HOMIE
Katarina Harth
UX / UI Designer
Made with

HOMIE

Trusted handymen in your area – just a click away.

About the Project

Homie is a location based mobile app concept for a handyman service on demand.

Challenge:

Hypothesis was not 100% proven so the product concept needed to be changed. The user research showed, that 80% of the women actually do not feel uncomfortable with letting unknown men into their homes, but rather facing the problem of not knowing where to get instant and reliable help in case of an emergency.

My role:

  • Product strategy
  • User research & Analysis
  • Persona creation
  • MVP definition
  • Wireframes
  • UI Design & Prototyping
  • Illustration/Icon design
  • Usability Testing

THE PROCESS

Build. Measure. Learn. 

I used Lean UX principles in the development of "Homie" to focus on users and their needs at each phase of the design process:

  • Formulate and validating the hypothesis
  • Early user testing with rough sketches to unveil unexpected pain points 
  • MVP definition
  • Developing User-Centric-features, by focusing on research results and create what users really need
  • Taylored Toolkit including sketch libraries, shareable inspiration boards, Slack and  Google surveys forms
  • Externalising Work by using sticky notes, printouts or sketches

RESEARCH &
PROBLEM DEFINITION

Hypothesis

Mostly single, living alone women have a need of someone instantly helping them with problems/tasks at home. They either are not able to fix the problem/task or simply don’t have the time for it. The most DIY companies have male employees, but safety concerns make women feel uncomfortable letting unknown men into their homes.

"I believe that developing an app that provides on demand handyman service by women for women only, will build trust, safety and save the time."

HOMIE

Research

Conducting user survey

I conducted a user survey to proof my hypothesis and gain insights about the user. In order to reach a larger audience, I wrote a short 15 question survey and posted it on different online communities and Facebook groups, that matched my target group and had a total of 15 responses.

Results:

  • 85% said they would be comfortable with a man providing the service. Solution: I need to change the product concept

  • 50% consider it as a downside, that a completely stranger will walk into their homes. Solution: Verified Profiles

  • 92% don’t have a trustful handymen service to relay on in emergencies – especially in such a case staring a online search would waste time. Solution: creating an emergency function for instant help

  • The main concerns about handymen services are the uncertainty of price and quality. Solution: Verified Profiles, Pre-set rates.

  • 80% told to always check ranking before they hire a handyman. Solution: feedback/ranking function
HOMIE

Personas

Based on the user research I set up three personas. I referred to them throughout the entire product development process.

  • Each persona has a scenario that identifies a realistic goal the user might have when working with this app.
  • The information about each persona focuses on their goals and frustrations with the product as well as their interaction with it which affected my design decisions drastically

HOMIE

Design Impact

Focussing specially on the interactional context of each persona helped me to understand the physical, environmental and emotional state of the user at the moment of the interaction. This process has significantly influenced the development of important design decisions and key functionalities. Some examples are the following:

  • Instant help function for emergencies
  • Pre-set rates for price certainty
  • Chat function to define details of a work order
  • Breadcrumbs while setting a work order
  • Verified handyman profile that reveals at the first glance  amount of likes and executed jobs

HOMIE

User Stories and MVP requirements

User Research and persona creation brought up the users main needs, goals, and behaviours. Therefore, I find out that the main issues my design decisions have to solve are:

  • Uncertainty about quality and price
  • Instant help in case of emergency 
  • Ability to review and recommend handymen
  • Time consumption
Based on these information, I was able to create user stories and define the MVP.

User Flow

I created a user flow diagram to keep track about the functionality when a user wants to achieve the main goal of that app “ I as a user want to hire and pay a handymen through homie”

HOMIE

DESIGN EXPLORATION

Ideating Solutions

Low-fidelity Wireframes:

I started sketching each iteration and added the elements and screens that were needed to reach users' goals, so I can quickly see which idea works best. I put the sketches into invision to build an interactive prototype and tested some user stories with 3 different individuals.

Findings:

  • The label “New Project” was misleading for users, it didn’t signalise the user that this is the start for finding a handymen

  • Users value the option of having a map view

  • Users missed the option to see “ongoing” and “finished” work orders

Design solutions:

  • The term "Project" was changes into "work order"
  • A segment control for “ongoing” and “finished” work orders was added.
HOMIE

Prototyping

Mid-fidelity Wireframes:

I turned my revised sketches into a black and white interactive prototype done in sketch. I defined UI elements, design patterns and visual hierarchy. I tested the prototype  in-person and remotely.

Findings:

  • Users missed the ability to filter search results.
  • User wanted to have the option to call a handyman before booking.
  • Users have missed a label for running work orders that shows the current status.
  • User valued the feedback screens after each action, as a trust builder.

Design solutions:

  • A filter option was added to the search results.
  • Calling option was added into handymen profile.
  • A label displaying the status of each work order was integrated.

HOMIE

VISUAL DESIGN

HOMIE
HOMIE

Designed for Simplification

After a few more iterations, I designed the final screens with Sketch. I conducted A/B testings during the process to define design pattern, elements and colours.

My aim was a modern and clean looking that helps users to fulfil their goals quickly. "Homie" is a problem solver, therefore, I had a big focus on the colours scheme. It´s purpose is transmitting trust and reliability. 

I also designed illustrations to keep the looking fresh, diverse and modern.

WRAPPING UP

What I have learned from this project?

  • Research is a must – I couldn’t have designed a product users love without the help of the people who will actually use it. The user survey revealed unexpected informations and made it possible to adapt the product to users needs.

  • Personas are powerful – being aware of users needs and pain points helped me do create a seamless end to end experience.

  • The user is always right  conducting user testing and evaluating users feedback at various stages helped me to discover and eliminate pain point at an early stage. 

Dear Katarina Harth,

Best,