Mobile App Success Story: How Mushroom 11 Did It -

Mobile App Success Story: Design Home

What women like best? Shopping, chocolate and mobile games; not necessarily in that order, but yes, women are passionate about games. Well, not all types of games and this is the reason why certain development studios try to reach their demands by launching entertainment apps specially designed for female gamers. And because we can’t prove our point without a real example, Design Home is a successful game that will demonstrate our theory.

Brilliant Idea

CrowdStar was a company founded in 2008 with offices in northern California. Users recognize this brand especially because of their role playing mobile game, Covet Fashion. Because of its popularity, creators thought to expand this concept and to transform gamers into interior designers. That was the moment when they started to build Design Home. The app was launched on November 15, 2016 for both iOS and Android devices. In December 2016, Glu Mobile bought CrowdStar for $45 million and continued to add new features and to improve the experience provided for home design lovers while several other games created by CrowdStar, except Covet Fashion were shut down at the end of 2017.

How Design Home Did It

Design Home is a sophisticated game which offers numerous opportunities for players to understand different home decoration styles and to spend their time in a lovely digital environment. Let’s find out more about this game.

Focus On Target Audience

Even though men are accepted into the community created behind Design Home, the app was built for ladies. We mentioned since the beginning of this article that the main goal of Design Home is to engage women and to create the right atmosphere for convincing them to come back to the app over and over again. By the way, which social media channel allows app owners to concentrate their efforts on certain group of users? Facebook, of course! Due to Consumer Acquisition’s Creative Marketplace, Design Home increased Return On Advertising Spending (ROAS) by 70%. Because the first set of creatives was based on assumptions, they didn’t perform well. After studying the data received the team obtained the wanted results and they managed to fight against ad fatigue.


Design Home is a free game which allows users to enjoy the basic features without any costs while for premium tools they will need to pay with real money. There are various currencies inside the game like cash, diamonds and keys which define the most important decisions made by decorators. When users enter for the first time they get the opportunity to decorate a room. They can see two types of bubbles inside that space, the blue ones are mandatory in order to win the challenge while the purple bubbles aren’t required, they can be replaced with decorative items if customers want. After completing this task, users receive an encouraging message that they are great designers and earn $18,000 and 8,000 diamonds. They will also obtain 75 keys for buying next challenges. After that, they can use their budget for acquiring different pieces of furniture or accessories. Because that inventory is not enough the most eager users who want to prove their skills will have to open their wallets if they want to obtain the wanted aspect of a room.


If they want to earn more keys inside the app, customers need to vote between two rooms decorated by other users which followed similar ideas. It isn’t easy but it is very beneficial for them to see that their opinion really counts. The only problem that appears is the voting system and the fact that nobody seems to understand other customers’ decisions. It appears that everybody express their feelings according to their preferences not based on the brief attached to the photo. The most popular designs are the ones dominated by white, black and grey. Further, users have the option to share the image they like. In the same time, customers are able to connect through Facebook for sharing impressions and borrowing decorations. Actually Facebook is the place where the team connects with users for receiving feedback and improvement suggestions. No wonder that the page gathered more than 1,112,000 fans at the moment of writing.


The most important feature of this app is represented by multiple scenarios similar to real live landscapes which require users to provide solutions according to certain demands. After a few hours or even days, if they completed the challenge they can unlock important prizes and win more diamonds. If you think about it, this is the reason why users download the app, for decorating living rooms, bedrooms, kids’ rooms or dining rooms located in buildings from different corners of the world. Each item can be used several times and after that it disappears from user’s inventory. The real concern is to match different articles while they keep an eye on their budget. Well, this is part of the learning process because customers acquire a lot of knowledge which can be useful when they need to decorate their own homes.

Bonus Tip: Involve Real Brands

Design Home is a very realistic game. It is built on Unity 3D engine and it offers the most amazing graphics. Customers enjoy decorating various rooms with pieces of furniture created by real designers, an opportunity for both parties. Users get the chance to explore famous brands and big companies can sell their products through the game. The main purpose is to mingle mobile gaming with offline environment and to bring together everything that both worlds have to offer. With this idea in mind, Design Home owners signed a media partnership with HGTV, an entertainment company which offers various promotion channels for reaching a wider area when it comes to acquire new users.

Final Thoughts

The secret behind Design Home is to offer exactly those elements required by its audience for ensuring high engagement and retention rates. While the game is free it generates addiction and convinces users to spend their money on virtual items. Loyal players understand this strategy and agree with it as long as they see the value offered by the game, especially because high quality content represents the bridge between customers and famous brands.


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