User-Generated Content Case Study: Apartment Therapy

This user-generated content case study focuses on Apartment Therapy’s Smallest Coolest Home Contest, which ended up creating a rich library of small apartment design guides.

Currently in its 10th year, the Apartment Therapy Smallest Coolest Home Contest challenged the readers of this apartment design blog to (1) submit pictures of their own (well-designed) small apartments, (2) write a brief blurb that includes why they love the space and their favorite tips for creating a cool small space, and (3) vote on their favorite entries. 4 winning submissions received a $1,000 gift card to Joybird Furniture.


The result of this entry process was 180+ detailed apartment design guides, broken down by size category (i.e. teeny-tiny, tiny, little, small), that included floor plans and detailed tips from the owners on how to achieve similar results. Thus, the readers of Apartment Therapy were provided a vast collection of original content to aid their apartment design educations. It also helped that all the submissions were from users and not budget-ignorant designers, which bolstered the perceived feasibility of these designs.


Apartment Therapy curated some of the top submission photos into a small home design pinboard, which drove 100+ repins on many photos, and currently has 120k+ followers.


Sam Blau contributed research. 

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