Logo of QuickMove

Can design make the moving experience easier?


A deep dive into the moving experience in Canada and how Design Thinking led to a solution for finding reliable movers.


Project Details


UX Design
Web Design


BrainStation (Academic)


10 weeks


Sole Contributor (Design)


Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop

Project Inspiration

Embarking on an adventure

Two days before their rental lease ended, a friend asked me for help with moving. As the only friend in their circle who was available and had access to a car, we spent several late nights working while swapping horror stories about renting and moving.

The last-minute scramble opened my eyes to the challenges of moving within Vancouver, and it made me wonder: “Can design make moving easier?”


Problem Space

Surveying the landscape

Every year, 2.1 million Canadian households relocate within 2 years,¹ but finding a reliable mover to help is a major obstacle: as the moving industry is federally unregulated,² Canadians are left to figure out everything on their own, like navigating inconsistent pricing standards and avoiding moving scams.

57% (1.2 million) of relocating households are renters,¹ who are more likely to experience unexpected moves and face these challenges more frequently.


CBC Marketplace’s 2022 undercover investigation on common moving scams in Ontario (Source: CBC News)


13,000+ Complaints³

Filed against moving companies in 2021


5,400+ Complaints³

Related to overcharging in 2021


$730k+ Damages

Due to moving scams in 2021

With these insights in mind,

How Might We…

…help renters in Greater Vancouver plan their upcoming move so they can successfully relocate without trouble?

User Research

Encountering people along the way

Initial findings made me wonder if renters distrust movers, and if this bias might affect planning. To test my assumptions, I talked to renters who have hired movers in the past, targeting age demographics that make up the majority of the renting population (Millennials) or younger.


Research Hypothesis

I believe renters spend a lot of time vetting movers due to mistrust, obstructing the planning process and even missing deadlines.

I will know this is true if interviewees share stories or opinions about their lack of trust in movers, and attribute them to their planning challenges.


Research Method

4 decontextualized interviews with residents in Greater Vancouver:

  • Ages 19 to 39
  • Owns a smartphone
  • Renting or rented in Greater Vancouver in the last 5 years
  • Hired a mover within the last 5 years

Research Findings

The interview findings revealed that my assumptions were incorrect: renters who already decided to hire help will quickly find a mover and readily trust them.

Instead, findings reveal an opposite set of behaviours that prioritizes expediency over caution, going against expert advice of getting estimates from at least 3 movers before making a decision.

“I haven’t had the time to do much vetting because I’m overwhelmed with the other stuff you have to consider with the move.”

— interviewee #4


Rushing Decisions

The pressure to move out on time forces renters to rush decisions, leading to oversights on moving day.


Conflicting Behaviours

Renters might take many risks while overlooking or ignoring their concerns if it means saving time.


Moment of Opportunity

Addressing the initial search phase for movers has the greatest positive impact on renters.

Affinity Map Diagram for the QuickMove solution
Affinity Map
Synthesized data identified the theme of rushing decisions and 2 other themes (unexpected cost and transparency).
User Persona for the QuickMove solution
User Persona
The “time-strapped outsourcer” archetype captures the contradiction between one’s caution and their hasty choices.
Experience Map Diagram for the QuickMove solution
Experience Map
Breakdown of search process uncovered key moments of high anxiety, revealing opportunities to intervene.

As a result, I revised the question to:

How Might We…

…help renters in Greater Vancouver efficiently find reputable movers, saving time and reducing anxiety during the moving process?

Defining Requirements

Charting the course toward a solution

While researching for search solutions, I discovered Prudential’s Map My Retirement, a questionnaire that matches people with places in the U.S. tailored to their ideal retirement lifestyle.

This inspired the idea to pursue a “trusted advisor” questionnaire experience to supplement a traditional search experience as if a renter is reaching out to an expert for a shortlist of movers based on the needs of their upcoming move. It can be framed like so:

Select screens from Prudential’s Map My Retirement tool


Design Hypothesis

I believe the “trusted advisor” questionnaire is the ideal search method for renters who are unfamiliar with the moving industry and short on time to conduct thorough research.

I will know this is true when renters spend less time searching for movers by 25% and the rate of successful matches with movers increases by 20%.


Measure of Success

Time: amount of time to decide on one or more movers that meets a set of requirements.

Match Rate: rate of users entering service agreements with the movers they find through the search method.

Requirements and Constraints

With the idea in place, I began defining the solution further to align with research findings. The solution would be an all-in-one tool for moving, while the questionnaire concept would be a key part of the solution, addressing a specific moving problem.

To tackle the issue of finding reliable movers, I decided to source movers listed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM), two organizations that accredit movers who meet their respective standards of ethical practice.

I also decided that the initial form of the solution will be a native mobile app, based on smartphone ownership trends of the target user group. iOS and Android both have significant market shares (59% and 41% respectively), so decisions were based on capabilities and design patterns that are found in both platforms.


CAM issue memberships to movers who commit to their rules of ethics, while BBB grades all of their listed companies and document complaints from customers.


Drafting Feature Sets

Identified features for the Search epic that promoted efficiency in reviewing & comparing movers.


Pacing the Experience

Defined each screen based on research findings about moving and other mobile app conventions.


Finding Inspirations

Collected samples of effective inputs & controls targeting users’ digital usage behaviours.

