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Property Management App

Project type

Web app

Industry

Years

Real estate
2018 - 2019

A large property management application provider came to our team to help them redesign their online experience; a white-labeled application that was used by properties across the country to showcase their available properties and handle tenant applications.

I dealt directly with our client, providing them with data-driven designs. We thought through every aspect of the process, and delivered designs that were purposeful, functional, and simplified.

Mark Nader

Primary UX designer & researcher

Marc Wallace

UX director

Jamie Malsam

Project manager

Client

Confidential

Most applicants...

won’t consider applying before viewing imagery

browse for apartments on mobile and apply on a desktop

are concerned with the cost of the apartment

have a flexible move-in date

won’t apply until they’ve visited an apartment in person

Most applications...

Show imagery, but often require at least one click to view it

are designed for desktop

are not direct with the cost

force users to select a move-in date before browsing

push applicants to apply before touring the apartment

Finding an apartment is hard

In-depth interviews, observation, and competitive analysis helped us discover what parts of the searching and application process are most difficult.

An informed design

A solid base of research and understanding led to us to key insights that made our design decisions very clear.

88%

of apartment shoppers care more about cost than anything else.
Solution

We used a bold font for price, making it the clearest data point to read while scanning through options.

Most renters won’t apply until they’ve visited an apartment in person.
Solution

We made “Request tour” the first call-to-action, giving properties a larger sales funnel while guiding users along their natural path.

Renters want to be able to communicate quickly with a real person online.
Solution

We designed the contact section to be versatile, allowing for companies to use as many communication options as they were able, while helping users get in touch the way that is most convenient for them.

When renters don’t finish the application, it’s often because the process is too long...
...and they’re not sure how much longer it will take,
...or what the status of their application is.
Solution

We moved some of the initial input fields into a conversational UI. Instead of having a long form that changed based on their response, using a conversational UI allowed us to guide users to specific parts of the application, eliminating unnecessary input fields and reducing the perceived length of the application.

We made it very clear to users where they were in the process. Rather than hopelessly knowing how long the process would take, they could see the progress they were making and the prize they were receiving if they finished at the top - they’re beautiful, affordable new home.

Breaking the application into a second section allowed for properties to run a background check on applicants before they got too far along the process, cutting down wasted time for both the property and applicant.

Usability testing

Usability testing on some key areas was revealing, and making sure to test users unfamiliar with the tech world was key.

Listing by apartment name

We originally listed apartments by their name, but learned that the name rarely means anything to users.

Listing by bed number

We rearranged the listing design to focus on what users cared about: how many beds for how much, what does it look like (larger image), and can I save the listings I like for later (favorite feature)?

Slide-out filters

Users want filters to be easily accessible. Putting them behind a slide-out panel was only one click, but it felt like more work and hides their value to users.

Accessible filters

We surfaced the two most important filters: bedroom count and price range.

Surfacing the discount

Highlighting the final price

We tried to show what was making up the overall price to offer transparency, but it proved to be too confusing.

Instead, we surfaced the final price, while making it clear that there was something special about that price. If users were curious about the breakdown, they could see it as a secondary read below the overall price.

A/B testing

Differing opinions emerged between the team and client around how the listings should be shown. Research had shown that users liked to see imagery, but a lot of properties did not have good imagery to show. Making the imagery large would also make it difficult to scan through properties quickly. A/B testing provided us with a clear direction forward.

87%

13%

Prototype

Building a prototype was essential to gather the feedback we needed on this project. A lot of assumptions and personal preferences could have taken the designs several different ways, but with feedback and observation, we were able to refine the interaction design to something we were proud of and confident users would understand.

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© 2020 Mark Nader