InDeZo is an app that was created by Jeannie Beal Marini, a 71-year-old interior design teacher to help capture the intuitive “you-know-it-when-you-see-it” feeling for people designing their homes.
Below is the story behind InDeZo told by Jeannie’s daughter, Paige Holland and Milan C., the Crew professional who helped build the product.
InDeZo was invented by my mother, Jeannie Beal Marini. I helped her edit her book, and get it into an app form (which is funny, because Jeannie still does not own an iPhone).
Jeannie invented InDeZo to solve a problem for her students. She believed most people feel better, and function better in an environment that supports their body and soul. Jeannie developed InDeZo as a classroom teaching concept about 15 years ago. She wanted to help people who had no design experience learn to easily create rooms that expressed their favorite style, with their own personality showing through.
95% of Jeannie’s students came to pick up more hints on how to make their own homes more personal and reflective of themselves, not to become designers. They really did not want to learn all the intricacies of design. They needed a shorthand version of what gives a room personality and what makes it, “me.”
On their own, just looking through magazines, TV home improvement shows or retail shops was too confusing and overwhelming. InDeZo on the other hand, would work like a colour wheel for room styles. It’s simple, easy and accurate. You don’t have to know a thing about design to identify your own style. Your instinct respond to the great pictures in the app and in minutes, you know what makes you feel the most at home.
Students were so happy and delighted with the results, we knew we were on to something. This is where Crew came in. We worked with Milan to create our app.
“Milan has been wonderful, wonderful and we have loved working with him.”
Phase 1: Concept
Jeannie and Paige had a consulting workshop where they helped their customers find their design style. In the workshop, they would show a bunch of photos to their clients for a couple of seconds and those photos would be put on a “Yes” or “No” pile.
We knew the app would be rich with beautiful photography so we started exploring ideas in that direction.
The goal was to help people capture that initial gut feeling – that smile or frown on their face as they go through the photos – not to allow them to think too hard about details in the photos like furniture. Jeannie and Paige took me through that experience and we immediately knew we needed to translate that warm, friendly experience on the iPad.
The biggest challenge was capturing that gut feeling that is easy to read from a person’s body language but almost impossible to capture with an app. We also knew that we needed to take the opportunity to create an interface that would be almost chrome-less – the photos will be the design interface.
Phase 2: User Experience
Our process was simple. After the research phase, we were focused on nailing down the User Experience design. In this phase, we sketched most of the screens and app’s states.
We also defined the main User Interface patterns and the app’s behaviour. Our focus was on how the app should work, not how will it look.
Phase 3: Visual Design
After we had the User Experience defined, we started working in Photoshop. The User Interface elements had to be minimal so your attention would be focused on the photos.
Although the main interaction patterns were defined in an earlier phase of the project, this was the opportunity to focus on the small details that delight people.
The share button and all the other small animations were defined in this phase.
Phase 4: Prototyping
Once we had the visual design, we started prototyping the interaction design and animations. I used Adobe After Effects and Quartz Composer to test and create prototypes for us but also for development. If a picture is worth a thousand words, an interactive prototype is worth ten thousand. This stage helped to identify some design challenges we didn’t anticipate and paved the way towards a more feature-complete launch.
Jeannie’s system is brilliant. I have worked in the interior design field for many years, and have seen many good intentioned attempts to help people understand their style. None have been as simple, easy or accurate as InDeZo. Once you know your style, you can go as shallow or as deep as you want in understanding the colors, furniture, rugs, artwork, lighting and even plants that make your look happen.
Download InDeZo on the App Store and discover your own unique, personalized interior design style in a quick, proven, fun, and engaging way.
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