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A concept project that personalizes the experience of the home and roommate search.

About Project

HomeFinder is a search engine for home seekers. They would like to innovate and push boundaries in the home search industry by focusing on the compatibility of home seekers to apartment communities and roommates.

  • Usability testing

  • Business Analysis

  • Competitive Analysis

  • User Interviews

  • Empathy Map 

  • Prototyping

  • Persona development

  • Journey Mapping 

  • Design Studio

  • Wireframing

Jose Ortiz
Jeanette Yu
UX/UI Designer
2 Weeks
Figma & Marvel



84 Responses


3 Tests


10 Interviews


5 Companies



Competitors lacked a sense of community

Since this was a new feature for HomeFinder, I completed a competitive analysis on Roomster, Roomi, Craigslist, and Facebook. I noticed that Roomi and Roomster were heavily focused on matching potential roommates, while Craigslist and Facebook was simply a way for home seekers to browse through listings of available homes. 


Testing the competitor's product on target users

Matches was a new feature to HomeFinder, so I ran contextual inquiries on users with a focus roommate matching applications (Roomi and Roomster). Feedback from contextual inquiries included the following:

  • Detailed information about their potential roommate 

  • An in app messaging feature 

  • Clear understanding of what the application does



A variety of users, but a common theme

We started with a brief survey that we sent out to users on Reddit and other social media platforms. After reviewing the responses, we conducted initial interviews. There were a total of 10 participants representing a mixed variety of users that had experience looking for apartments and/or roommates.


  • What are some key factors you take into consideration when you want to share an experience?

  • Are there any apps/services you currently use that are community/shared-experience driven?

  • What motivates you to engage in a shared experience?

  • How could you interact with like-minded people to improve a mutual desired outcome?

  • Is it important for you to have a sense of community/support when looking for new opportunities?


Users value recommendations and community

One thing was clear, we had a lot of data, but that data helped us better understand who our user was. The team decided to take a pass at affinity mapping on our own using Miro, and came back together in the classroom to affinity map as a team. It was a grueling couple of hours, but it really helped us understand each other and most importantly understand what our users problems, wants, and needs were. 

Prefer a convenient form of communication

Desire shared experiences 

Value sense of community

Enjoys human interaction

Trust Issues

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"It is very important to have a sense of community in the apartment community that I live in."
"I need a roommate because I just graduated from college and the cost of living in Boston is high." 


Two personas in different phases of life

Throughout the user interviews and synthesis, we started to notice a distinct difference in users. One user was already established and didn't feel the desire to have a roommate, while the other relied on roommates for financial reasons. The one similarity between the two was a need for community, but their idea of community was slightly different.


Mike needs a way to connect to potential roommates, because he is budget conscious and values community.


Michelle needs a way to find a community that aligns to her lifestyle, because she values her life experiences.


By integrating an in depth lifestyle preference survey to the mobile app, the user will connect with compatible roommate(s) and/or communities. 




Crazy 8's led us to our user flow 

The team participated in a design studio, which helped us determine where we wanted to go with our designs. The design studio consisted of crazy 8's and critiques. From this information, we compiled a user flow that we used to plan out wireframes. I designed the login, sign up, roommate match, and compatibility page.  


Medium Fidelity


Confused? Yes, they were confused

This approach offered insight on how the user’s navigated the mobile app, and any pain points they experienced along the way. One of the issues that we had was the toggle at the top which went between roommates and locations, which was confusing to someone who was looking for a roommate. They didn’t understand why they had both matches available to them. This led to the decision of eliminating the toggle, and allowing each user to have their own customized screens based on what they were looking for.

Users felt confused when they saw the listings section when they were only looking for a roommate. We iterated a separate workflow for users who were only looking for roommates. 

Task #1

You just download HomeFinder app, you want to sign up as a new user. 

Task #2

You just setup your account, you want to find a roommate. 

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Finding a Roommate

Roommate Search User Flow

Finding a Roommate

Apartment Search User Flow


High Fidelity


Remembering to stop and revisit research

Looking back, there were times in the design process that I wish we would have stopped and revisited the research. We focused on building out many screens, that the community integration was left until the end to complete. If we had more time, we would have developed the community section more to meet the needs of the user. 

What I found enjoyment in...

​There's a mixture of things I enjoyed about this project. It was my first group project in the immersive, and I enjoyed being the project manager. I enjoy creating the timeline of where we should be throughout the process. I also enjoyed using the research insights to create a mobile application to fit the needs of the user and client. I felt empathetic to both personas, and wanted to provide them a product that could simplify the process. 

© 2020 by Abbie Jasinski

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