Millennials are born between the mid-80s and mid-90s, sometimes also stated until the early 2000s. (source: https://thecollegeinvestor.com/19793/millennial-age-range/)
Most people seem to look for new room mates or WG’s through their friends or Facebook Groups.
People feel sad, bad, stressed and not good, having to live with a room mate they don’t get along with.
The subjects seem to rate the importance of a healthy relationship to their room mate higher than the importance of the room’s benefits.
Problems in finding a new room mate lie in the fact that they don’t know whether they will get along as there’s no possibility to get to know the person on a level deep enough to encounter possible connections.
The perfect room mate is clean, friendly, cooperative and shares some traits and hobbies.
46,2% are actively searching for a new room mate or WG at the moment.
From the research I extracted two personas.
a tinder-like app
My take on the solution is an app inspired by dating apps, where you can find people that match your criteria. Because of an intelligent auto-match feature, you will only get contacts that match your preferences, to make sure you have a strong base to build your room mate experience on.
Comparison of social-matching/dating apps
Typical dating apps popular with millennials are more focused on image content rather than information about one’s character.
The user journey
I wanted the app to be easy and direct in it’s approach to find the best match for the user. So I defined the steps “login”, “onboarding”, “auto-matching”, “get in contact” and “create WG”.
I used the German abbrevation “WG” because I noticed that a lot of english speaking people in Munich use it instead of describing a “shared flat” (as seen in various Facebook groups).
I already had quite a detailed image in my head on how I wanted to position the elements. The screens should be rather minimalistic. To decide better on the positioning I sketched some quick possibilities.
Here’s a quick description of the wireframes made for the app. I later connected them in a flowchart to give a holistic overview of the experience.
The app starts with a loading screen and is followed by a quick onboarding that explains what the app is for. The user signs in using Facebook or Google or creates a new account.
Setting up the profile
The user decides whether he’s searching for a room or a room mate. He gives additional information about his room or about his room preferences. Afterwards he adds keywords and a note about himself so that the auto-matching can work.
Auto-matching & getting in contact
The auto-matching shows possible matches. Here the user can swipe just like he might already have learned via Tinder. When swiping right, the detail screen presents the person to the user. The pictures of the flat and the free room are only visible when a person has a room (depends on what the user is looking for -> see “setting up the profile”). There also is a visual representation of how good the presented person matches the user (up to 5 strokes). People from 4 to 5 strokes get a flag that states “great match!”.
Users can send messages to get in contact and to get to know each other.
Improving the roommate experience
After the user found a room (or a room mate), he can build a new WG with his “Roomie” through the app. It’s a hub for shared information, reminders and notifications or a grocery list.
Also there’s a section where the room mates can download various templates to print them out and hang them in a commonly used room like the kitchen.