Floor Plan App for Structure Sensor

Design Research and Strategy

Screens from the prototype

Designing the onboarding for an application that allows people to create floor plans quickly (product concept through prototype)/2015


  • Client Occipital
  • Role UX/UI designer


  • Research Interviews, competitor analysis, usability testing
  • UX/UI Personas, onboarding flow, wireframes, prototype

Case study—How to build a floor plan with a 3D sensor

Continued from Part 1

In Part 1, the Fresh Tilled Soil project team recommended that Occipital develop additional applications to demonstrate the potential of the Structure Sensor. Our next steps were to split up and individually develop and present new product opportunities for Occipital to consider.

3D technology opportunities within the interior design process

Research notes: identifying 3D technology opportunities in each phase of the interior design process

Generative research

I focused on finding ways for the sensor to help interior designers because they rely on measuring and mapping space.

Although we had research from our previous work with Occipital, our individual efforts began at the beginning of the development cycle where the product’s requirements still needed to be defined. In order to identify potential use cases for the sensor, I talked to interior designers and mapped out their design process. At each phase, I identified opportunities where a 3D sensor can improve their process, paying specific attention to three aspects of depth sensing technology: taking measurements (linear and volumetric), augmented reality, and virtual reality.

Identifying an immediate opportunity

People within this industry are always trying to find better ways to demonstrate how a not-yet-built space feels, so the augmented and virtual reality capabilities of the sensor present interesting opportunities for improving the approvals process for interior designers. Creating an application to do this would require too many external dependencies to recommend to Occipital.

With that in mind, my focus is on a huge pain point for independent designers or small consultancies: creating or verifying floor plans. Floor plans are used in all phases of a project, but creating one by hand requires a lot of time. It takes two people about half a day to take the measurements needed to create a floor plan before being able to manually build it in a program like AutoCAD. A simple mobile app that combines depth-sensing and position-tracking technology would fill an immediate need and demonstrate the impact that the sensor an have.

Example of a floor plan that takes half a day to create

An example of a floor plan that would take about a half day for two people to measure

Learning by doing

Using insights from Part 1 and a comparative analysis of similar applications, I designed the onboarding flow for an application that uses the sensor to quickly create a floor plan file to import into AutoCAD.

Design methods

  • High-level application tasks
  • User flow diagrams
  • Experience mapping
  • Wireframes
  • Keynote prototype
Diagram of the 3 main tasks of the room scan flow: capture space, identify elements, organize elements

Before designing more granular interactions, the primary phases of the room scan flow needed to be explored

Onboarding flow

Latest onboarding flow diagram showing how someone would build a floor plan for a room with a flat ceiling

User flow whiteboarding

Whiteboarding user motivations and the basic user flow

Ecosystem diagram and UI sketches Onboarding sketches

Sketches of the app ecosystem diagram, onboarding animations, and UI concepts

Early wireframes

Early prototype screens for testing a more passive onboarding concept

Screens from onboarding flow Onboarding screen

Screens from onboarding prototype

Prototype screen

Screen from the high fidelity prototype

Onboarding prototype

The onboarding process lets people dive right into taking room measurements, learning as they go rather than giving a lot of attention to introductory screens and videos. The prototype uses Keynote animations to represent user interactions.


Occipital developed Canvas, an application that creates a digital 3D model of interior spaces.