Case Study:


UX Researcher & Designer

Time Span:
January 2023 – March 2023

ChurchSpace is a startup that connects people looking for event spaces to churches that have underutilized spaces, particularly kitchens.


Improve user flows for people seeking kitchen spaces by conducting research and designing new screens within 8 weeks.


Stakeholder Interviews
Competitive Analysis
User Interviews
Collaborative Affinity Mapping
Collaborative Persona Deep Dive
User Journey Map
User Flows
Usability Tests


Stakeholder Interview 1: Success Is Measured By New Research Insights and Design Approaches


Team ideated individually about questions to ask the stakeholders, collaboratively affinity mapped the questions to group the questions by the recurring themes, and then dot voted to determine which questions we would be asking the stakeholders.

Stakeholder Research Objectives:

What does ChurchSpace view as success for the project?
Which metrics is success going to be measured by?
What are the pain points that ChurchSpace's users have?
Who are ChurchSpace's competitors
What is ChurchSpace's
value proposition?

Key Takeaways:

Success & Metrics: Discovering what chefs require, what are they willing to fulfill themselves, and what do they absolutely need compared to what churches have. Creating clear User Personas to understand how to reach and target both host and renters

Pain points: Automating pricing and scheduling, vendor delivery and how to make space more geared towards turnkey bookings, and some end users want to bring their own tools and appliances. How to support that?

Current User needs: Some users wanted to bring their own equipment and tools

Personas: Identified two initial personas - Virtual Food Entrepreneurs and Food Preppers

Competitors: AirBnB, Kitch, PeerSpace, and Thisspace.

Value proposition: An "AirBnB for churches" – churches are empty for most of the week, and most churches have a professional-grade kitchen, so why not rent out the underutilized spaces to support the churches and build community?

A screenshot of questions posed to the stakeholder in an email after the interview.

Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis included analyzing the sites based on the 10 Usability Heuristics by Jakob Nielsen, as well as using a critical eye as a user myself to determine which user needs were being addressed.

PeerSpace: Users want to select from various filters to figure out the best fit and like to have several options available.

Staples Coworking: Users know what sort of booking type they want, they just need the options to select the time span. This was one of the competitors whose designs for time span selection were most influential.

Kitch: Users that have deep knowledge of kitchens/cooking need to have specific equipment available to them, and should be able to filter based on what they need.

Storefront: Users want to see what amenities are available to them, reviews, similar places, and easily place a booking. Ease is crucial. This is the competitor whose designs for the individual space pages from which I took the most visual inspiration.

AirBnB: Users need to know that their booking is a good decision based on others’ reviews, and need to see suggestions. Users like to have a lot of information presented on the search page so that they are able to quickly decide.

User Interviews


15 culinary artists of various backgrounds and knowledge of ChurchSpace

Key Takeaways:

– There is a platform that already does something similar to ChurchSpace called Skedda.
– Ensuring the quality and safety of the product(s) is essential to any culinary artist.
– Safe storage space is crucial.
– Knowing that their space is up to culinary cleanliness standards and not intruded by others is another important need.
Parking and transporting goods/equipment was important to many users.

Trust is vital to the users - they need to feel safe and secure in their decision to go through ChurchSpace for their kitchen.


Collaborative Affinity Mapping

As a team, we did user interview affinity mapping with the main takeaways from our user interviews. We each individually wrote what we felt were the most important notes from the interviews we conducted, and then with a timer up for 10 minutes, we each started grouping the different notes that felt similar in themes.

Six themes emerged, based on how we collectively sorted the individual sticky notes on Miro.

TRUST emerged as the common thread.

Transparency: Users need to have clarity about the space, price, guidelines, and be able to communicate as needed.

Flexibility/Ease of Use: Customers need to know that the kitchen will have availability and that the booking process needs to be simple.

Safety/Risk Management: Users need to know that the space is clean and the integrity of their products will be safe.

Cost: Users want something that is affordable, has no unexplained charges, and has different options to choose from.

Emotional Connection: Users want to feel a sense of community, trust, and respect through open communication with the church hosts.

Personal Preference: Users may want other things to be included: working utilities, parking, certain equipment, and cleanliness that meets their personal standards.

