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Homie

Find the perfect roommate

Overview

Finding an apartment that meets your criteria and the perfect roommate -at the same time- is difficult, almost impossible. Bad roommate compatibility can quickly ruin a great apartment and location. Homie connects you with millions of New Yorkers looking for roommates and helps you find the ideal roomie.

Discovery

To understand the market, I conducted research regarding accommodation in New York. More specifically, I wanted to answer the following questions:

How many New Yorkers are living with a roommate?

  • 40% of adult renters are living with a roommate
  • 30% of adults between the ages of 23 and 65 live in doubled-up households
  • The share of adults aged 23 to 29 living in doubled-up households has climbed from 39% to 54% in 11 years
  • The national average of renters living with roommates is 30 percent, compared to New York’s nearly 40 percent.

source

What do they do now?

  • Friends and family connections
  • Craigslist
  • Reddit
  • Social media & Facebook groups
  • Apps and websites
    • SpareRoom
    • Renthop
    • Myhabitat
    • Roomi
  • Organizations
  • College alumni networks

What do they do now?

  • A StreetEasy study revealed that roughly 40% of New Yorkers aren’t earning the amount needed to be able to afford rent in NYC, so about 40% of renters are in what Zillow calls “doubled up households.”
  • According to NYC landlord requirements, ​​tenants are required to make at least 40 times the monthly rent to secure that apartment.
  • In 21 neighbourhoods in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, you’d have to make more than 100% of the borough-wide median income to afford an apartment.

Based on what criteria do people look for a roommate?

  • Personal budget
  • Property details
  • Lifestyle / Common interests
  • Age
  • House rules
  • Cleanliness
  • Guest policy

User Research

Conducting User Survey

To better understand our market and in order to create our personas and define their needs and goals, we need to use user survey as a research method.

Target customer:

  • Young people aged 21-29 looking for a roommate in New York
  • Young people aged 21-29 looking for an apartment in New York

Top 3 problems:

  • Finding a compatible roommate with common interests and lifestyle is challenging
  • Finding an affordable apartment in New York is hard
  • Trusting a stranger to live with is stressful

Personas

Based on the user research, I set up two personas. The main goal is to display patterns and pain points, which allowed me to empathize with users. Identifying pain points is a first step to creating solutions that address users’ real needs.

User journey

User journey maps help us illustrate the overall experience a customer has with a product. Creating a customer journey map helped me understand the user expectations and they revealed opportunities on how the user experience can be optimized.

Key functionalities

User research brought up the users main needs and goals and led to important design decisions and the development of key functionalities. The design decisions needed to solve are:

  • Ability to view a detailed user profile to be able to take a decision
  • Make the user feel safe and confident during the process
  • Uncertainty about the validity of the user information
  • Provide all the information needed for the apartment (location, amenities, costs, transportation etc)

User flow

The user flow I created is the user profile creation and the match screen. Collecting data on each step of the user flow will allow us to find where the users drop out between steps and where they might need help.

Design Exploration

Design

Conclusion

Next steps: Testing & Evaluation