HomeGoods’ digital design experience produces curious results


Framingham, Mass. – HomeGoods has unveiled a digital service that provides consumers with design inspiration, though not much in the way of concrete advice.

And sometimes the design output from HomeGoods Dream Vibes seems completely unrelated to the input. A test run with the dream – “Sitting on a balcony surrounded by flowers and feeling warm ocean breezes” – came back with the result “Home Office Hero” and a suggestion to seek out eclectic accessories and timeless fashions.

Here’s the process. Visitors are asked to describe a dream by either voice or text, then answer four multiple-choice questions:

  • How did you feel at the end of your dream?
  • If someone was with you in the dream, how did you feel about them after?
  • Was anything else familiar in your dream?
  • Did your dream lead you to take any action?

The dream is translated by the IBM Natural Language Understanding algorithm, which identifies the textures, colors, shapes and décor details inspired by the mood of the dream. Recommendations are minimal and generalized: a thumbnail description of the dream’s  mood along with a couple of design suggestions, such as “simple prints” and “earthy elements.”

Users can click to share their results on Facebook and Twitter as well as by email or text. They can also click to find their nearest HomeGoods store or shop HomeGoods online.

Linking directly over to the HomeGoods site, it wasn’t readily apparent that the products on the landing page had any connection to the design recommendation. There was no verbiage on the page to suggest continuity from the search or curation based on the “Dream Vibe.” The product presentation appeared to offer the random mix of soft goods, tabletop, décor and furniture typical of the site. Repeated test runs produced mostly the same array of products.

However, the treasure hunt experience has always been as much of a key element for the e-commerce site as for HomeGoods stores, so perhaps that’s in keeping with the core business model.

“We created Dream Vibes to spark new home design inspiration, and we can’t wait to see how consumers will use their dreams to help breathe new life into their favorite spaces,” said Sarah Ajamian, manager of marketing, HomeGoods.


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