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easyrent TLV β€’ Apartment Rental App

Category
Mobile Design
My Role
UX Research
Project Managment
UX Design
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Sivan Biran
Lecturer @The Academic College of Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
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β€œ Very nice job! The script for the interview is simply excellent and you have created a very impressive prototype. Well done!Χ΄

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As part of my undergraduate studies in Psychology with a specialization in User Experience (UX), I engaged in a comprehensive UX research course. For our final project, my partner and I selected the path of conducting both exploratory and evaluative research to enhance our understanding of user experiences in a digital context.
This assignment highlights our capacity to create a thorough research plan in the field of user experience. It demonstrates our knowledge of research methods, principles, and categories. Our main goals include formulating precise research questions, selecting suitable methods, mapping them to relevant categories, and presenting a logical process where initial assumptions lead to conclusions, which then inform further assumptions. We'll also emphasize our ability to distinguish between significant and less impactful findings.

Application details

  • The essence of the application: Finding an apartment for rent in Tel Aviv.
  • Central Solution: Optimizing the Apartment Rental Process in Tel Aviv for Faster and More Efficient Searches, Benefitting Renters and Landlords.

Core processes:

  1. User Profiling: Define user characteristics (e.g., individual, couple, age, employment).
  1. Apartment Preferences: Specify desired criteria (e.g., size, rooms, price, location).
  1. Recommendations: Browse and apply from a list of suggested apartments.
  1. Bookmarking and Tracking: Save and monitor preferred apartments.

Launch Goals (%X = Above Industry Benchmark):

  1. High NPS/SUS Rating.
  1. Exceed X Rating in App Stores.
  1. Strong Social Media Presence.
  1. Achieve Over X% Completion Rate (Registration to Apartment Rental).
  1. Efficient Process Execution (Registration to Rental) in Less Than X Time.
  1. Showcase X+ Apartments in Advertising (Positioning as an Industry Leader).

The Process

*The process comprises two sequential studies, with the second study building upon the findings of the first.

Study 01

  • Research question: How do renters in Tel Aviv conduct their apartment search and make their selection?
  • Reasoning: The research question aims to uncover the key factors influencing the apartment search process in Tel Aviv. This understanding will guide us in developing practical solutions to address common challenges and enhance the overall rental experience.
  • Supporting the goals: This research aims to understand the challenges renters encounter in Tel Aviv during their apartment search. Our goal is to enhance completion rates, reduce process times, and ultimately increase user satisfaction, as reflected in app store ratings and NPS/SUS surveys.

Supporting Article

Summary: Faced with a severe housing crisis and under the pressure of the Israeli social protest in 2011, Tel Aviv became a laboratory for experiments for the development of affordable apartments. Those who do manage to develop affordable housing are aimed at a middle-class target audience who are an essential asset to Tel Aviv's "global city" strategy. The city of Tel Aviv does not receive national and political support to solve the problem of the bureaucratic conditions for affordable housing that are implemented by the restrictive land regime and is still left with a limited number of apartments alongside high demand.
Conclusions: The selected article provides important insights into the bureaucratic challenges related to affordable housing in Tel Aviv. These challenges are one of the influencing factors that we aim to explore in our research. While the article does not directly address all the factors detailed in our research question, it sheds light on an important aspect of the decision-making process of renters by highlighting how bureaucratic issues may affect the availability and affordability of apartments in the city
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Research Method - User Interviews

Method: Explanatory Research
Description: We've chosen user interviews as our explanatory research method to gain a profound understanding of the problem's causes, processes, and behaviors. These interviews offer valuable insights into the perspectives of our target audience, potentially revealing innovative solutions. User interviews are a nimble and adaptable means of data collection, facilitating efficient knowledge gathering about the subject matter and the issues we aim to tackle. Unlike surveys, interviews provide an open and unrestricted format, enabling interviewees to share unanticipated insights.

