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MakeRoom

MakeRoom allows you to find the perfect apartment and learn more about the roommate already living there. This way, you will never have to play Russian roulette when it comes to the apartment you rent or the people living in it.

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My Role:

UX Design, Research, Interaction Design, Visual Design

Platform:

Mobile App

School Project 
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Challenges

How to provide an experience that will allow the user to find an apartment as well as the right roommates.

This experience should create the opportunity for an initial introduction, allowing the users to figure out whether they can get along with potential flatmates.

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User Research

An online survey, as well as interviews were conducted in order to understand behavioral patterns while searching  for apartments and roommates, focusing on pain points.

User Needs

 1. A Room or an apartment

Most of the users search for an available room, while some search for an available apartment. Afterwards, they start looking for suitable roommates.

2. Deal breakers

It is important for the users to find roommates with whom they feel they will be able to have a friendly relationship.  
Through this research I have found that there are a number of factors people consider when looking for a roommate:

  • Gender

  • Cleanliness level

  • “Kashrut” and Shabbat

  • Pets

3. Reduce the "flood of listings"

Every day a lot of listings are advertised. Users often feel lost in this "open market", seeing all the Irrelevant listings and not knowing which one is the right for them.

Main Pain Points

Don't know the city

The Facebook listing often only mentions the location's address. Users can't understand where the place is located in relation to their workplace or school. So, they need to use Google Map simultaneously to Facebook  

Roommate from Hell

Users move into a place without knowing anything about the residing tenants. After a while, they find out  they don't get along

Competitive Analysis

I studied the existing products on the market. I realized that the most common platform for searching for an apartment today in Israel is Facebook groups.

Disadvantage:

  • The posted listings show only information about the apartment itself

  • Due to the absence of supervision, the listings sometimes lack important information

  • A ''flood'' of irrelevant listings is caused by absent filter options

‬Also, I realized that the apps on the market today do not strengthen the match between people:

  • ‬products  for finding apartment & roommates based their search on entering data only about the apartment (not the tenants)

  • products  for finding roommates provide a big picture of the users but a little information about them. It seems as if the user's decision making should be based on the exterior appearance of the tenant and not based on there personality

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Personas
Ya'ara
The Newcomers

Ya'ara is a young student, and a friendly person.

It's important to her to find a harmonious environment. She want to move out to get closer to her school, but she fears to move in with someone she doesn't know.

Pain points:

  • Worries she won't get along with the roommates

  • Doesn’t know which neighborhood she should live in

  • The current listings lack important information about the apartment and its current tenants.

  • Can't find spare time to go see apartments

"I want to move out of my parents’ place, but I don’t know anyone who might be willing to move with me"

Amir
The Current Tenant

Amir has been living with roommates for a while, but now his roommate is moving out.

It's time to find a replacement.

Pain points:

  • It's difficult to find the right roommates

  • Can’t find time to show the apartment

"I have found an apartment to rent, now I need to find trustworthy roommates"

Conclusions for implementation & design

My UX research and competitive analysis helped me focus my design:

  • Many filters so that users will be able to easily and efficiently find relevant results

  • Providing personal information about users without compromising their privacy

  • The pictures of the property must be as visual as possible to reinforce the sense of taking a tour

  • Using gender, Shabbat, kosher food, cleaning and pets as significant filters while presenting options to the user

  • Map display of listings to help the users understand where the apartment is located

  • Providing a feature for establishment of an apartment together (Team Up)

Solution

People use to get to know each other by taking a tour of the place.

I thought about how people get to know each other in their daily lives.

Nowadays, people take apartment tours to get a general impression of the place and person. The apartment tour allows the user to accomplish a few goals:

 I realized that I need to allow the same process to occur in the app and create a "digital apartment tour". 

General Flow of a User Finding a Room
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Selected Wireframes

Home Screen

Facebook friends

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Different displays

Tenant's detail

Listing's detail

The Interview stage - Questionnaire
Final Design
The Interview stage - 
Questionnaire
A young individual such as yourself, who is searching for a cool place to live in, will receive results based on the matching scores of your answers to the questionnaire.
 
The questionnaire will collect information from you, while taking into account the deal breaker factors regarding:
  • The Apartment
  • The User-Self
  • Roommate Preferences 
Main Screen
There are two display screens one Toggle away.
You can choose the one meets your needs more accurately:
Discover
The screen will show listings that were found as the most relevant for you via card show.
Moreover, you will see the names of Facebook friends who advertise a listing.
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Map
Here you can see the location of the apartments, filter the results and temporary change the Search Settings.
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Filters

I aimed to create an effective re-search and filter experience by helping the user to find the most precise results. I moved most of the search fields into the filter list under the category 'Rental Details' and gave the filters a varied look.

Before 

              - the first display shows a wide range of filter options and a re-search feature in a variety of fields. Only answers the need to be able to receive precise search results.

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After 

           - Simpler and more affective filter display, leaving you to fill out only an address to conduct re-searching.

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The initial introduction stage – The Apartment screens
The initial introduction stage - 
The Listing Screens
There are two types of listings: 
1
The Roommate Listing -
Rental or sublet, here you can learn about the apartment, the current roommates and how they picture the ideal roommate.
From here you can take a tour of the apartment.
2
The Empty Apartment Listing -
Since there are no tenants, you can only learn about the asset itself.
You find the apartment relevant? -Great!
Add yourself to the “interested” list. In that list you can see all other users who were found to be a match for you. You can also send them a message or wait for them to do so.
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Seeing The Apartment stage - Panoramic photography at 360 degrees
3
Seeing the Apartment stage - 
Take a Tour
Now it’s easier to see the apartment and feel its vibe!
Looks good?  Sweet! Contact the advertiser and schedule a meeting.
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Advertiser's Profile 
Learn all about the advertiser's hobbies and preferences and get other useful information in the form of free text and icons. The combination of this screen and the apartments’ screen allows you to learn about other users before scheduling an apartment-tour. And so, these screens help everyone to save time and effort.
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SEE MORE
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