Identifying the problems with the rent-seeking — like the long wait and the anxious process of documents checking — made us decide to look for an alternative. This is our very first UX case, and is being developed in order to learn all processes and use our skills to find solutions focused on the user.
The Current Scenario
The current scenario in the united Kingdom and Europe is that the renting process is slow, bureaucratic, and many times unsuccessful. Homeowners want to put their houses to let, and tenants wants a property to live in.
At the moment, the best option for the renting process is still through the Letting Agencies. Homeowners subscribe their properties in the many platforms available with the agencies and the Tenants look for them. That system has shown itself flawed many times, creating a gap in the market to facilitate the renting process directly between property owners and tenants.
Our main goal is to reduce the time in this transaction and create a digital alternative for both parts to have a better experience in this trade.
The greatest challenges would certainly be guaranteeing the safety and transparency for both parts in the trade to make the solution work in scale.
Create a digital platform that allows the majority of the private lettings to happen remotely and faster until the 1st of December 2020.
We have two main users for this project: the tenants and the homeowners. The tenants would use a more interactive, self-service platform, which could reduce the trading time and make sure they’d choose and move into their home faster.
The homeowners would find themselves in a much more practical situation, where they can just upload the dates for visiting, have all the documents check by a Credit Check agency and even choose the profile of tenants they’d like.
User Journey Mapping
Validating business’s and user’s assumptions
With users defined, now it’s time to find out important points about each one of them, so we can find the problems that need solving.
We listed the assumptions we believe are part of their lives.
Quantitative Research — First Validation
After defining personas, journeys and assumptions, we decided to start the research.
At first, we chose to do quantitative research because we have access to a large number of people who are tenants and owners.
We create a survey for each profile, each with their individual questions.
The forms were made available in a Google Forms and sent through social networks and in specific groups.
After analysing all the data, the results were as follows:
Based in he above research we managed to validate some assumptions to create solutions opportunities:
Effort x Impact Matrix
Based on the research results, we listed possible solutions and put them in a Effort x Impact Matrix to know what we would prioritize in the project’s first moment. See the matrix below:
After the Research results and the Effort x Impact Matrix, we’ve come to the list of possible solutions to improved each user’s journey.
1- Create a practical, self-service platform to find and rent properties directly with the Landlords, facilitating the communication
between the two and reducing the bureaucracy of the process.
2- Regarding the property searching, the intention is to create a tab with additional information about the searched areas to help
tenants making a decision
3- Once the property is chosen, the tenant would be able to do a digital tour before booking a visit, saving time and making the
process more assertive.
1- Based on research results we propose a automated system for document uploading and Credit checking. In addition to that,
the platform could show similar properties in the same area to help the Landlords setting a price for their properties.
2- It’s also a priority to filter applicants based on requirements, and have an option to see tenant’s reviews based on previous experience in the platform.
After defining the solutions, we created sketches for our future app.
Using the Crazy 8’s technique, we both drew screens with the goal of exploring our ideas and find the best way to create the solutions.
After discussing about both drawings, we created a single one blending our ideas together.
Based in the sketches made, we created the app’s skeleton, improving the flux and getting closer to the end result.
Users Test — Second Validation
After making the Wireframes, we did a Usability Test with our Users to get a feedback.
To see our prototype, click here.
In this part of the research we didn’t hear as many people as in the first one, since only a few of the previous contacts wanted to participate on the next steps. But the ones we did hear were very informative and gave us a good perception of the usability.
- Some users highlighted the need for a side menu that allowed them to do both journeys. The “back” buttons were available, but turned out to be too many clicks to go back to the initial options.
- The splash screen could’ve had some sort of indication of what action to take, it wasn’t clear that it needed a tap to start.
- Refine the map search, with a way to filter the locations.
- All the subjects were successful finishing the tasks for both Tenants and Homeowners. Most of the feedbacks were positive and added a few points to consider.
After the test’s feedback, we created a Style Guide to determine the app’s interface/looks.
Our choice of blue and light green for the Brand’s Colours came from the feeling the user gets from which one. The dark blue gives the feeling of calm, responsibility and a corporative look. The light green sends a message of freshness, new opportunities and the feeling of accomplishment.
In addition to that, we also created colours for Warning and Success.
The font we chose for this project was Montserrat — as the only one — because it’s a font that has many styles available (18 in total), which allow us to create differences between texts using the same font. It’s also a webfont, making it easier to load the page and create a smooth experience for the users. We used the “perfect fourth” proportion (ratio 1.333) to create harmony between sizes.
Buttons were defined following the colours palette and typography chosen. We also decided to apply ratio in the borders to achieve a smooth look.
Same as the Buttons; Forms also follow colour and typo styles.
High Fidelity Prototype (UI Design)
This prototype is currently being designed and should be ready to be seen soon.