Target Audience

  • Behavior: Users who want to rent an apartment in the city of Tel Aviv.
  • Demographics: Ages 18-70.
  • Technology: basic technological understanding in order to operate and use the product.
  • Number of subjects: initial amount N=5-10. Since it is difficult to know in advance when we will reach the exhaustion of knowledge, it is better to start with a small representative sample and analyze the interviews along the way. If we realize that we are still learning new things, we will recruit a few more participants until we reach the point where we have covered the required knowledge and have not learned new insights in a new interview.

Screener Questionnaire

No.
Questions
Description
1
Did you manage to look for an apartment for rent in the β€œGush Danβ€œ area?
A filtering question.
2
In which cities in Gush Dan did you look for an apartment?
Those who did not include Tel Aviv are filtered out.
3
In which areas of Tel Aviv did you look for an apartment?
We will include an area that does not exist to filter.
4
What is your favorite way to search for apartments in Tel Aviv?
Filtering question about those who do not use computers / phones.
5
What is your age?
Under 18 / over 70 - filtered
6
When looking for an apartment, how often do you look?
How many times a day, once a day, once a week?
7
We would be happy for a brief breakdown of the last time you looked for an apartment for rent in Tel Aviv
General information.
8
What are the most important criteria for you when looking for an apartment to rent in Tel Aviv?
An interviewee who raises unreasonable criteria will not be relevant for a further interview.
9
Have you experienced a challenge in the process of searching for an apartment for rent in Tel Aviv?
Those who don't will skip to question 13
10
We would be happy for a brief breakdown of the last time you experienced difficulty finding an apartment for rent in Tel Aviv
General information
11
What was the most frustrating part of your apartment search experience?
General information
12
We would be happy to receive a brief description of an attempt to find a solution to the difficulty, if there was such
General information
13
What do you think are the factors that make the process of searching for an apartment rental in Tel Aviv difficult?
General information
14
What do you think about the current process of searching for an apartment for rent in Tel Aviv?
General information
15
What resources do you need to look for an apartment in Tel Aviv?
General information
16
What do you think is most important for apartment landlords in Tel Aviv to know about potential tenants?
General information
17
Are there ways/tools/apps that you think will make the process of searching for an apartment rental in Tel Aviv easier? We will be happy for details.
General information
18
If you are interested, we will be happy to provide contact details for a follow-up interview
Will be presented to subjects who have passed all the filters.

Operational Plan:

  1. Select Problem (Based on Previous Exploratory Study).
  1. Conduct Explanatory Research:
      • Utilize Screener Questionnaire to Identify Primary Problem Causes.
      • Conduct Interviews to Deepen Insights and Uncover Unanticipated Aspects.
  1. Develop Targeted Solutions:
      • Apply the "How Might We" (HMW) method to address challenges in searching for apartments in Tel Aviv.

