Fat Lama

Borrow and Lend with the Community

UI/UX | Design | Research

Fall 2017

collaboration with Micha Bentel, Rita Ding and Michael Snower

for the full report, click HERE

What is Fat Lama?

「Fat Lama is a peer-to-peer rental marketplace which allows people to rent spare items to others nearby, fully insured. The platform provides a cheaper and more efficient solution than buying outright or hiring from rental shops. At the same time, it allows others to monetize their rarely-used possessions.


Our mission is to enable people to share and monetize their unused possessions, increasing the efficiency of both the consumer and the planet’s resources. 」

...with this, our team decided to design a mobile app for Fat Lama


To improve usability of Fat Lama through a mobile web application for returning users as first time users are more likely to visit the web site that better guides them through the process and requirements.

is a leaderboard necessity or a distraction?

Problem in Hand:

The following are some of the problems in the existing Fat Lama mobile page that we tried to tackle 

  • very clustered with too much information given to the user. The first home/search page alone is filled with listings, recommendations, highlights, rankings, etc.  

  • Takes extra steps to go to the menu bar.

  • The main functionalities of searching, borrowing, lending and checking statuses were very complex and long.

Download full presentation HERE

Developing Structure through Sketches
renting sketch v1
renting sketch v2
lending sketch v1
lending sketch v2


For the sketches, we decided to focus on designing the interactions for main 2 functionalities of Fat Lama which were buying and selling. Our goal here was to come up with a simpler model that focused on only the specific function being pursued, and to strip away all other extraneous items such as the user rankings.

High Fidelity Prototype



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for interactive prototype, click HERE

Design Decisions:

All decisions were made to improve the usability by making the interface focus on only the necessities.

Decisions were also based on the following usability criteria:

  • Intuitive design

  • Ease of learning

  • Efficiency of use

  • Memorability

  • Error frequency and severity

  • Subjective satisfaction

For more specific reasons, please refer to the full presentation which can be downloaded HERE.

Anticipated Changes from User Testing Feedback


Changes we would make were indicated fairly clearly by the results, which is helpful. If we take the ‘confusion to the task’ error out of the results, there are three main features we would change. The first would be to rearrange the checkout page so that users would not need to scroll to find the ‘request rental’ button.

The second change would be to indicate more clearly where the ‘report’ button is located by adding an additional red dot to the listings page on the user's profile. This way, users would be able to follow the red dot to the overdue item to report it. We may also edit the red dot to give more of a sense of an alert, which would clarify the reason for the red dot – perhaps, a red triangle or a red exclamation point.

The third change would be to add an intro sequence to introduce each active function of the interface to the user. This way, the user would see all of the functions that Fat Lama allows before having to search and find them himself/herself.

For user testing result details, please refer to full presentation, which can be downloaded HERE

Button Placement

Introduction Sequence