User Stories
User Stories
Drafted 62 user stories, each categorized into 8 epics, to capture the whole scope of the future solution.
Task Flow Diagram of the QuickMove solution
Task Flow Analysis
Defined 7 screens for the questionnaire: 2 screens for the beginning, 4 for questions, and 1 for results.
UI Inspiration Board
UI Inspiration Research
Sources: travel booking services, onboarding flows of wellness apps, and business review platforms.

Ideating, Prototyping & Testing

Driving ahead with iterative problem-solving

In this phase, I engaged in an iterative process of generating, testing and improving ideas based on established constraints to develop a proof of concept that prioritizes usability. I used Figma to implement the ideas and a moderately older smartphone for testing (Google Pixel 6, Android 13).

I also planned two rounds of user tests with iOS & Android smartphone owners ages 19–39 (8 testers total, 4 testers per round) to validate the “trusted advisor” search model and detect general usability issues.

Sketches & iterated wireframes for each screen

Test Results

Through testing, 100% of testers confirmed the search method’s positive value on future moves, identified through unprompted responses from testers during their respective sessions.

As for usability, testing revealed 3 main issues:


Declaring Items for Special Handling

Originally only had one toggle to declare fragile items. Resolved by creating an additional screen with more options.


Unfamiliar Look & Feel of Toggles

Originally had rectangular features, which some testers thought were static decorations. Resolved by redesigning the toggles.


Jargons and Confusing Choice of Words & Icons

Resolved by updating copy and icons for clarity, and added a tooltip feature to explain industry lingo when they are used.

Results of User Testing
Majority of the usability issues were concentrated in a few screens.
Sample of the Iterative Process
Revisions ranged from changes in wording and iconography, to addition of new features.

Brand Development

Envisioning the view around the bend

Before finalizing the prototype to high fidelity, I conducted a visual branding exercise to direct upcoming UI decisions like colour injections and animation style.

All choices made were tested against the following question: “If the app was a person, how would it look and behave to help frustrated renters feel at ease?


A Word Picture

Focused the branding exercise with adjectives that invoke the image of the “trusted advisor.”


Abstract Inspirations

Curated abstract imagery aligned with the key adjectives to guide design decisions.


A Trustworthy Voice

Selected one neutral and readable sans serif to support the brand’s tone of voice.

Key Adjectives in a “More A Than B” List
The list provides the right attributes with their opposites for a more precise depiction of the brand.
Branding Mood Board
Features a 2-colour scheme, structured layouts, and clean lines in dynamic angles.
Typeface Specimen (rsms.me/inter)
Designed by Ramus Anderson, Inter includes a wide range of styles and expanding glyph support.

With the name of the app, I brainstormed ideas that directly convey the app’s basic value proposition with just words. The final candidate was “QuickMove,” a portmanteau of the core service users need and how that service will be delivered.

To complement the idea behind the name, I designed a standalone word mark with the brand typeface and injected graphical depictions of motion, as well as an alternative version that fits the square constraints of an app icon using the name’s initials.

Brainstorming by hand, inspiration research (Dribbble), and digital mock-ups

Image specimens of the QuickMove logo, final version
Final Logo Specimens
The final QuickMove logo in one-colour and full colour
Alternative Version of the QuickMove logo
Alternative Version of the Logo, Brand Colour Information
Alternative logo for the app icon, and brand colour information

High-Fidelity Prototype

Arriving at destination

Aligned with the decisions made in the branding exercise, I proceeded with the high-fidelity prototype of the app and documented all the UI decisions.


UI Library

Browse using Left and Right Arrow keys via keyboard. Tap “R” to return to the first slide.

Marketing Website Development

Sharing the experience with others

To support the distribution of the QuickMove app, I designed a responsive, one-page marketing website to maximize download conversion, using the guiding question: “How might we convince time-strapped visitors to download the QuickMove app for their upcoming move?

I conducted a process similar to the branding exercise to produce a proof of concept that is consistent with the established QuickMove branding and explored existing UI patterns that would direct users to download the app with minimal friction.

Mood boarding, UI pattern research, copywriting, sketching, content flow planning, and wireframing


Website Prototype, Desktop Experience

Utilizes a 12-column grid layout to organize the content, and a QR code to reduce the amount of time a visitor takes to download the app (once they feel convinced by selling points listed on the website).


Website Prototype, Mobile Experience

The same content is rearranged in a 4-column grid, and features a persistent download button to redirect visitors to their smartphone’s default app store.


Documenting sources & assets

Citation Sources

  1. Canadians on the move. Statistics Canada. March 29, 2023.
  2. Planning a Move. Canadian Association of Movers. No date. Accessed October 11, 2023.
  3. Know Your Mover: BBB study reveals scammers price gouge, take belongings hostage and destroy goods. Better Business Bureau. June 30, 2020.
  4. Canadians warned to be aware of fly-by-night moving companies. Global News. May 10, 2022.
  5. To buy or to rent: The housing market continues to be reshaped by several factors as Canadians search for an affordable place to call home. Statistics Canada. September 21, 2022.
  6. Moving advice. Government of Canada. December 8, 2022.
  7. Canadians among global leaders in internet usage and smartphone ownership, Pew Research Center study shows. Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association. January 19, 2023. Via Cision.
  8. Mobile Operating System Market Share in Canada - September 2023. Statcounter. No date. Accessed October 11, 2023.


Illustrations & Icons

©️ David Ko 2023.