Everyhome Mobile App

UX/UI - Mobile

Everyhome gives homebuyers the ability to take charge in their search by reaching out to homeowners regardless of whether or not their house is on the market.

Problem

Our Users: House hunting is a stressful process made more so by the quick rate at which houses are being snatched up, leaving homebuyers feeling helpless in their search.
Business: Everyhome has a unique business concept, but it's limited to a desktop-only experience. The site lacks the volume and quality of content it needs to get users on board with such a new and different idea.

Solution

We created an app that strengthened Everyhome’s concept by making its product more efficient and interactive as well as providing a way to engage and crowd-source quality content that builds out the company’s offerings. The app allows users to take their home search to the streets, learning about and selecting potential homes as they explore their chosen neighborhood, with the ability to contact homeowners directly.

Client

Everyhome

Project Duration

3 weeks

My Role

User Research, Competitive/Comparative Analysis, Persona Creation, Sketches, Wireframes, Navigational Structure, Prototype, Usability Test Plan, Usability Testing

Tools

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Axure, Invision

Team

Jennifer Williams, Sterling Conwell

Background

EveryHome is a startup in Seattle, Washington focused on improving the home-buying process.

They challenge the traditional approach with the premise that every home is for sale — not just ones listed on the market — and provide a way for home seekers to connect with owners via their MatchMailer product. Users can search unlisted homes and get information about them that they can’t find anywhere else. Homeowners also can use the website to see who’s interested in their home, allowing them to gauge interest without listing their home.

Stakeholder Interviews / Initial Direction

Inspired by the growing volume of real estate being purchased by overseas buyers, specifically Chinese, Everyhome initially hired us to design a version of their website and create an app that would target these buyers.

After our initial meetings, my team set out to better understand the home-buying process from both the business and user side. To learn how the business worked, we conducted stakeholder interviews and domain research. The team also researched the company’s business model to get a better idea of the challenges and immediately noticed the need for higher quality content. During this research we made another key discovery: the company’s revenue model relies heavily on a high level of engagement from users, which is inhibited by the lack of content available to them.

EveryHome.co – Currently, only “claimed” homes have multiple images associated with them. Those that are not claimed are identified with the image produced by Google Street View, and many of those images are not very clear with many houses being obstructed in some way.

We quickly set up another meeting with our client to discuss our findings and proposed to instead focus our efforts on the two areas where they were lacking the most — content and engagement. The client agreed and we swiftly made the change, but it shifted our timeline back a few days from three weeks to a little under 2.5 weeks to complete the whole process.

Research

We conducted eight user interviews with participants ages 26-44. Our focus was to discover why, where, and how homebuyers approached their home search. The interviewing process spanned two days.

Competitive / Comparative Feature Analysis We then compared features of three competitor apps — Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia — and analyzed their strengths and weaknesses to get an idea of the opportunities.

Affinity Diagram

Using a wealth of data from the interviews, we created an affinity diagram to help us digest and categorize everything that we had discovered.

At the end of the exercise, we pinpointed core user values and beliefs to guide the design of the mobile prototype. Key Takeaways

  • Users value photos of properties as well as agent expertise
  • The location of the home is very important and users typically have a ”dream home” in mind
  • Home is a private space and users don’t feel comfortable approaching the owner

 

Affinity Diagram

Persona

From our combined user research we created a persona that represents our target user.

Our persona helped us keep in mind the users’ goals, motivations and pain points throughout the design process.

Concept Map

We created a concept map to help connect our users wants / needs with actual app features and to help us organize tasks into initial user flows.

Design

With an idea of our app’s features in mind, the team did a design studio to quickly come up with ideas.

We separately sketched out our first ideas for how these features would work into our app, then came back together to collaborate, taking the best ideas from each and combining into one low-fi wireframe.

Design Studio - Everyhome

Storyboards

We created storyboards of some user scenarios to help us further visualize the problem and test our proposed solutions. These storyboards also proved helpful in clarifying and supporting our design solution to the client in our final pitch meeting.

Prototype - V1

We rapidly prototyped our first version so that we could push to conduct our initial usability tests. We used Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Invision to create these screens. Testing early helped us to validate our design and shaped our following versions.

In the interest of time, we used usertesting.com to conduct three usability tests on the first version of our prototype.

We wanted to test on our prototype as early as possible to make sure our idea for the design was headed in the right direction. Since it was our first time using the service, we weren’t sure how it would go, but great feedback and the users’ responses helped to validate our concept. We did, however, experience some issues with our line of questioning, which we noted for our next set of usability testing.

User Feedback: Since it was in such an early phase of the design, there weren’t a lot of changes that needed to be made; just a few things needed tweaking to increase clarity, such as adding an onboarding screen. There were some issues related to the questions we asked which we fixed in the following usability test.

Prototype - V2

We used Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Axure to create our hi-fidelity wireframes/clickable prototype and used EveryHome’s current style to direct our design choices.

On version 2 we added an onboarding tutorial to give more instruction to the user. We also built out more screens to show more of the app’s capabilities.

User Feedback:

  • Capture-Confirmation screen display of user-generated image next to Google Street View was confusing 
  • Issue with style of filters for beds and baths – two bars of choices for beds and only one for baths
  • Need a way to skip onboarding screens
  • MatchMailer button feedback is not clear 
  • Confused by house icons in map view (not clear what they represented).

Prototype - V3

On version 3 we made changes based on our user feedback and created higher fidelity mockups. This prototype has not yet been tested. Our changes included:

  • Adding a way to skip the onboarding
  • Switching the images on the Capture-Confirmation screen so that the user-generated image was the more prominent image.
  • Changing the icons in map view to hearts to tie them with the “like” button and idea of possible “liked” houses.

Next Steps

Though untested, we presented our v3 prototype to our client and it was well received. Our next steps, were we to continue on this project, would be:

  • To build out Settings and then test our version 3 prototype
  • Explore expanding the Collections capabilities to allow users to make their own categories in which to save their houses
  • Add feedback animations to the MatchMailer and Like buttons: paper airplane flies when sent, heart drops into Collections on bottom navigation when liked, then button changes to red color
  • Further refine visual style and interface design anad test on users