Roommate Mobile App Prototype

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Context

Solving roommate woes- an app that matches based on compatibility. 

Clickable prototype in InVision.

 

Problem Statement

  • Due to current economic reasons many young people must live with roommates. Often roommate issues arise from disputes over cleanliness in common areas.
  • The app was initially conceived of as being for internal use for roommates already living together. Main premise was as alert reminders or badges to incentive a household to complete chores.
  • Instead I still wanted to attempt to avoid cleanliness issues from the start of a roommate relationship so changed the focus. In the final iteration now this app solves for cleanliness disparities through preventative action. It aims to help people find a compatible roommate before signing a lease.
 

Objective

  • Make an app that stops users irritation and bitterness over living with someone who has a different version of cleanliness standards than themselves.
  • Predetermine in a comprehensive way the users’ cleanliness standards and then help them find a prospective roommate who has similar habits.
  • Serve as a vehicle for initial communication with prospective roommates before switching to personal contact information.
 

Competitive Analysis

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Of the current apps in existence, most are family, chore, or habit based and not an actual roommate matching app. This demonstrates there is a need in the market.

 

Interview Key Findings

  • People had varying beliefs in what a clean house looks like. This meant our app first needs to distinguish what specific attributes of a clean space are valuable for each individual.
  • Cleanliness habits were often formed from childhood, particularly from a mother as a role model.
  • Some people were very organized and precise with a cleaning schedule, others were more opportunistic about cleaning. Another key idea to tease out preference from individual users through the app.
  • When roommates living together have varying degrees of cleanliness it can cause major roommate issues.
  • A high pain point area was the kitchen. Especially issues with dishes were stated by most users interviewed.
 

Persona

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The main anticipated demographic for this type of app would be young, single people who still need to split rent based on their salary bracket. Often roommate issues first stem from a difference in cleanliness levels or expectations in a shared living space.

 

Research Methods

  • Affinity Mapping
  • Card Sort
  • Feature Prioritization 2x2 Matrix
  • Feature Prioritization MoSCoW
 

Affinity Mapping

Affinity mapping confirmed that there are differing levels of tolerance for cleanliness. Also a variety of "pain points" for instance dirty dishes vs a messy floor can bother different people. Much of this stems from childhood expectations.

 

Card Sort Results

High Priority Chores (done most frequently out of preference/need)

  • Dirty dishes
  • Crumbs off counter tops
  • Picking up items in community spaces

Medium Priority Chores (completed occasionally)

  • Dust surfaces
  • Windex Glass

Low Priority Chores (not completed often)

  • Mopping
  • Mow the lawn

Generally most people cared about the kitchen first, then bathroom. Typically countertops clean was preferred as a higher priority before cleaning the floors (vacuum/mopping).

 

Site Map

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The main difference in a site map would be for new users vs. returning users.

 

User Flow

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The user flow would help determine if a prospective user would benefit from this service to determine a prospective roommate's cleanliness level before actually signing a lease with them.

 

Design Revisions

  • Logo as a clickable icon to return to home screen

  • Logo moved from the upper left corner to the upper right corner, easier for thumbs to access

  • Remove top navigation bar, unnecessary
  • More distinction between Log In vs Sign Up and escape route for mix up between Log In vs Sign Up page, using better UX Copy
  • Turn survey into a different name, chose games as replacement
  • Make survey part of the initial onboarding for any new user
  • Extension of game options
 

Possible Constraints

  • Some users might feel vulnerable exposing their cleanliness habits. In the end though as long as the user is honest with themselves they are equally invested in finding a good roommate match to avoid confrontation down the line, so that should act as motivation to get over possible hump of vulnerability.
  • Will need to solidify strong questions for the surveys that subtly dig deep into cleanliness habits to gather a comprehensive picture to make an effective match.
  • Need the software to make good algorithms.
 

Potential Extensions of App

  • Collect more data, make more comprehensive in terms of making strong matches. Include personality typing etc. For example some sort of Myers Briggs game as a secondary form of matching.
  • Ratings/reviews of each user. Star system or testimonials from past roomies about positive experience with user.
  • Search prospective roomies by budget, location etc.