House 2 Home
Convenient home renovation and repair in your pocket
House 2 Home is a one-stop-shop virtual platform that takes the guesswork out of hiring home service professionals. Without leaving the app, users can do things like find inspiration, research city ordinances, compare prices, see certifications and licenses, message/video chat with professionals, schedule service, pay an invoice and manage their house projects. Skip the hassle and headache by doing everything in one place.
Our team was asked to design a e-commerce marketplace that would connect millennial homeowners/renters and home service professionals to provide them with the value, simplicity, trust and transparency the need. Our mission was to develop the customer-facing side that would give them the tools they need to confidently hire home service professionals.
Design the consumer-facing side of the platform, assessing the full end-to-end customer journey of the home repairs process in order to build a home services marketplace that brings ease, transparency and control to users.
My Design Process
The digital gap between modern homeowners/renters and home service professionals needs to be bridged through a one-stop-shop app that addresses the needs of both the service professionals and users.
- Users are concerned about finding safe, reliable and trustworthy service professionals.
- Users do not trust service professionals based on online reviews alone.
- Users aren’t able to compare prices without being added to various calling lists, having their leads sold to other service professionals.
- Users are inconvenienced by not having virtual pay options.
- Scheduling over the phone is a pain point.
Our process began by creating a survey for our intended target audience – homeowners/renters identifying as “millennials”.
We were very eager to understand what the primary needs of our users were and had a fairly open-ended interview agenda. We simply wanted a more qualitative understanding of how people find and hire home service professionals. Our team conducted a total of 16 interviews. All of which were homeowners within the ages of 20-40. There were a total of 15 questions regarding their behaviors and experiences with hiring home service professionals.
“If someone I know and trust has a recommendation, I’d rather go with that than looking online, but if not, I’ll go online.”
“If we can do it ourselves, we will, but it doesn’t make sense to pay money for supplies to try and DIY something, do it wrong, and have to hire someone anyhow. That’s a waste of time.”
- Many of the participants used virtual scheduling through an app.
- Credit cards, Paypal, Apple Pay and Amazon pay were among popular methods of payment.
- People would rather pay through an app if they feel it is safe and trustworthy.
- Among the services listed, home repairs were used more than home improvement projects.
- Security and safety is an important factor for participants hiring home service professionals.
- Most users emphasized the need for the ability to compare prices as well as reasonable pricing.
We created a robust competitive analysis with the hopes of finding the gaps and areas of over saturation within the home service industry. Three things stood out during our interviews:
- If and how service professionals were vetted and screened.
- We’re virtual payments offered.
- Was scheduling done over the phone or using an online system.
After conducting research, our team was ready to take the information we received and start to amalgamate it and make more sense of it.
Our team gathered for an affinity diagramming session to synthesize the information we received in our interviews. There was a lot to discuss and shows how challenging it can be to organize data from qualitative studies and interviews.
User Journey Map
Our next step in understanding and defining our user was to design a journey map. I created this one using Figma. Having taken the feedback and experiences told to me by our users during interviews, I was able to develop a journey that our user went through that led her to our platform.
Meet Sarah V., a 30 year old therapist who just moved to a new town in Texas. She is married with a young daughter. She is a tech savvy, review reading, price comparer. She is frustrated by poor quality work and misinformation and heavily motivated by safety and quality.
After identifying who our user was, it was time to really empathize and understand her. In order to do that, I created a series of user stories based on different motivations and perspectives. This really helped us remain loyal to our user.
Our team workshopped to create a problem statement that would address the problems, needs and end goals of our users.
The tech savvy homeowner wants an easy and reliable way to conveniently compare quality home service professionals tailored to their home needs in order to make the most informed choice to provide safety, security and the best bang for their buck.
Transparent – Exercising openness and honesty to cultivate trust and certitude with our users and professionals.
Effortless – The approach of removing the friction that would turn customers away in order to earn customer loyalty
Reliable – Appropriately vetting all professionals and users to ensure professionalism and safety in all areas of our product.
Sustainable – Our product will be relevant to our users as well as uniquely tailored to our users.
Excellence – Our users and professionals will always receive the highest quality in both experience and final result.
Before we could proceed at all, we needed to identify what device the platform would be on. Our research indicated that users often used laptops and desktops to research and find inspiration.
We had intended on creating a digital platform that was built for a desktop, however, everything else such as scheduling, communicating and completing payments was preferred to be done on a mobile device. Because of this, we decided to create a mobile app to allow for the simplicity and continuity from beginning to end of the users process
Low Fidelity Wireframes
To begin developing the information architecture of our platform, we did a brainwriting exercises to map out user tasks. Here our user is searching, comparing prices and completing point-of-sale.
After mapping out tasks, we were able to create a site map that gave us the structure we needed to continue.
4. Wireframe & Prototype
Mid Fidelity Wireframes
Getting closer to a finished product and with incredible amounts of pressure to finish up in time for our deadline, we began developing our product in mid fidelity on Figma.
9 usability tests were conducted for the House 2 Home application prototype. Usability testing sessions were held remotely over Zoom where the user’s interactions with the product were recorded. The facilitators conducted the test providing a link to the House 2 Home Invision prototype and were asked to complete 9 different tasks aiming to solve the problem statement. The primary focus of the tests were to assess:
The test consisted of 8 participants ranging from the ages of 23 to 34. They were tested remotely via zoom by one moderator and asked to complete 9 tasks on an Invision prototype.
A deep dive into the specifics of these usability tests can be found in the Usability test report.
Findings and Recommendations
- User found it inconvenient navigating back to the profile page after going to messages from the company profile
- User’s were confused about bottom navigation and recommended labeling each icon.
- User also recommended changing the explore icon to a home icon for less confusion
- User recommended adding a GPS feature to track the professional before they arrived to your house
- User recommended to add the service hours in the invoice to better track the hours worked
- User recommends to add Google Pay to the list of payment options
- Users often take different paths to find things. Offering multiple alternatives to find what they are looking for will help.
- User recommended a back button on invoice