Apartment Repair Request App

UX Design

Case Study.

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A Rental Repair Request App that bridges the gap between Apartment Renter's needs and Management's business goals.

 

ROLE

Product Design
UX Design

Creative Direction

CLIENT

Self-Project

TIME FRAME
1.0 Month

Research, Testing,

Define, Design

SOFTWARE

Illustrator, Photoshop

Figma, InVision

RECAPTURING
MAGIC MOMENTS FROM USER TESTING TO DEFINE 

UX DESIGN

Medium Fidelity Prototype
UX-RoadMap-02-01.jpg

Case Study & Project Goal: To discover & uncover any friction points preventing users to effectively use the App and to determine best solution for an efficient & engaging user experience.

Initial Brief-Meetings (3).jpg

ROLE DETAILS
– Research, User Testing, Strategy

– UX/UI

– Information Architecture Ecology

– Visuals & Graphics

– Interaction Design

BUSINESS GOALS

• Efficient and effective maintenance repair tracking

• Increase productivity levels for workers and business strategy - reduce expenses

• Foster customer loyalty

• Reduce rental turnover rates

PROJECT OVERVIEW

My ambitions were to create an end-to-end UX case study to validate the  apartment request/scheduling repairs and tracking features for a Mobile-first App. This App helps users schedule, track and manage apartment repair requests. The business value strategy is to increase business value for the maintenance process and increase user enjoyment and engagement of digital products.

TIME FRAME

Based on the 'Good Enough Principle', I created a MVP for the request and tracking features. 

My top priorities: Research, Testing, Distill, Design & Validate

PROBLEM STATEMENT

Without statistically significant data, models or Qualitative research, my goal was to understand the target users and their interactions with the Repair Request App. The current product lacked mockups and prototypes for user testing as well as user experience design and empathy strategies.

CONSTRAINTS

Mobile-App design first. Starting with Cel and Tablet after first release.  

WHAT-IF POSSIBILITIES 

Create an enjoyable vibe with gamification features aimed at user satisfaction and the ease of usability.

HIGH-LEVEL GOALS

• Create efficient, easy, and enjoyable product with long term satisfaction

• Give users control over scheduling repairs, tracking and editing 

• Understand users needs, identify and reduce user pain points
• Develop a framework for user experience design and outcomes

• Reshape the customer's behaviors and build user confidence in business

• Create a fun, engaging and useful experience design

• Challenges in creating fresh user design interfaces

• Discover areas for improving the usability of navigation and repair request interaction while evaluating the user’s behaviors.  

1.0

Research & User Testing

To obtain a baseline understanding of how users viewed the repair request App, I created a questionnaire, paper prototypes and Low-Fidelity wireframes for user testing and research.

PROCESS
Part of my goal was to learn more than I knew before I started with research and discovery. I aimed understand usr friction patterns through observation of task-driven testing. I created the F2F research to understand the users, their needs, emotions and behaviors. Using a 'right method at the right time approach', I designed Low-Fidelity paper mockups and wireframe prototypes for testing and gain raw, user feedback.

 

This level of research helped lessen my biased-thinking mindset while reducing bigger design risks rather than relying on my design assumptions. The Qualitative analysis uncovered important insight into why these issues exist, issues patterns and how I could solve them through analysis and design-thinking.

To gain the most useful Raw data, I implemented the following research for discoveries: 

Preliminary Research Audit

Questionnaire

Interview Questions

Usability Test - F2F

Diary Study

Paper Mockups

TEST STUDY GOALS

• Find out whether the repair scheduling process is clear and useful

• Find out whether the navigation made sense and effective for users

• See whether participants can successfully create a request and submit easily

• See whether participants notice the ways to track and edit their request

• Focus was on emotion, feelings and user behavior.

1.1   I created paper mockups for user testing. I evaluated my initial App assumptions for flow and usability.
Shown here: initial and revised prototype for testing.

PaperProto.jpg

1.2  I developed a questionnaire as well as Usability Tests for the target study group to uncover demographic data
and answers to unmet user needs.

1.3  To further explore the Request Process and App usability in a 
contextual format, I created a Low-Fidelity digital mockup.

Lo-Fidelity-Wireframes-2.jpg

Low-Fidelity Prototypes

Research Slideshow Images

1.4  I synthesized the research data into experience maps and detailed my findings into a summary document to help uncover
top-level user pain points and prioritize these problems into actionable goals then pervaded in user-centered design solutions.

Assemblage of Formative Research Artifacts

1.5  Impact of Research

 

INSIGHTS FROM TESTING AND EXPLORATION:

- The questionnaire provided key metrics of success and friction areas be used in design solutions and used throughout the project

- Usability Tests helped condense my perspective on the problem and creating actionable goals used to develop a strategy 

- User Observations defined behaviors and emotions created from my F2F interviews/tests. This helped uncover raw, hidden gems and unlocking user behavior and desires.


RESULTS
The analyzing friction patterns showed my assumptions needed to be redefined. Areas of immediate consideration:

  • Usability friction pattern when navigating through experience

  • Users confused with step sequence

  • Bloated steps and overly complex

  • Inefficient ways for users to edit or update the repair request

 

This contextual insight and feedback helped me redefining my user-centered approach, gain fresh objectivity and aid with solutions in mapping a future 'to be state'  all while forming a single point of truth.

REDEFINED PROBLEM STATEMENT - SETTING

Esther needs a way to effectively access, track, update and quickly request the apartment repair App in order to get her repair issue resolved as fast as possible and track the outcomes.

