REI Camping Buddy

REI Hero Img

Skills Used

Research // Task Analysis // Screening Users // User Interviews // User Stories // Use Cases // Prototype // User Testing


Photoshop // Illustrator // Invision

Favorite Part

Usability testers expressing interest in using REI Camping Buddy to plan their next camping trip.

Biggest Challenge

Creating an interactive camping checklist that users understood.


I was tasked to create a camping planner for REI. They wanted to help remove barriers for campers so that more people could enjoy the great outdoors, purchase more products through REI, and become more involved in environmental stewardship.


Through a screener, I found that respondents most interested in camping were people between the ages of 18-24 with intermediate-experienced camping experience. I set up user interviews with that demographic and found that:

  • Users hated using the reservation system
  • They disliked using several different sites and apps for planning
  • Users often had trouble with their companions packing inappropriately

Persona Hypothesis

With user data, I developed my persona hypothesis, Derek. I generated a concept map, scenarios, and user journeys based on users’ mental models. With these findings, I created a list of features to address Derek’s goals.

REI Persona Hypothesis


  • Allow users to choose camping locations together.
  • Allow campers to be updated on who is bringing what.
  • Adding chat to allow users to disuss their plans.
  • Ability to communicate who is bringing what through the checklist.


I created many sketches and a prototype with paper and post it notes. I was able to test the paper wireframe on several of my user interview participants. They went through a majority of the website without issues but experienced difficulty with the interactive checklist module.

REI Low-fidelity Prototype

Testing Usability

During the test, I found that users still had trouble working with the interactive checklist module. As a result, I made more modifications to the wording and UI.

REI Prototype

Iterating & Next Steps

Moving forward, I would need to fully prototype the website to observe how users would naturally navigate through the application and better design for their mental models. I would also take the opportunity to further test and iterate the interactive checklist module.