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Pocket UX case study: Pumpkin carving app

Greetings and welcome to a spine-tingling installment of Pocket UX - Halloween edition! 🎃 👻 🦇 These mini UX/UI app designs are my favorite potion for honing my skills and adding a touch of magic to my craft!

Project Info

Duration: 2 weeks +/-

Concept client: Carve It

Role: UX / UI Designer

Mediums: Figma, Procreate

Problem Statement
“How can we better understand the needs and goals of users who are looking to carve a pumpkin for Halloween?”


Carve it is a mobile app for those who want to carve a pumpkin but don't know what design to carve, where to buy the tools they need, or need advice on how to preserve their pumpkin after carving.

Design Process

Before conjuring up screens, research is my cauldron's brew. 👻 Even with the quick, self-imposed turnaround for this UX/UI challenge, following the same overall process structure maximizes my time and effort.

  1. Empathize

  2. Define

  3. Ideate

  4. Design / Prototype

  5. Test / Feedback

1. Empathize

Competitive Analysis

Even if Halloween is filled with trick-or-treating and costumes... we still need to pay attention to the competition. 😉 Recognizing the significance of mobile devices in the lives of many, I decided to focus on mobile apps dedicated to pumpkin carving, both in the physical and virtual worlds.

*It is worth noting: the last app analyzed was virtual pumpkin carving only.

In the app marketplace, I discovered a diverse array of options. However, it was clear only a select few truly excelled to a point where they warranted in-depth analysis. Even within this handful, it became evident that there remained ample room for improvement, highlighting the ever-present potential for enhancing the user experience.

User Research and Pain Points

First, I analyzed reviews for these apps, then read through reviews on websites, and social media posts about pumpkin carving. This gave me a good foundation to identify "must-have" features. I also posted a multiple choice question and an open answer field on my Instagram stories for quantitative and qualitative feedback surrounding pumpkin carving pain points. Lastly, I also took a peek at some top google searches which came up for pumpkin carving.

2. Define

Project Goals

After gaining some clarity into user needs and how existing solutions had some missed opportunities, I gathered my research and created a pocket-sized list of project goals.

I wanted to:

🎃 Help users find designs they want to carve into their pumpkins

🎃 Guide users to where they can buy pumpkin carving tools

🎃 Give users access to tutorials, tips and tricks on how to preserve their pumpkins

Task Flow

Given the quick-paced nature of this challenge, I chose to create a high-level flow for various features in the app. I also used icons to represent user touch points which would most likely occur outside/beyond the app.

3. Ideate

Sketches / Wireframing

I just LOVE sketching in Procreate on my iPad for screen designs. The ability to draw on multiple layers, fill in blocks of grey, and import supporting graphics are just to name a few reasons! They absolutely become the blueprint for the final UI.

I broke down my sketches into mini, high-level steps to support the project goals:

🎃 Help users find designs they want to carve into their pumpkins

  • Design library --> individual pumpkin design

  • Virtual stencil projection and tools via the users camera

  • Design style quiz

🎃 Guide users to where they can buy pumpkin carving tools

  • Using maps to search for pumpkin carving tools locally and/or online

🎃 Give users access to tutorials, tips and tricks on how to preserve their pumpkins

  • Video tutorial library --> individual course

And then I sprinkled in these screens for context

  • Sign in / sign up

  • Splash screen

  • Home Screen

4. Design / Prototype

UI Kit / Mini Style Guide

Hold onto your broomsticks because this is my first design in dark mode! 🖤 Not only does dark mode serve as an enchanting canvas for the vibrant pumpkin designs to take center stage, but it's also has that eerie Halloween vibe! 🎃

  • Logo design: cycles through various faces to support the idea of the app helping one find their design

  • Typography: simple with only two styles: Rakkas for display and Signika Negative for everything else

  • Iconography: outlined style to support the idea that this app is for tracing, designing and carving a pumpkin up!

  • Color palette: leans heavily to shades of purple, as it is a natural complementary color to pumpkin orange which will be predominantly present throughout the pp

Hi-fi screens

The following screens were built in Figma for iOS language.

5. Test / Feedback

I posted this project online for feedback surrounding the UI, and am in the middle of usability testing with a small group of volunteer users. Excited to see what insights we find!

Results & Lessons Learned

This pocket-sized product design exercise came with its own set of challenges (mainly time!). I’d like to explore the AR feature a little more to understand how one could place a virtual stencil on a rounded surface - if it is even possible!

I'd also like to explore if there is a developer out there who'd maybe take this app on as a collaboration app to launch, since there's nothing else like it out there as of now.

In any case, this hauntingly fun adventure has been a real scream, and I bid you adieu until our next spine-chilling rendezvous. Until then, may the spirits of design guide you! 👻🕸️🎃

Graphic attributions: Freepik, Vecteezy 1, 2, 3 and 4

Unsplash 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7


Disclaimer: The thoughts shared in this blog are solely my own and do not represent the perspectives of my professional relationships or clientele.



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