User Interview Questionnaire

No.
Questions
Description
1
Why did you start searching for an apartment in Tel Aviv? We aim to uncover the true motivations behind your search, as the apartment might be a means to a larger goal. We'll delve deeper to understand
Open-Ended Inquiry and Clarification Query
2
Please describe the timeline of your most recent apartment search in Tel Aviv, from the beginning to the end, whether you found an apartment or not.
Individuals who did not specify Tel Aviv are excluded from the selection
3
Regarding the criteria question in the screener questionnaire (we can refer back if needed), did you face specific challenges in your apartment search due to personal preferences? If yes, please provide details
Sequential Inquiry and Open-Ended Query
4
Regarding the 'preferred way...' question in the screener questionnaire (we can revisit it if needed), please share your typical methods for searching for apartments to rent in Tel Aviv
Open-Ended Query
5
If there is more than one way: tell us about the differences, advantages, and disadvantages.
Sequential Query and Comparative Inquiry
6
What's your typical decision-making process for choosing apartments to pursue and contacting landlords?
"Open-Ended Inquiry and Elaboration Query
7
What are your impressions of the apartment renters you encountered during your apartment search in Tel Aviv? Please provide more details if possible
Open-Ended Inquiry on Interpersonal Connections
8
Have you ever been interested in an apartment but decided not to sign a contract? If yes, please share the details
A Specific Example.
9
From a tenant's perspective, what challenges do you think they face in finding renters for their apartment?
Sequential Inquiry and Open-Ended Query
10
Regarding the question about the most frustrating part of your apartment search experience in the screener questionnaire (we can refer back if needed), you mentioned that X was your biggest frustration. Why do you believe this issue occurs?
Sequential Inquiry and Open-Ended Query
11
Regarding the question about how often you search for apartments in the screener questionnaire (we can revisit it if needed), what do you typically do if your apartment search in Tel Aviv extends beyond your planned time frame?
Sequential Inquiry and Open-Ended Query
12
Did you encounter unexpected challenges during the apartment search? If so, we will be happy for details
Open-Ended Inquiry and Clarification Query.
13
Regarding the question 'What factors make the process difficult...' in the screener questionnaire (we can return to it if needed), could you please highlight the most significant factor from your perspective?
Sequential Inquiry, Clarification Query, and Open-Ended Exploration
14
Regarding the question 'What factors make the process easier...' in the screener questionnaire (we can revisit it if needed), please share the most significant factor from your perspective among those you mentioned.
Sequential Inquiry, Clarification Query, and Open-Ended Exploration
15
What advice would you give to someone looking for an apartment in Tel Aviv for the first time?
Open-Ended Query
16
What, if anything, would you do differently when looking for an apartment to rent in Tel Aviv?
Open-Ended Inquiry and Clarification Query.
17
Do you believe there are specific ways, tools, or apps that could simplify the apartment rental search process in Tel Aviv? Please provide details
General Info
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Research Mapping

  • Study Purpose: Exploratory, aiming to understand the causes of apartment rental challenges in Tel Aviv and identify potential solutions.
  • Research Focus: Targeting prospective, current, and future users searching for rental apartments in Tel Aviv.
  • Data Collection Approach (Say ↔ Do): Say, as the research involves interviews for gathering information, focusing on what participants express rather than their actual actions.
  • Data Type (Qualitative ↔ Quantitative): Qualitative, given that interviews provide qualitative insights about the target audience's perspectives and experiences.
  • Product Usage (Natural Use / Scripted Use / No-Use): No-Use, as the product is not employed during the research; it's not part of the study.
  • Research Design (Formative ↔ summative): Formative, focusing on creating a product prototype, with a quick and focused approach, requiring a limited number of participants.

Key Indicators

  • Motivations for Apartment Search in Tel Aviv
  • Challenges Encountered During the Search
  • Current Satisfaction with Apartment Search Methods
  • Mental Agreements Impacting the Process and Product
  • Fundamental Assumptions of Apartment Seekers
  • Emotional Experiences in the Search Process
  • Relevant Terminology and Expressions in Apartment Search Conversations

Study 02

Research Question: What are the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges of our prototype?
Reasoning: We've chosen an evaluative research question to assess our product prototype and user interactions, specifically examining the central process it addresses in the apartment rental journey in Tel Aviv. This research question helps us gauge our product's effectiveness and explore aspects like user satisfaction, usability, and search result accuracy.
Supporting Goals: Through this research, we aim to determine if our proposed solution aligns with user needs, potentially leading to higher completion rates and faster apartment searches compared to competitors, assuming there's a demand for streamlined and efficient processes.

Supporting Article

  • Summary: The article highlights how applying interaction design principles to a product for apartment rental search can enhance user usability and learning. These principles target effectiveness, efficiency, satisfaction, learnability, security, and versatility. This involves aligning with user mental models, facilitating information searches, and presenting information logically.
  • Conclusions: To improve our research, including usability testing on our product prototype, we should incorporate these effective principles. This approach will help us optimize the product's usability and enhance user learning.