Collaborative Personas

While creating these personas, the team and I worked together to discuss what mattered most to the users we had interviewed, and what was recurring in the different interviews. We agreed upon two personas, which we then explained to the stakeholders in a research presentation.

This image of a male chef in a white chef's jacket with a white toque (chef's hat) on his head with his arms crossed in front of a large oven.

Grant the Chef

- 35 year old chef who wants to expand his taco food truck into an operational ghost kitchen
- Needs a place for him with equipment and storage space.
- Wants to rent for long periods of time
- Has a larger budget
- More focused on the transactional relationship with the church than an emotional relationship
- Cares very much about cleanliness, especially due to a personal nut allergy


Megan the Baker

- Only a part-time pie baker, 43 year old full-time middle school English teacher
- Wants an affordable space where she can work from to grow her pie shop small business
- Wants to form emotional connections with the church host
- Needs to
know that cleanliness is ensured and requires clear communication with the host

The User Journey Map Was Speculative –  Based User Journeys On Users Using Similar Websites

Although there is not currently a usable product for ChurchSpace yet, the results from the user interviews helped shape my knowledge and assumptions of what this potential journey map could be.

The opportunities that I came up with were inspired from the user interviews and competitive analysis.


Research Presentation & Stakeholder Feedback

This is a slide from the research presentation given to the stakeholders.

We presented the research we had conducted to develop the key themes of the user Interviews, the personas, and the user journey map I developed.

We learned that the stakeholders were having trouble figuring out how to best handle the pricing and booking for different time spans, which became a significant part in my design solution.

Ideation Process & Outcomes

The ideation process was done individually. I ensured there was a time limit when ideating for each theme that came from the collaborative affinity mapping. I made sure to aim for a minimum of six ideas per theme. I was inspired by my own ideas from this process when creating the prototype.

Ideation Method

Rapid ideation by theme on index cards with sharpie

SCAMPER method:
“Substitute”, “Combine”, “Adapt”, “Modify”, “Put to another use”, “Eliminate”, “Reverse”

Solution Considerations

  • Stakeholder feedback
  • User interview feedback
  • Competitive analysis
  • State of the business

Ideation Outcome

At least two solutions from each theme were used in the final design implementation (in bold).

A screenshot of the different ideas I came up with when ideating for the theme Flexibility/Ease of Use.
This screenshot is of the list of ideas I came up with for the theme Vibe/Emotional Connection.
This screenshot of ideas that came up when ideating for the specifc theme of Personal Preference.

User Flows

- New users will want to explore the site a bit more than a logged in user.

- First time users will need to create an account in order to proceed forward with the booking, which enables the user to select what type of space they are looking for as well as what types of equipment they may need, in order to get suggested church kitchens (not an MVP feature).

- Logged in users might want to book at the same church as before, so there should be an easy option for renewing an old booking.

New User

A user flow for a new user on ChurchSpace. The blue rectangles represent pages, and the diamonds represent decisions the user can make.

Logged-In User Flow

A user flow for a logged in user on ChurchSpace. The blue rectangles represent pages, and the diamonds represent decisions the user can make.

UI Examples

The research that influenced my choices most in the prototype were the user interviews, competitive analysis, and the second stakeholder interview.

I wanted to provide the users with everything that could meet their needs, as well as respond to the issue that the stakeholders were having about booking different time spans.

These designs are still a work in progress, as I will continue to alter them to fit what my current design capabilities are.

We individually presented our different designs to the stakeholders and got feedback on them. I received a compliment especially for the different business strategies for booking and subscriptions that I presented them with, as well as being told, "You are going to soar."

A screenshot of what the Figma file of the ChurchSpace booking screen looks like. The user can set a date and time to book and see other options to add on to their booking.
This screenshot demonstrates the new business strategy I proposed of having a subscription model, as well as offering add-ons that woudl ensure that the users can select the things they need.

Next Steps

I plan on continuing to refine and redo this prototype by creating components with autolayout. I also intend to utilize the new Figma variables, conditionals, and prototyping features.

Have you enjoyed seeing my case studies? Do you want to know more? Please reach out!

Selected Works

The Providence Zen CenterUX Research & Design

FanFindrUX Design

ChurchSpaceUX Research & Design

Global Justice Ecology ProjectUX Research & Design


© Serena Entezary 2023
UX Researcher & Designer

"Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray."

– Molana Rumi