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Homey

An online platform that helps people rent or lease apartments and find perfect roommates.

Summary 

Role: Product Designer​

What I did: Design, UX research, tests, UI, wireframing, prototyping

Team: ​4 Product Designers

Industry: RentTech

Target Audience: B2C

Platforms: Web

Tools: Figma, FigJam, GPT4

UX Research: Market analysis

I developed hypotheses based on competitive analysis and research of platforms like Airbnb, Yad2, and Sublet, as well I reviewed publications and comments in sublet/rent groups on Facebook and Telegram.

  1. Posts and ads with high-quality photos and videos have higher engagement rates and lead to quicker rentals.

  2. Facebook subletting groups are more popular because they are well-known source where people can find 'real info' about potential roommates or landlords (more then name or mobile phone).

  3. A large number of people are looking for housing rather than renting, so it's important to provide more information for tenants on the main page.

  4. A more popular design pattern for adjusting settings is to display the results in real-time, either as a background or on the side.

Results of Market analysis

Hypothesis: Looking for an apartment and a roommate

Navigation map

Hypothesis: Choosing the people to live with

Living with similar-aged tenants enhances social dynamics and fosters better understanding.

Dealing with multiple tenants and managing various rooms is challenging.

Landlord will consider personalities and interests to ensure tenants' compatibility and harmony.

UX Research: Qualitative user research

  1. On the tenants' side, the respondents were five people aged 20 to 35 who have rented or looked for apartments with roommates.

  2. On the landlords' side, there were two respondents: one apartment owner and one real estate agent. Additionally, I explored forums, comments, and landlord/estate agency communities to understand their needs, frustrations, and goals.

Tenants Insights

Throughout the interview processes, I found out the following insights:

  1. It is highly important for people to live with a 'reliable' person. They do not want to worry about personal belongings and want to be sure that next month a roommate will have money to purchase their part.

  2. Having common interests with roommates are not necessary, but if they are, it would be very nice.

  3. Tenants prefer roommates in the same age group and gender. 

  4. Most part of the conflicts arise from house chores issues.

Personas

I use persona method to form comprehensive understanding of potential users' needs, fears, and preferences. Also it helps me to engage empathy.

Wireframes: Main Page

After clicking the "Rent an Apartment" button, the user is directed to the "Look For" page. This page features key elements of rental platforms, including a Search Bar, Listings, and Categories of Filters. These components effectively engage users, streamline the rental search process, and facilitate successful transactions between renters and property owners.

Wireframes: Look for apartments

I created two variants for the "Look for Apartments" page. The most challenging part was adding a search field, as these parameters significantly impact the overall user experience.

I prepared 2 variants of the "Look for Apartments" page and within usability testing I found out that the second variant is more preferable between users. Then throughout quantitative user research, and competitive analysis I chose and added the most popular tabs and search fields.

Wireframes: Filters

After clicking the "Filters" button, the user is directed to the "Advanced Filters" page. Filters are crucial for rental platforms, so I added as many customized options as possible. All the parameters were based  on  competitive analysis and the results of usability testing.

 

I prepared 2 variants of the "Look for Apartments" page and within usability testing I found out that the second variant is more preferable between users. Then throughout quantitative user research, and competitive analysis I chose and added the most popular tabs and search fields.

Wireframes: Apartment card

On the "Apartment card" page I showed detailed information about the place, including the map, info about roommates, building specifications, etc. 

Info about a roommate is not located in the center. As according to the in-depth user interview, images and price are more important to the tenants.

Actual Design: Main Page

Results

The new design for the "Delivery" pages was tested, and the average time for adding a delivery zone is exactly 1-2 minutes.

The new design of the "Wishlist" was approved by 72% of respondents. 

Actual Design: Look for apartments

Challennges

  1. Tenants do not trust landlords and real estate agencies. They are afraid of being deceived, worried that the landlord will be intrusive, or concerned that the tenant will ruin the apartment.

  2. People are afraid to rent apartments to strangers because they don't know what to expect from a new roommate.

Solution

  1. Create a rental platform that allows users to choose their perfect neighbors and roommates, by providing such info as photo, authorized name and age, links to the social medias and short summary about the person.

  2. Constant online support for the tenants.

When renting new apartments tenants want to more info about their particula neighbors

Renting apartment with a neighbour is more popular among recently moved to a new city or country

"Subletting" is more popular among young who wants to leave their parents' house

"Subletting" is especially popular among young people (under 30)

Subletting is especially popular for a long-term renting

Conflicts between roommates most often arise over domestic matters such as washing, cleaning

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