Case Study

HOMEBUDDY

// An on-demand home service app

OVERVIEW

HomeBuddy app aims to be the “Uber” of the on-demand home service industry, offering a one-stop solution for homeowners and renters to find, review, schedule, and pay for home service requests.

Timeline: May 2020 (5 weeks)

Collaborators: Bia Frenkel, Helen Johns

My Role: UX Researcher, UX Designer, UI Designer

Tools: Sketch, Figma, Invision, Miro, Zoom, Otter.ai

CHALLENGE

The home services industry is worth billions, but millennial homeowners and renters alike report difficulty in finding reliable and affordable contractors that return on the value they promise. Our team was asked to build a home service eCommerce marketplace that connects renters and homeowners to local home service professionals. We need to access the end-to-end customer journey and define the UX strategy of the platform in order to build a home services marketplace that brings ease, transparency, and control to users.

APPROACH

To better understand the industry, marketplace, and target audience of the product, our team conducted exploratory research, competitive analysis, user interviews, and survey. Our primary research questions are:

DISCOVERIES

Trends

There are three emerging trends, and all put more effort into connecting their customers, understanding their needs, and providing them with customized services.

  • Personalization
  • The increasing influence of digital media
  • Integration of technology in the home

Opportunity Gap: Niche Market

The on-demand home service market is fragmented and the market is intensely competitive. Based on competitive analysis, we were able to identify the main players TaskRabbit, Handy, Zaarly, Porch, and Thumbtack. The current home services mainly include home improvement and repair services such as plumping, electrics, assembly, etc. The future of the on-demand industry lies in the number of service categories. We should think of how to redefine or expand the meaning of the home service such as adding beauty & spa service, cooking, courier, and storage service for college students, etc.

Target Audience

Based on our exploratory research, we consider the millennials (20 - 40 years old) as our target audience. They are the main workforce. With lives becoming increasingly fast and busy, on-demand home services are becoming greatly popular for millennials to outsource laundry, cleaning, and maintenance services. The number of smartphone users from millennials and subsequent generations is increasing and this age group prefers shopping and booking services online.

When it comes to running a household, recent studies have shown that millennials’ DIY knowledge is too limited to manage some of these basic tasks.

User Interview

Knowing that we are targeting the millennial generation, our team conducted user interviews with 7 homeowners/renters who fall into our target age group (20 - 40 years old) with on-demand home service experiences. We would like to learn more about their mindsets of hiring contractors, both negative and positive experiences, most valued features, and some suggestions they are looking for.

Survey

We gathered 35 valid responses in total and the results help us learn about the mindset of millennials, having a better understanding of what circumstances millennials rely on hiring home services, common frustrations, opinion on reviews system, loyalty and referral program, and what are the gaps in the current platforms.

  • Most survey respondents expect to see ratings and reviews when looking for the ideal home service professionals.
  • Most respondents claimed that they feel comfortable using in-app purchases.
  • The problems with previous on-demand home services experience listed include professionals not showing up or being too late, poor quality of service, and pricing overestimation, etc. Some problems could be solved if the app allows users to directly contact service providers such as live chat systems and video consultation.

Problem Statement

The hard-working millennials need a convenient, cost-effective, safe and reliable way to find and book on-demand home service professionals because of their lack of time and DIY knowledge.

To best address the unique context, goals, and needs of this project and encourage more free-flowing ideas, our team had two ideation sessions using Mind Mapping and Six Thinking Hat techniques. We decided to make the flows of booking on-demand services with key features.

Key Features:

  • Live message
  • Video consultation
  • Rating & review
  • Flexible bidding methods: fix price & estimate proposal
  • In-app payment

SOLUTION

USABILITY TEST

This usability test is intended to evaluate the usability of the on-demand home service app. Each team member interviewed two participants and there were 6 participants in total. Participants are asked to complete three tasks:

1. Enroll the premium membership

2. Book a plumbing service

3. Hire an eyelash technician

HIGH-FIDELITY PROTOTYPE

After gaining users’ feedback from the usability test, I iterated the wireframes and created the high-fidelity prototype, showing the two main flows with key features.