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A new use for the ubiquitous barcode 


Crafting has more than one user journey. The journey to buy the products and then the crafting journey at a later date. If the crafting journey is not considered during the purchase phase, crafters can amass a “stash of supplies which inhibits future purchases(a hidden competitor).

Craftopia is a craft store for customers to get supplies and inspiration. Craftopia wants the customer to enjoy the entire journey from purchase to project completion by providing crafting solutions not just taking orders.

The unique business model of crafts stores was reviewed before the research phase to identify opportunities. Since a customer's own stash was identified as a hidden competitor that was the focus of the project.


September 2021 to April 2022 (Part time)


Create a way for the hidden competitor of a crafter's stash to become an opportunity for future sales and customer loyalty.


Create a barcode reader that uses the information in the stash product's barcode to match it to patterns, with all the items you need to complete the project.

The Problem


Product Designer which included research, ideation, paper and digital wireframing, low and high-fidelity prototyping, conducting usability studies, accounting for accessibility, and iterating on designs.


Over 50% of the respondents have over 5 unique items in their stash which is taking up space and is a sunk cost. The statements from the customers on their thoughts about their stashes were incorporated into the persona. A journey map and storyboards were created and used to highlight areas of improvement. ​

A remote web survey was conducted with 20 participants ages 18 to 64 to determine how many items they have in their stash and how they feel about the items.

from survey respondents that guided design

"Not wanting to waste items that are expensive or hard to get"

"I feel a little bit pressured into using all of my items to create something"

"I get a little sad since I couldn't really try crocheting. So they're just sitting in my closet."


Persona Photo of young woman in knit hat



Age:  29

Education:  Bachelors

Hometown:  Boulder, CO

Family:  Single

Occupation:  Book Editor

"I will use my stash, someday"


  • Finish my UFOs (unfinished objects).

  • Learn how to sew my own clothes.

  • Learn knit finishing techniques that I enjoy.


  • I fall in love with yarn and buy it but can’t seem to find a pattern.

  • I don’t know what projects would look good on me before I make them.

Ashley is a Junior Book editor who lives with roommates in Boulder. She enjoys her job. She likes crafting but doesn’t always finish. She wished it was easier to know if the project would look good on her before she starts. She knitted a whole sweater and found out that it looked unflattering on her after weeks of work.



Wouldn't it be great if the stash items could be used to find a pattern with all the items needed to create it? Since most items have a barcode, a feature was created to use the barcode reader to make "kits" of the items in the store without the labor to prepackage and inventory issues for the kits.

Using the barcode reader shortened the user journey by eliminating 4 actions and making it easier for the user to get "kitted" projects. 

  • Google “patterns for worsted weight wool” and scroll.

  • Choose patterns and create a list of required items.

  • Search for additional items needed for the pattern.  

  • Buy each additional item separately.


The barcode idea was chosen for wireframing as it met the customer's needs and produced revenue for the business.


Comparison of top six ideas

Comparison of Top Ideas

The top six ideas were compared to the business goals and customer quotes to choose which idea to wireframe. Using the customer's stash items to find inspiration met all of the customer's needs and could bring additional revenue to the store. 

Not wasting expensive items
I feel pressured to use all of my items
I'm sad they're sitting in the closet
Business Goals
Trade in stash for store credit
Future customer. Could cause inventory issues. 🤯
Create a stash exchange in app
Customer Engagement 😍
Host stash busting craft-ins (In store or virtual)
Customer Engagement 😍
Use stash items to find inspiration
Additional Sales 💲
Sell stash
Yarn bombing politely - Please don’t get arrested
Use stash items to find inspiration is circled on the comparison table


Initial sketches of the homepage were created to test possible layouts.

Digital wireframes were created for the user flow identified from the ideation.


Users' observations and comments from the wireframe useability study were incorporated into the high-fidelity prototype. 

Findings from low fidelity usability study

A button was added in a prominent position so it would be easier to see.

60% of participants mentioned making the barcode more prominent on the home screen.

100% of participants were uncertain about how to start.

Craftopia homepage showing the added Scan your barcode button
Craftopia Wireframe showing added video to show own to use barcode for stash busting

Added a video showing how to operate the barcode reader with a segment on how it can be used for stash busting so the users can create mental models. 

40% of participants mentioned orientation on the barcode reader. 

80% of participants understand scanning a barcode but we are unsure of how it could be used for stash busting 


Style Guide

Craftopia Style Guide
Style Guide

Findings from high-fidelity usability study

 A new screen was added as a visual clue that the bar code was accepted. 

60% of participants wanted a confirmation that the barcode was accepted before feeling confident to proceed to the next step.

High-fidelity screen showing Craftopia Barcode accepted that was added to the page
New high-fidelity screen added to show Craftopia Pattern Supply List with note to edit

A new screen was added with instructions to update the supply list prior to buying online or in-store.

100% of users were confused about when to update the supply list (prior to adding to the cart or after)

High Fidelity

Barcode reader in action

App in Action
Lessons Learned


Additional user orientation to the barcode reader was required because this is a new use case that users don't have a mental model for yet. The large button and a video showing how it can be used for stash busting are bridges users can employ to build a mental model for why they should use the barcode reader to stash bust. 

All of the crafters who participated in the study have real-world examples of items in their stash that they want to use the barcode reader to find patterns

Want to see more?
Let's chat.

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