2.0

Define User Needs & Requirements

From my empathy-based research, I synced the data to help define target users, persona sets and user-centered design strategies.

PERSONA GOAL

I started by developing a well defined user persona to help drive the end product. My new insight uncovered more opportunities for design solutions and developing a less complicated experience and requirements for the product medium. 

'HOW MIGHT BE' HYPOTHESIS

I believe that creating clear and efficient ways to request, schedule and track apartment repairs for Esther and the target user groups will give her more control through the experience as well as confidence and trust in the business management.

 

I will design key metrics for validation and heuristic evaluations to ensure I met the experience goals.

Persona-Research-01.jpg

2.1  From the synthesized data, I developed a use case story to better understand the users desires and needs and improve the usability of the product ⎯ all guided by empathy-based strategies.

PERSONA SEGMENT RESEARCH
My primary purpose was to understand a target audience from research and aimed at defining a persona set from gathered Qualitative data. I used the data to uncovered unique and like themes and the key data was used to drive my user-centered focus for this project.

MENTAL MODEL & CORE USER JOUNEY

I used the Mental Model Map and Core User Journey Experience when designing for my target persona and this helped in matching the experience to the design system.

RATIONALE

  • Understanding what drives users and their behaviors

  • Defining the users to help in uncovering any weakness in my user research

  • Gain a clear visual representation from my user research

  • Helping prioritize user needs and align a single shared understanding for empathy-based design.

Research Slideshow Images

2.2 Understand User Goals

PURPOSE​ & GOAL

By understand and defining the user goals and their needs, it helped me raise the quality of my design iterations and validate their value.

 

Designs iterations goal: develop a real-world application, make it more useful, usable, enjoyable and engaging.

Observed Issues + Rationale =
My High-Level Recommendations

CORE USER JOURNEY GOALS

I used my experience map research to drive the Journey Map and User Story study.  These steps helped me understand a new context for empathy design and assure the focus will be grounded in the real world.

 

By working out how my persona will use my proposed design to solve their jobs-to-be-done this will shed light on the App's requirements and future user-centered designs.

User Decision Tree-01.jpg

Use Case Storyboards & Keypath Analysis 

storyboard-Combined.jpg

3.0

Design Strategies & Iterations

Designing with the key persona needs as a key feature focus, I brainstormed solutions, sketched positive- iterative design outcomes and created user flow maps to build a more useful and enjoyable experience.

DESIGN SOLUTION PROCESS

To elevate the experience and improve my designs, I developed my concepts from the core User Journey maps, user flows and ideation workshops. Also, I used this type of workshop to quickly concept and sketch solutions as well as validate these ideas. Armed with a bunch of fat, colorful markers, I created '8Up' sketches to solve pain points in the user flow and featured experience. Most sketch sessions were timed so I could get  quantity concepts within short bursts.

IMPROVEMENT GOALS & RATIONALE

  • Clarify the visual hierarchy and user flow

  • Make the UI accessible and easy to navigate

  • Simplified and clear dialog with repair request

  • Appropriate user feedback for actions

  • Usability test the design experience

  • Acceptance Criteria and if the user story is complete.

  • Help find gap and provide context for prioritizing a MVP

UserFlow-Sketch-Combine.jpg

4.0

Design Solutions & Prototypes 

Designing for the key persona Esther, I created solutions and iterations to improve the UI and usability

MEDIUM FIDELITY EVOLUTION

5.0

Design Critique

I used Heuristic evaluation and UX Paradigms to validate and measure the experience from my design solutions. 

UX-UI Challenges

Develop a more useful and clear experience for Users

Too many steps to reach goals and not a clear pathway for user tasks

Need to simplified amount of data users must process through tasks and design with empathy

Visuals and UI need a more pleasing and engaging appearance

My Solutions

  • I used Aesthetics and Usability Effect to design my UI to feel easier to use

  • Implemented Five Hat Racks - Category method for designs to help with user information grasps

  • Developed designs with Hick's Law by lessening the amount of decisions users needed to make to efficiently complete tasks

  • Effective use of Tunneling to guide users through step-by-step tasks and designs encouraged by their behaviors 

  • I used the Ockham's Razor & Hick's Law to simplify items when user picks between equivalent items

  • Make everything the user needs accessible, element hierarchy and follow design standards

6.0

Retrospectives

As a team of one, I avoided designing the experience in a vacuum by creating Guerrilla testing and soaking in constant feedback to remain in the empathy mindset so the UX is consistently moving forward.

RETROSPECTIVES

 

I created a 'Post Mortem' retrospective session to review what went well and what areas of the project needed additional considerations for feature releases. This helped formulate next steps and understand key take aways.

KEY TAKE AWAYS

  1. With a test early and test often mindset, I sought critical feedback early when defining for a MVP.  This helped me better define for an enjoyable experience while meeting the users needs and goals. 

  2. My end-to-end ambition blinded me early in the process, which resulted in inadequate time for additional usability tests, validations and building new designs with user feedback.

  3. After designing a working prototype for my core user journey, I uncovered issues with unresolved edge cases. These gaps have lead me to design actionable steps and revisit potential solutions.

NEXT STEPS

Taking stock of all the positive points of the project,
I would like to revisit the core User Journey strategies to explore alternative design solutions and challenge myself with
 designing a high-fidelity interactive prototype and deep dive into further case studies.

 

It would be an exciting challenge to explore Gamification techniques for experience design as well as continuing the development for Tablet devices.

Retrospective-01.jpg

Copyright © 2020 Rick Makoul All Rights Reserved