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Rent it!

Project overview

An academic project where a team of four had to work in sprints over the period of four weeks to come up with a solution for creating a scheduling app.

ROLE

Team facilitation

UX design

TOOLS

User interviews

Persona

Figma

TEAM

Group of 4

DURATION

4 weeks

Problem

To rent an apartment, one has to book an appointment with the property manager, which can only be done by visiting the property. The substitute option is to fill out an enquiry form on the property’s website and wait for the callback.

Context

A 4-week project ran in sprints to learn working in a multi-disciplinary team to come up with a solution for a people's problem.

The project brief was 'to identify a people's problem associated with the idea of scheduling.'

Outcome

The team designed an app, Rent it!, which lets the users schedule a meeting with the property manager. It is helpful for individuals looking for an apartment to schedule a meeting with the property manager at several properties and plan their time more effectively.

Sprint: Session one

Topic discussion and research 

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On day one, we identified the problem area and brainstormed the challenges. I took on the role of team facilitator and decision-maker. We then developed a design brief for a scheduling app that lets the tenant organize a meeting with the property managers in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario.

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Followed by secondary research on features implemented by competitors, feedback on competitors' websites and apps and user flows of existing apps and websites.

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Competitive analysis: Grab what they have, install what they lack

We researched multiple competitors to see what could be improved and if something new could be added. However, there isn't one that allows users to contact property managers directly. So we figured that scheduling meetings with property managers is an important factor. Also, this scheduling feature should come in handy. These realizations led to the must-haves in our design solution.

Sprint session 02: Ideation and critique

For the second session of the sprint, we decided our users and framed a problem statement followed by the ideation of sketches and wireframes.

User story

A person looking to rent an apartment wants to meet the property manager so that they can get a tour of the apartment and know the details of the property

Problem statement

To rent an apartment, one has to book an appointment with the property manager, which can only be done by visiting the property. The substitute option is to fill out an inquiry form on the property’s website and wait for the callback.

The process is time-consuming and can be exhausting for the person who is not much aware of the process and region.

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Initial sketches of wireframes for the Rent it!. We group brainstormed the ideas and make quick iterations for the potential solution.

Critique and implementation

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Sprint session 3: Decision making and wireframing

After carefully considering our resources & time frame, we narrowed down the

scope of the project. We then decided on the essentials and non-essentials

for our product.

What we will have

What we won't have

  • Location-based is the default searching method.

  • Ability to reschedule the meeting from both ends of users

  • "Saved" feature to mark users' selection

  • Notification of upcoming meetings and changes

  • happening to the meetings.

  • The "Meet an agent" feature on the navigation bar

  • Detailed filters on property selection

Mid-Fi wireframes

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Home screen will have all the available properties

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Properties will have a brief overview so that the users can get a quick idea of what to expect

Detailed discription of property and a 'meet the manager' button to schedule a meeting

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details for scheduling an appointment

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 appointment confirmation

Confirm appointment details, edit appointment for change in plans.

Sprint session 4: User testing

User testing and feedback

After creating a mid-fidelity prototype, we worked on creating a test plan for user testing. We followed a structured flow approach for user testing. We chose this approach to focus on specific flows and to see if users were able to complete those flows without any problems.

We presented the users with an online form with a short brief about the project, confidentiality, and consent forms.

After that, they were asked to complete a couple of tasks, followed up with some open-ended questions to get their impression about the prototype.

 

User tests were unmoderated, and the users were asked to explore the prototype by using multiple available features. 

Some of the questions that were asked during the tests were:

  • Were you able to book an appointment with the property manager?

  • Were you able to check for any updates and re-schedule your meeting with the property manager?

  • Do you find yourself using Rent It!? Why?

  • What do you think about getting the updates from the property manager?

  • Could you mention any problems/challenges that you face when you have to meet a property manager?

  • How was the flow of the app?

  • Did you find any problems during the test?

  • If you were to lead this project, what would be the considerations that you would take?

  • Anything else that you want to mention about your experience?

User-testing feedback

What worked

  • All the users were able to book an appointment without any problems

  • All the users were able to reschedule without any problems

  • People like the goal of the app to schedule

  • appointments & the features of rescheduling or canceling appointments

  • Easy & Intuitive

What did not worked

  • Users were not sure if the appointment was in-person or online

  • Upcoming appointments were highlighted in two places: Under notifications & profile, which was confusing for some

  • Categorizing & listing properties on the home

  • Page was suggested by some users

Sprint session 5: Hi-fi screens and prototyping

High fidelity screens

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Onboarding screen: lets the user get started with Rent it!

Home screen: Users can search for properties based on location and price.

Once users search for desired properties, they will be able to look for results. They can also save the properties with one tap so that they can review them later.

Once users are looking at the details of the property, they can see the button for meeting the manager.

Users can check saved properties 

Users can re-arrange a meeting. Also, they can receive notifications from the property manager in case of any change.

Final confirmation of the booking

Under 'Meet the Manager,' users can book a meeting with the property manager.

Sprint session 6: Presentation and report submission

Conclusion

On the final day of our sprint, which was also the last day of the semester, we presented our prototype to the faculty and peers. 

Considering the short amount of time we had for this project, we all think that the resulting application design was a good outcome. However, if we had more time, then we would definitely consider some additional tweaks and additions to the application. Specifically,

including a 'Discover' screen in the application where all the properties can be listed.

 

This project helped us in learning both sides of a scheduling flow: the user and the manager. It definitely helped in widening our perspectives while designing an application to carefully consider all the parties involved.

Reflection

Biggest challenge I faced during the project

The main challenge we faced in this project was that the deadline for the project was very limited, and we had to juggle between three other projects as the semester was coming to an end.

How I addressed the problem?

So, what we did is that instead of meeting virtually, we met in person so that no one stays behind and we all can work together in a much quicker way. 

We divided our roles and aligned the work in such a way that one task got done just after the first one. As a team leader, I scheduled team meetings and made sure all the work is done within the timeline.

What did I learn?

I learned that we do not always have time to complete all the tasks in detail. Sometimes, we have to prioritize things according to the need of the project.

Also, it is extremely important to know about the strengths and weaknesses of each team member so that we can leverage them in our favour.

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