Case Study

Giving Interior Designers Tools to Succeed

The interior designers at WeWork were using spreadsheets for project management, supply chain logistics and finding available furniture from warehouses. These systems were breaking as WeWork grew. So, our team led the discovery, design and development of a zero-to-one application called Furnish.

Furnish decreased the amount of time it took interior designers to spec out an interior design project by more than 50 percent.

Senior UX Researcher
Key Metric
Decrease re-specs
24 weeks
Laura Cochran and Amal Muzaffar synthesizing user interview session data.


The investors wanted Adam Neumann to be “crazier” but what we knew was the way the teams worked couldn’t get any crazier. The WeWork interior design process was broken.


Product discovery kicked off with a design sprint to create a shared understanding across the delivery team. More on that below.

Following the design sprint, a team of UX Designers created an internal shopping application called Furnish. Furnish is used by the global design team today. It’s an internal Amazon of sorts, capturing and learning from the daily decisions designers make about WeWork spaces. Overtime, you could imagine this knowledge being used to automate most product & space placement decisions for designers and possibly even automate end-to-end WeWork space design. 

Furnish not only made the design process quicker, it gave designers more time to focus on strategic space "moments" that made the WeWork brand shine.

Furnish made designers more confident their design would come to life as planned. Most importantly though, this product was critical to the future of WeWork. The old process would not allow WeWork to grow at the speed Masa termed “crazy.”

Furnish decreased the amount of time it took interior designers to spec out an interior design project by more than 50 percent, making Masa’s WeWork one step closer to reality.

Furnish, WeWork's proprietary interior design software.

The service blueprint served as the foundation for the product roadmap.

The highest priorities were highlighted on the service blueprint.

Furnish stopped the painful "respec" for interior designers.


Broken is a subjective term. We needed to fully understand and quantify what broken meant. 

  • What dependencies existed across disciplines? How did people work together? 
  • What were the mental models of interior designers & how did this drive decision making? 
  • When did the current service design break and where in the process?
  • What tools were currently being used and what were the opportunities and challenges these tools created?

To quickly understand this complex problem and create a shared language across the UX Design team, I proposed a five-day design sprint.

During the design sprint, I led the team using various research methods to unpack and validate user needs, business needs and technology capacities. 

We spent the first two days of our design sprint Interviewing stakeholders, subject matter experts and interior designers. Subject matter experts gave us deep dives, stakeholders gave lightning talks and we interviewed users. We also asked interior designers to draw their current process, including the deliverables at each step, the tools they used and the people involved.

The information from our interviews and observations was synthesized into experience maps focused on all users and touch points involved.

We also created “how might we” statements to drive ideation during our brainstorming session.

Provocations were used to do early concept validation with users.

I led the team through several crazy 8’s sessions to sketch 100’s of ideas to solve our “how might we’s.”

Afterwards, we narrowed our ideas with blind zen voting then put the remaining ideas on a feasibility and desirability matrix to drive us towards the right experiments to sketch out further. 

The design sprint helped reduce risk by identifying challenges early in the product development process. 

The team included representatives from design, data, engineering and product management.

We used card sorting to identify what information was most important to interior designers.

We used best practices throughout the product development process, testing the information architecture of the site through card sorting then tree testing. As single wireframes become full flows, we tested for usability and validated our understanding of the interior designer workflow was supported by Furnish. 


Genevieve Greenwald Product Designer

Laura Cochran, UX Researcher

Sam Carmichael, UX Lead

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