A virtual assistant that collects housing and roommate information for struggling renters.
In 2018, I worked on Fangfang at 58.com as a UX Design Intern. Over the summer, I led the research and design of this project, and collaborated with product experts in the company. Product experts included data analysts, UI / UX designers, researchers, design leads and product managers.
Research - 2 months
Design - 1 month
58.com Inc. is China's largest classified online marketplace. It was launched in 2011 and now has around 100 million users.
58.com contains local information across various content categories, including jobs, real estate, used goods, automotive and yellow pages. In 2018, we found out that many users were looking for shared homes due to increasing rent in big cities. The company wanted to improve the product experience, and I was helping to explore and redesign a product for 58 users.
I continued the design after I left the company, including a new visual guide for Fangfang.
More and more young people come to bigger cities to pursue better futures. To stay, they need to rent a place to live.
But 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 but there is nothing they can do.
FangFang is a virtual assistant that collects housing and roommate information 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.
Besides the room information, Fangfang also provides roommates' information at the same time. People can find other people's information by clicking their profiles.
The internship was 3 months. I was responsible for conducting user research and proposing design principles. I finished the final design prototype after I returned to the US.
User research was quintessential. I gathered as much information as I could from the end users to understand their characteristics and the challenges they were facing. We interviewed 15 users from different cities. We used various research methods such as empathy maps, mental models, and personas, making it easier to communicate with the team.
After two months of research, we gathered one ecosystem map, three insights, one mental model, and one semantic profile including three personas. These were the foundation for our product directions.
I generated three "How might we's" from our insights, and I used these to organize three ideation workshops in the company. Over 60 people participated and devoted 300+ ideas including researchers, UX designers, UI designers, design leads, and product managers.
We spent too much time on research and workshops. I only had two weeks to summarize the design. Then, the biggest challenge came -- we had 300+ ideas. I filtered some of them, but we still had 40+ ideas left. With our colleagues help, we decided that Fangfang can help groups of renters join, connect, and find homes together.
"We really like your research, but you have too many features on your design..." After the presentation, I received this feedback from my team. My internship ended in August, so I decided to finish the rest of the design by myself. In this second round, I received a lot of positive feedback.
Based on the research, people have 5+ apps to search for homes. But a lot of information is still unclear. Filter helps renters find homes based on their preferences.
Users can make their decisions by viewing home information and roommates' information. Besides roommates' basic info, it also allows users see their bio, lifestyle, expectations, and personalities in their profiles.
Users can browse the home list. Fangfang highlights important information, which makes it easier for users to make decisions.
Please note that the video isn't using the latest design :) I am still working on updating the video.
The research was utilized in enhancing the product experience for 5 million users
13/13 testers have positive feedback on this concept
40% of testers said they wanted to download this app