Roommate Finder - Design Challenge

"Create a mobile app (low-fidelity screens only) that solves the problem of finding a reliable roommate and targets those currently searching for a roommate."

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ROLE 

Product Designer

User Research, Data Collection & Persona,

Mid-fidelity wireframes & Prototyping,

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DURATION

2 days challenge

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TOOLS USED
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Adobe XD

THE PROBLEM

Toronto is a big city and it is harder to find a roommate that matches with your personality and is trustworthy. Some people end up living with roommates who they don’t know about, their habits or lifestyles. This happens because they don’t have complete information about them.

THE SOLUTION

A mobile app experience that provides a convenient and quick way to find the ideal roommate. Design the experience from the perspective of the user who is looking for a roommate who is reliable and trustworthy and matches a criteria.

MY PROCESS

Keeping the time duration and the deadline of this challenge, I tried my best to use the user-centric approach.

Research & Analyze
  • Identify users
  • Create persona & user journey
  • Identify user goals & pain points
Conceptualize
  • Look at other roommate apps
  • Take inspirations
  • Create a concept 
Design
  • Create a task flow
  • Create low-fi wireframes 
USER RESEARCH

To begin the design process I had to do some user research with the target audience. My research included some user interviews and feedback. To understand the target audience I also went through different mobile apps that offer a similar solution.

Some of the apps that I looked at were: Roomi, Roomster, and Roomi Match.

There were some pain points that I identified with these apps.

  • The filters system was not very thorough

  • There were a lot of listings that had fake details or images

  • Did not have a matching criteria

PAIN POINTS
5

I conducted a total of five user interviews which were enough to develop a user persona & identify the pain points

USER PERSONA

CAITLIN BAY, 23

Master's student in Toronto

  • An easy and convenient way to find people looking for roommates in the local area

  • An easy way to filter them out based on her needs

  • A way to connect or view their social platforms and understand their personal habits i.e their schedules, who their friends are, how wild their social life is

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Finding a roommate is really like dating, it is hard to know the person unless you start living together.

MOTIVATIONS
BIO

Caitlin has recently enrolled herself in a Masters's program in Toronto. She is currently living with her parents and will be moving out for the first time in her life. She is currently on a budget and needs to share a place with a roommate, though she is very hesitant due to the horror stories she’s heard from her friends. 

Since her program is very competitive she wants to be able to concentrate on her studies peacefully. Moving away, she wants to make sure she finds a new friend in the form of a roommate as well. She is unsure of how to go through the process of finding a reliable roommate. 

  • Safety: she will be alone in a new city and wants to make sure the roommate doesn’t have have a criminal history

  • Understanding someone’s living habits just by virtual conversation

  • A rigorous process of searching for ads and talking to everyone only to find out they don’t fit the criteria

FRUSTRATIONS
  • Caring and understanding - being new to the city she wants to make sure she finds a friend in the form of a roommate 

  • Doesn’t t party too much at home - as she needs to concentrate on her studies which is her top priority right now 

  • Cleanliness and hygiene is very important 

IDEAL ROOMMATE

CAITLIN'S USER JOURNEY MAP

SCENARIO

Caitlin is moving out and wants to find a roommate who is trustworthy, clean and doesn’t party too much or bring guys over.

STAGES OF
JOURNEY

Look for a suitable

roommate

Review the roommate based
on the requirements

Message the roommate 
for more details

Start a conversation

with the Roommate

& decide

Search a roommate by adding filters

APP PROCESS

Look for a roommate who cleans the apartment frequently,
studies & parties less

Click on the message button
to message the roommate

Start a conversation and ask for more details

THOUGHTS 
& FEELINGS

How to look for someone who is not messy?

How will I find the perfect Roommate?

How to find a Roommate who is reliable?

Feeling unsure & overwhelmed

Will we become friends?

Is this the person I can trust?

Can we be good roommates?

Feeling eager

Should I trust her?

What details should I ask her?

Should I ask her about her friends?

Feeling excited & 
nervous

She is exactly the roommate I want!

She seems nice, she can be my roommate!

She seems trustworthy!

Feeling confident
& calm
TASK FLOW

The user persona and the user journey made it easier for me to determine a solution and create a simple task flow of the app.

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WIREFRAMES

As the challenge only asked for low-fidelity wireframes, I sketched some solutions on paper and digitized them in Adobe XD for clear visualization.

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CONCLUSION

Due to the time constraint, I was not able to conduct user testing session. Had there been more time, I would have conducted some testing to validate the solution and made the required changes to make it more smooth and usable.