"Tenant" is a messaging platform for residents of communities wishing to have more contact with other tenants, while still allowing communication from management.
Notion document containing all research and personal notes
Flow 1 = First iteration
Flow 2 = Second iteration
November 9th, 2021 - December 9th, 2021
First, this project is done with the intent of solving an issue in my everyday life. For context reasons this research was started with the intent of creating a management/ tenant communication format.
Allowing those with poor management relations to have closer contact. As you will see that initial bias was negated by research findings and design decisions by yours truly.
Tenant was completed as an individual project to showcase all learnings during UX Cabin internship. This was presented to the UX Cabin design team on December 9th, 2021.
Firstly, the only way to start any project is proper research. After doing competitive analysis along with market analysis, my next steps were to create a survey and have user interviews. More qualitative and less quantitative due to time restraints. I wanted to really know some specific problems for users.
Speaking of that, who are my users? Well, I selected anyone living within an apartment complex community now or within the pasts six months. This gives a broad range of users. Most participants fall into the 20 to 30 years old range within this study.
19 total participants
11 out 19 have no means of contacting other tenants
Primary forms of contact through email
Looking at this data you may see an opportunity like I did. My initial bias when starting this project was people having communication issues with management. This turned out to be false. Instead, users wanted a format to speak with other tenants around them, perhaps for meetups or walks etc.
Interviews begin a little bit after the survey is about halfway done.
My interviews were giving out high qualitative data
Example: Initial interview with San Diego user.
User Interview Guide
Used for all four interviews
Can you tell me how your apartment complex communicates with you?
Follow up: (if necessary)
How were you first contacted?
What is your main form of contact?
How efficient is this form of communication with you?
What do you like about it?
What do you not like about it?
Any products this apartment uses for communication?
Do these forms of communication work with your schedule?
How many different forms of communication?
Describe to me any challenges or issues you experienced with any communication?
Follow up: (if necessary)
How would you describe your needs being met?
If you could change one thing, what would it be?
How up to date are you on current events?
Anything you wish you had?
How can we make communication better?
Follow up: (if necessary)
What would you have done differently?
Any type of products you wish you had at your disposal?
Conclusion: We’ve reached the end of our interview. Your feedback is extremely valued. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Is there anything additional that you would like to add before we finish? We can also discuss terms of compensation at this point. Can I contact you if I have further questions? Thank you for your time.
"I'm not sure if my apartment has a means to talk to other tenants".
" I would like to be able to talk to my neighbors".
Below is my affinity mapping of my four initial interviews. I sectioned each participant's responses into categories. Then voted on these categories in terms of possible MVP and opportunity for a real-life product. Pain points are essential to any findings.
Once I narrowed down my focus for this project, I included survey data as well. This helped solidify my actions and ability to move forward with said product.
In the end this MVP will serve as a way for tenant to communicate with each-other and allow contact with management later down development pipeline.
Narrowing down the scope
As a tenant I want to have a seamless way to communicate with other tenants, so I can be more connected to my community as a whole.
Meet Levy. My persona will help understand who my users will be and their goals in mind. She will be important with our prototype throughout our journey.
"HOW" - Explore bunch of ideas
"MIGHT" - Ideas of possible solutions
"WE" - Collaborative work
Amp up the good (App has great features from Mallory interview.)
change status quo
Break the point of view
Be broad (Thinking about what can we do differently)
creativity (Really use that brain power)
What works vs what does not work (Emails seem to not work. While an app does work. But has limitations.)
So, exploring this more in depth I see that paper and emails are the least desired but are still used. Applications and service portals seem to have a better grip on fulfilling user needs. I begin looking for my MVP. Within my design research I find that users desire tenant to tenant communication more and have less resources to do so. Being able to create a product that fulfills this need is great no matter how small that need may be.
Going back to the beginning of my project I want to say things have changed. That is not a bad thing. Actually, it is good for my growth and development as a designer, recognizing a further need than my original bias.
"What your product will do (features), as well as the steps users will take to meet their goal."
My Product will allow users (Tenants) to effectively find groups within a community. Be able to send and receive information about said chosen category.
Step 1: User begins on chat/events page
Step 2: User selects chat group (Clicks group)
Step 3: User selects text box (Types & Clicks send)
Step 4: User able to change privacy settings
Step 5: User receives feedback through notifications
How might we
User flows/ Mockups
"How might we" is really the statement we want here. Moving forward with ideation and design ideas. I looked for inspiration to platforms with an active audience. Facebook messenger, Slack, Instagram, Twitter all have a messaging platform.
After taking time to decide on my design I sketched out some flows and page ideas. See Below
User begins on chats/ groups page.
User receives notifications/messages as feedback.
User selects group chat.
User changes privacy settings.
This design system was created with accessibility in mind. Granted this will change throughout testing and iterations.
Following atomic design principles. Atoms, molecules, organisms, templates
39 components with 125 variants in total along with interactive components
Usability test 1
Now we come to the first usability test. This was one of two tests done within time constraints. They will be given tasks that Levy (our persona) has been trying to accomplish.
Some issues user had:
"Too much white space!".
"How do I reply to someone? The dots look funny perhaps some placeholder? Small boxes look funny perhaps hiding them?".
In summary of test 1 we can conclude main issues and problems with users. Lacking the control to reply.
Pass on every step except step 4. That step was a failure
Messaging bar changes, improved UI, Side menu bar changed. along with minor color changes.
Changes to boxes, removal of arrow, menu changes
Usability test 2
Some issues user had:
"Multiple pictures draws attention."
Distracted by whitespace.
Pass on all steps of usability testing
UX Cabin reviews
Reviews given to me about my project and work processes.
After further feedback from UX Cabin I decided to polish further on UI. Making major changes to menu bars and ease of access.
Changes to typography, hierarchy, color theory.
Tenant was created with the purpose of fulfilling users' needs and wants. Based on survey and user interview data this digital product creates a format for those wanting tenant to tenant contact.
Keep in mind that messaging was focused solely for MVP purposes this product will also contain capabilities for management further in development.
In the case of stakeholders this MVP would be presented.
Work on mobile version of this portal
More interviews/ usability test perhaps with some a/b testing.
What I learned
This is end to end product design entirely on my own. I asked my mentor and other senior designers for help occasionally. I really wanted to see what I could accomplish on my own. I found out that organizing everything is key along with setting deadlines for yourself. Sometimes the schedule does not go according to plan and that is okay as long as you are focusing on the true issue at hand.
I grew so much during the course of this project. Most extensive help came from my presentation. Feedback received was most helpful. I made a mistake early on not focusing as much on the UI side of things. I focused to much energy on my research and presentation to focus with UI. Which turned out to be very important.
If I could go back I would use an existing design system instead of creating my own from scratch. This would have given more time to focus in other areas. Overall This was a great experience to further polish my skill overall. Research, Evaluation, Flows, Mockups, Prototyping. Thank you for reading!