Feb 2023 - 4 weeks

Stooper App

Stooping is a long-time New York tradition: someone discards their no-longer-needed belongings on the stoop or sidewalk, and any passerby can salvage the items for free. This platform is designed to enable this tradition.


UX Research, Prototyping, Human-Interface Desginer, Wireframing, User-Testing


Generous Instagram pages and second-hand resale sites are popular stooping communities spaces. But to tailor it for the unique and newersub-culture defining a new mode of stooping could be beneficial.



Introducing Stooper, a community-based app designed by and for stoopers. It provides live updates and an interactive map-based feed that displays all the interesting finds nearby. With real-time information on the availability and location of objects on the street, Stooper makes it easy for you to decide where to go.
Identifying the Gap

Map Based Discovery Experience

Object Information

Report as Taken!

AI Assited Posting Experience


It was important to keep the community involved from the beginning. A cyclical research system aided in designing an experience that kept the community's values as the core.
Cyclical Design System

Market Study:

Stooper is an experience based on maps. We analyzed a variety of app interfaces and user flows that involve navigation and geography.

By studying existing products and their level of community contribution,  we learned which familiar features could be adapted to the stooping experience.

User Research:

Based on user interviews, ethnographic research and market studies, the ideal or most common users pathways were mapped out to form user journeys and building the larger ecosystem that they exist in.

Key User Insights:

Enthusiasts like to follow Instagram pages but often don't end up going out to get the things they see because they lack real-time information.

Enthusiasts would like to know if there's anything nearby when they're already on the go.

There's a certain entertainment factor to this. Users enjoy seeing other people's success and imagining what they could have potentially experienced themselves.

The Opportunity:

After creating a frustration map based on insights from user interviews and surveys, it became clea r what the gap in the market was. This helped to define the opportunities.

Information Architecture:

To ensure that the app is both enjoyable and easy to use, we planned the onboarding experience and posting process to be engaging and youthful, while also being efficient and effective.


Ethnographic Research:

One of our main issues was how to convey the dimensions and weight of an object through a shared image without using actual numbers.

To solve for this, we used references that are common and easy to visualize, such as city-specific landmarks and everyday objects. Phrases like "as wide as a microwave", "as tall as a refrigerator", and "as heavy as a gallon of milk"  helped people understand scale and weight more easily than numbers.

Feature Focus:

Another issue with existing platforms was the lack of searchability. With Stooper, we wondered: what if users could receive specific notifications for categories such as 'green', 'chair', or 'green chair'?

Users also wanted to receive notifications of interesting finds nearby while they were out and about. Therefore, location-based notifications were added to let them know quickly if there was something nearby to check out.

Next Steps:

Find a balance between strict rules and fool proof user experience to allow community rules to govern platform etiquette.

Integrate revolutionary technologies like machine learning and AI
to enable image detection and automatic self-description for effortless posting.

Place greater emphasis on location data privacy.


“20 Trash Treasures People Found On The Side Of The Road In New York City.” Demilked, 28 Sept. 2020

Gleason, Will. “The Instagram Phenomenon That Has New Yorkers Scouring the City’s Sidewalks.” Time Out New York, 27 Jan. 2021

Hirsh, Sophie. “This Instagram Account Helps New Yorkers ‘Stoop’ Free Furniture (Exclusive).” Green Matters, 6 Aug. 2021

Kaysen, Ronda. “How to Stoop to New Heights With These Sidewalk Furniture Hunters.” The New York Times, 8 Apr. 2022

Nast, Condé. “An Inside Look at the Instagram That Highlights New York’s Best Sidewalk Finds.” Vogue, 10 Jan. 2020

“An Inside Look at the Instagram That Highlights New York’s Best Sidewalk Finds.” Vogue, 10 Jan. 2020

Peters, Bianca. “Stooping in NYC: Meet the Couple behind the Popular Social Media Account Linked to the Trend.” FOX 5 NY, 24 Oct. 2022

Talukder, Adrita, and Mitali Sapra. “Find Your New Favorite Piece with the Help of Stooping NYC.” Washington Square News, 21 Nov. 2022

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