Civic Suds


CLIENT: Civic Suds
TEAM: Lauren Weinmeister, Fernando Fernandez, Jacob Croymans
Co-UX Designer/Researcher

GOAL: Design a website for Civic Suds so users have a place to find and access educational material, as well as sign up for course while doing laundry.
YEAR: 2021
 2 weeks
TOOLS: Figma, Trello


Who is Civic Suds?
Civic Suds is a non-profit startup that is looking to fuse a laundromat and a community center in one to serve disadvantaged families by creating a space that promotes learning and growth while doing weekly chores. Civic Suds needed a web application that allowed their users to have access to education material and schedule classes that are able to be taken while doing laundry.

To begin, we visited four different laundromats to observe the typical demographic of users that frequent laundromats. This provided insights that backed up previous research gathered by Civic Suds about who the typical users of the laundromat. After gathering this information we moved on to a competitive and comparative analysis. 

Research Methods:
Observational (4 Locations)
Content Audit
Comparative Analysis
Competitive Analysis 
Surveys (14 Participants)
User Interviews (5 Participants)


Competitive Analysis:
We compared Civic Suds against Coursera - an online course provider, WeWork - a shared office space, and Celsious - a high end laundromat in an effort to analyze the different features each offered since Civic Suds would be a combination of the 3 companies. We felt this would give us a good baseline to see what works and what could potentially work best moving forward.

Comparative Analysis:
We used platforms and services that focused more on learning and gamification aspects for a comparative analysis to understand how we could design a new platform that encompasses all of the successful features of comparable services. We specifically looked at portal pages and dashboards, since this would be a key aspect of the future design.


Vision: Civic Suds, “more than a laundromat” is also an education center, helping to uplift the members of it’s community with online and in-person learning services.

After synthesizing the research and constructing our hypothesis, we developed Carmen Gutierrez. 


Design & Ideation:
After creating the persona, we began sketching and then  dove into lo-fidelity wireframes. We wanted to create a website that not only gave laundromat users access to educational material, but did so in a fun manor which led us to a sort of gamification of Civic Suds. The early stage idea was that users would earn credits towards their future washes after completing course material. But from testing our lo-fidelity wireframes early on, we found that users were not quite understanding some of the language and goal of the site. 



We then created a style guide to follow before moving onto the high fidelity mockups. We used the Civic Suds logo as a guide to create the color palette. We went with Futura PT, a sans serif type, for the website as it was what the current Civic Suds site used and we wanted to stay true to the brand.

After creating a style guide, we dove into making our wireframes hi-fidelity with the goal that users would better understand the concept of earning credits towards future washes while working through the course material. Through the hi-fidelity iterations made, we made sure to also better explain the company offerings of Civic Suds. We found it was important to make that clear on the home page and then work to repeat that throguhout the course pages. After testing the hi-fideility wireframes, we found that users were able to better understand the concept of earning credits towards future washes after completing course material at the laundromat. What we found some users didn't like were the pictures we used of classrooms. Some felt that it would intimidate users of lower income and make them feel like this was a place they perhaps did not belong in. 


User Interviews:
We created a test script to present to the users, and after various tests we were able to analyze the issues faced by users . This provided detailed insights into the effectiveness of our designs. Some of the quotes are listed below.



We tested our hi-fiedlity prototype on 5 users, and 4 of those 5 users were able to successfully complete the tasks asked. From testing the protoype we found that users enjoyed the gamification concept of the platform and that they could earn money towards their future laundry loads while getting free access to educational material to help them better themselves. While some users were confused of the way things were worded we reworked the writing on the wireframes to make sure there was more consistancy. After retesting our prototype, we found users were less confused as they navigated the Civic Suds website design.

Next Steps:
After some final testing and presenting our design we found that moving forward the next steps we should take are as follows:

  • Make site responsive, usable particularly on mobile phones
  • Build out gamification and effectively communicate this on website
  • Make sure we add photos that will better convey the environment that users will be in
  • Build out children games and activities 

©2022 Lauren Weinmeister