homely — UI/UX Case Study

Pooja Sinha
4 min readNov 29, 2019

Process behind the take home assignment for UI/UX internship

Overview

For my first UI/UX interview ever, I was given a take-home assignment. This was mainly to gauge my skills and give them an idea of how I approach UI/UX.
For the assignment, I had to design a roommates app where one can find an ideal roommate in a city.

Story Time

Abhay has just finished college, he has got the job in a new city. He is excited but also a little worried about moving to a new place where he has no contacts.
He looks for some help online but all in vain when suddenly someone tells him about the homely app where he can look for room/flats in his preferred location without any hassle. Win-win!
The motivation behind this app was to make the process of finding the room or roommate easier, convenient and safe.

Problem Statement

“Design a mobile product experience that appeals to millennials that make it safe to find the ideal roommate in New York city”

Problem Statement

Understanding the Problem

  1. People moving to new cities or someone looking for a new place to stay were the targeted group for the app.
  2. It had to be designed for a user who’s either looking for a room or a roommate, not both at the same time.
  3. It is assumed the user is completely new to the city without any friends or relative present, so safety is an important concern.

User and Audience

  1. Bachelors, millennial, person living alone moving to a new place for work or other purposes. Age range between 20–30 mainly.

Getting Started

Since there were a few apps that were in the similar domain, I decided to do a competitive analysis before proceeding with the work to get an insight, and also to see how they are going with the user flow.

Some of the popular apps in the same categories were as follows:

Home Screen: Roomster, NestAway and OYO rooms (Left to Right)

Key problem points -

  1. Finding the right home
  2. Unaffordable rent
  3. Dealing with brokers
  4. Living with strangers
  5. No idea about locality

1. The User

  • Is new to the place
  • Needs a comfortable room search experience

2. Ideas

  • Fill Personal info
  • Add room/roommate requirement info
  • Can use a map feature to find room/roommate
  • Find ideal roommate
  • Meet and finalize

3. Assumptions

  • User has Wifi/Data
  • Can spend a day to week finding the ideal room
  • Concerned about the budget
  • User is comfortable with meeting new people/discuss.

4. Goals

  • Find room/roommate
  • Meet the owner/potential roommate
  • Agreement
  • Move-In

5. Tasks

  • Search via search bar/map
  • Use chat for further meetup/appointment.

Setting the tone

A rough sketch on paper was drawn to showcase the user journey and make a basic user flow. I also made an empathy map for better understanding of the direction I needed to follow to give the user a smooth room search experience.

Wireframe

Empathy map

Final Design

Prototype

I used Figma tool for UI design and Marvel app for prototyping. Click below to check out the prototype:

<iframe src=”https://marvelapp.com/80cdh6f?emb=1&iosapp=false&frameless=false" width=”390" height=”755" allowTransparency=”true” frameborder=”0"></iframe>

Conclusion

  1. Studying other apps gave me a real insight on how to go about my project.
  2. For this project, I focused more on the UX than UI. Being new to a city myself, I was aware of the problems one has to go when finding a new place to stay, tons of factors to consider. So it gave me a really good idea regarding the user flow.
  3. I read several case studies which proved to be useful(I keep forgetting to save the links).
  4. Due to time constraints, I couldn’t do all the screens for the app. However, I had a pretty good user flow ready(on paper) for the project.
  5. This project was a great learning experience in itself.

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Pooja Sinha

UX Designer at :qure.ai / Previously :frogdesign :caringco / Talks about Design, Web3, Startups.