Research Method - Usability Testing

Method: Evaluative Research, assessing the solution.
Description: Usability testing, a key component of evaluative research, focuses on assessing how users interact with the product, emphasizing user-friendliness and effectiveness. This approach helps uncover and address usability issues, while providing evidence of the product's effectiveness and user satisfaction. By identifying potential problems early, it saves time and resources in the product development process.

Target Audience

Our target audience for this follow-up study comprises individuals from the initial study who successfully completed the screening process and interviews, qualifying them as valuable contributors to our ongoing research.
Screener Questionnaire: Not needed, as screening was previously conducted in the initial study.

Operational Plan

  • Problem Selection: Identifying issues based on indicators from the first study.
  • Assignment Formulation: Creating tasks for prototype testing aligned with the research question.
  • Subject Recruitment: Selecting participants from those who passed the first study and interviews.
  • Test Environment Preparation: Developing a prototype based on findings from screener questionnaires and user interviews.
  • Testing: Conducting experiments where participants perform prototype tasks and evaluate relevant metrics.
  • Results Analysis: Analyzing outcomes and drawing conclusions for ongoing product development.

Usability Test for Apartment Search

Task: The test involves the apartment search process, including setting initial filters, receiving search results, exploring them, adjusting filters if needed, sorting results, and sending a request to the landlord. The test will be moderated by us.
Structure: It's a Micro usability test, with participants drawn from questionnaire respondents and interviewees. The main task will be subdivided into subtasks (e.g., sorting results).
Scenario: Imagine you're searching for an apartment to rent in Tel Aviv. For this test, assume you've already provided your personal details (age, status, income, etc.). Please follow the given instructions.

Usability Testing

No.
Assignment Content
Subject to review
γ…€
You are required to search for a rental apartment based on the following criteria:
A filtering question
1
Between 2.5 and 3.5 rooms Parking for your car
Defining primary filters Checking the convenience of setting the filters, the importance of their order, etc.
2
The monthly rent you are willing to pay is up to NIS 5,500
Same as above
3
parking for your car
Same as above
γ…€
After determining the characteristics that are important to you - start looking:
γ…€
4
Browse through the results the app shows you
Overview of search results Checking the response - to the content and design of the tabs, what is interesting, facial expressions
γ…€
After an initial review of the results:
γ…€
5
You want the apartments to be displayed from the lowest price to the highest.
Updating filters + sorting Is the sorting clear enough? Is it possible to update filters and return to the search screen?
6
You remember that you want the apartment to be air-conditioned and to have an elevator in the building.
Same as above
γ…€
After reviewing the results and refining them:
γ…€
7
Choose the apartment that suits you best from the results shown.
Choosing an apartment + submitting an application Does the apartment page provide relevant information? Is the application process sufficiently accessible?
8
After choosing an apartment and reviewing its details, submit an application to the owner of the apartment.
Same as above

To the prototype (Recommended)

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Research Mapping

  • Research Purpose: Evaluative Research, assessing the prototype's effectiveness in addressing the apartment rental problem in Tel Aviv.
  • Research Focus: Product usability through prototype usability tests.
  • Data Collection Approach (Say ↔ Do): Do, measuring actual user behavior.
  • Data Type (Qualitative ↔ Quantitative): Qualitative, data is interpreted.
  • Product Usage (Natural Use / Scripted Use / No-Use): Natural + Scripted Use, Combines natural and scripted use, where participants perform tasks.
  • Research Design (Formative ↔ summative): Formative, focusing on identifying what works and what doesn't, suitable for early, focused prototype testing.

Key Indicators

  • Challenges Faced
  • Facial Expressions
  • Flow Satisfaction
  • Verbal Expressions During Tasks
  • Missteps During Task Execution
  • Omissions and Errors (Detailed in the Research Report)

Screens

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I want to express my sincere gratitude to my outstanding partner, Omer Aviram. It has been a tremendous learning experience collaborating with you.

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