A virtual assistant that collects both housing and roommate information for struggling renters.

Project Objective

The project was done for 58.Inc in Beijing, China. I was the UX Design Intern and responsible for the research and the design of this project. I collaborated with data analysts, UI / UX designers, researchers, design leads and product managers in the company. After I left the company, I took the design forward by myself and sent it back to my manager.  

My Role

Usability testing
Motion Design
Video editting




Research - 2 months
Design - 1 month

The Challenge

It’s really hard for renters to find good roommates and a nice home at the same time.

- People gradually lose their patience throughout the process.
- Passive communication brings problems between roommates.
- People feel helpless and in pain but there is nothing they can do.

How might we help renters find appropriate home and roommates at the same time?

The Solution

FangFang is a virtual assistant that collects both housing and roommate information and creates groups for struggling renters.  

Our goal is to help renters find a comfortable home in the bustling city. And Fangfang is an efficient and simple way to offer people a perfect match.

In the app, all information is in the "group." Every group has two sections —— home and roommates. People can find other people's information by clicking their profiles.

Key Features

Type location & search groups

Type any address, city, zip code or neighborhood, and Fangfang helps renters match with appropriate groups.

View group information

Every group is divided into two sections -- home and roommates. People can make their considerations by checking this information.

View roommate's profile

Click on the group members’ profile pictures to learn more about them. Besides basic info, users can see their lifestyles, personalities, interests, and expectations on their profiles.  

Manage bookmarks & Requests

To make sure the efficiency, each user can only send up to 3 requests. If people want to send more than 3, they would need to delete their previous requests or wait until they get responses from previous requests.

Strengthen the profile

Be descriptive, be detailed about the profile! Updating the profile would be helpful for landlords and roommates to know better about renters during the application process.


‍The internship was 3 month, I was mainly responsible for conducting user research and proposing design principles for the 58 Pinzu project. And I finished the final design prototype after I got back to the US by myself.


Research Process

In the first two months, I collaborated with data scientists, other researchers and designers during the research process. We interviewed 15 users from different cities. Empathy maps, the mental model, personas and other affinity diagrams made it easier to communicate with the team.

Competitive analysis
Qualitative research
Empathy map
Semantic profiles
Ecosystem map
Mental model

Research Findings

After two month research, we gathered 1 ecosystem map, 3 insights, 1 mental model, 1 semantic profiles and 3 personas.
And these are the foundation for our product directions.

How might we help renters find appropriate home and roommates at the same time?


I organized 3 ideation events in the company. Over 60 people participated and devoted 300+ ideas including researchers, UX designers, UI designers, design leads, and product managers.


Design 1.0

Design 2.0 (pivot)

My internship ended in August, and I had to go back to the U.S. Our team loved my research. I knew that all I need to was, "focus." I knew that I could do it better. It was almost there, so I knew I had to keep going.  

So, I took everything that I had back to my school and finished the final design by myself.

Design Iterations

Visual Design

Design 3.0 (final)

View PDF

Video (design 2.0)




5 Million

The research utilized in enhancing the product experience which has a reach of 5 million users

13/13 testers have very positive feedback on this concept

40% of them wanted to download this app


Tackling the real world problem.

Focus, focus, focus.

This was the first time that I got to know the real world, talk to real people and solve their real problems. I still remember at the end of the interviews, my interviewees asked me whether their voices would be heard. I said yes. I was really proud when I presented my research results to the company. Everyone was really into what I found out. I made it, and I not only allowed their voices to be heard by the company, but also helped millions of users in China.
The biggest mistake that I made is trying to combine too many ideas in one design. When there are too many things in one app, people will feel lost. I learned this lesson, and learned how to prioritize things based on their impacts.

And this is not the end of this project, I still need to run a few rounds of usability tests and iterations to fix some issues.
Previous project
Netgear Insight
Next project
Routine Ninja

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