use cases?

My approach is to understand and design the natural journey for each scenario first and synthesize the experience.

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It became clear that we need a separate flow for Self-Service appointment to avoid confusion and optimize the experience. And in case of any undiscovered scenarios and customer needs, I also made it flexible for people to switch between 2 types of appointments in the middle of the flow. With clarity and flexibility as my design principle, I started wireframing to synthesize the experience.

Design principle

Clarity and Flexibility

Option A

Option A

Option B

Option B

Option C

Option C

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How might we help people better understand this new type of appointment?

My approach is to display the right level of information at the right time of the flow. Meanwhile, I also worked closely with the content strategist to make sure each content is clear and concise.

Design principle

Relevance and Clarity

Information display.png

Detailed service process

Concise value prop

Interactive questions

Preparation modal

Besides the flow, I also worked on designing the UI for the key experience. I used a side-by-side layout to make it easier for customers to compare the two types of appointments. It’s also more consistent with the previous screen.


Select appointment type

Intro modal


After walking through the prototype with other stakeholders, the team was ready to start the implementation. However, up till now, we haven’t talked to any customers about this new service. This time I strongly advocated for user testing. 

The testing here will not only help us 1) validate the new experience, but also help us 2) understand the service potential
—How much are customers willing to pay? What do they value in Self-Service? What's their ideal process? I believe answers to those questions are extremely helpful for our business on planning future development. 


User testing is still new at MakeSpace. Choosing to do it will affect the project timeline. How can I get buy in from stakeholders? 

My approach

  • Set a timeline.

  • Make the value clear.

  • Communicate earlier in the process.

This is the 2nd time moderated testing was done at MakeSpace. To build a standard process, I documented my process and shared it with the teams. I collaborated with different stakeholders during the process. To get most out of this testing, I want to talk to customers who are familiar with our iOS app. And I want to talk to customers with and without Self-Service appointment experience. Working with the PM, I selected a list of customers using Mixpanel. Meanwhile, I also developed learning statements, scripts, and sent out invitations to customers. Over the course of 2 weeks, I conducted virtual moderated tests with 5 customers. 

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“Design at MakeSpace” Notion page

“Design at MakeSpace” Notion page

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Testing script-2
Testing script
User testing through Google Meet-2
User testing through Google Meet

User testing through Google Meet

Testing script


Overall, all of the customers thought the new flow was intuitive and straightforward. All of them were able to book Self-Service appointments without assistance. In addition to that, I also made some iterations on the usability issues discovered.

Customer Jen

“It’s way better than what I did the first time. I like that. It’s way easier and clearer to pick full-service or self-service from the beginning.” 

Customer Richard

“I think it’s actually pretty good. It all made sense to me.” 

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Switch to Full Service.gif


Testing observation
Switching from Self-Service to Full-Service, users didn't know how to move forward.
In lack of visual guidance
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Day of logistics.gif
Testing observation
Users asked clarifying questions about the day of logistics.
The content is not easily digestible. 
  • Work with content strategist
  • Group relevant content together
  • Simplify component style



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Testing observation
All users dismissed this confirmation modal quickly without paying attention.
Information overload
  • Simplify
  • Use accordion

Insights on service potential

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Ideal appointment process


  • Customers with different needs are able to book Self-Service appointments easily.
  • Customers are able to understand the process better and get prepared.

Self-Service appointment booking flow V2

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After a design walkthrough with engineers and PM, we started the implementation process. I partnered with engineers doing design QA and further worked on some micro-interactions. In addition to that, I also helped the PM test out the flow in all different scenarios.


The iteration was released in Dec. 2020. We've been actively tracking the core KPI it has impacted, as well as metrics that can measure the efficiency of the new flow. When analyzing data, I've also taken into account other key factors that affect our business, including seasonality, availability and operation issues. So far we’ve seen great improvement.
  • 48% increase in booking (Self-Service appointments).

  • 22% increase in conversion rate.

  • 34% decrease in support tickets.

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Comments from stakeholders

After this project, I continued to lead user research and testing in the company and invite different stakeholders to shadow. To further cultivate the user-centric culture in the organization, I did frequent presentations on research projects at the cross-functional meetings. I became the go-to person for customer research questions at the company. In addition to that, I implemented a 5-month-long sales call exercise at the product team to help us understand customer needs and problems.


I was the sole product designer while leading this project. I'm very grateful for the seamless collaboration with Product Managers, Engineers, Content Strategist and Customer Support Agents. I especially feel thankful for stakeholders’ support on all the user-centric initiatives I’ve worked on. 

But the user research method is not perfect. The 1-1 moderated testing can be time-consuming. I’ve been looking at ways to make the process more efficient. Besides that, I still think there’s too much text within this flow. I wish I had more time to explore animation or illustration to replace texts. 

Next step will be brainstorming how we want to position Self-Service from a branding perspective and then adding the booking experience to the web. 
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