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Bringing together Munich’s room mates a Project by Sandro Schätz

DURATION: 1 weekend

DELIVERABLES: research, persona, user journey, wireframes, flowchart

The brief

54% of the world’s population live in urban communities, the average marriage age for men is 29 (up from 26 two decades ago) and for women is 27 (up from 23 in the same time period). Given these trends, city dwellers tend to spend most of their twenties living with roommates. Finding and keeping a good roommate, however, gets harder as more people swarm into cities.

Design a mobile product experience that appeals to millennials that makes it safe to find the ideal roommate in Munich. Design the experience from the perspective of a person who is looking for a roommate as well as the one who is looking for a room. Once the ideal roommate is found, what else can this product do to make the roommate experience better?

„We should have mutual interests, like a matching taste of music, or a soap opera or something else that you enjoy doing together. That leads to a harmonic life together.“ – Dino, student, 27 years old

First thoughts

thoughts about the problem

Research

I already made my own experiences searching for and living with roommates. However, I need to know what Munich’s millennials think about this subject.

Research participant criteria:

  • lives with a room mate or currently searching for one
  • is a millennial

Interviews

Here’s an example interview (in German) with a design student and tape artist from Munich.

Survey (Google Form)

I created a quick survey that I posted in numerous Facebook Groups (topic: living in Munich) and sent it to some groups on WhatsApp.

Survey results

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.

Pain points

After a number of interviews, the following pain points were found:

  • You don’t know whether you’ll get along (missing information about common ground)
  • Online platforms heavily rely on finding a place rather than finding the people (no focus on search for shared flats)
  • You have no idea whether you can trust the person you are going to live with. (having to provide trust)
  • Some people don’t want too much human interaction but can’t afford to live alone. (need for compromise)
Munich. This beautiful city has the highest rents in Germany. For this reason, residents in their 20s often can’t afford to live alone.

Personas

From the research I extracted two personas.

Persona 1
Persona 2

The idea

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

lovoo & tinder: not too many information inputs

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).

quick user journey overview

First sketches

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.

Wireframes

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.

Log In

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.

tap the pictures for full view

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.

tap the pictures for full view

The flowchart: An overview of “Roomie Match”

Download the flowchart to have a closer look at the experience.

Evaluation

Emotion through images

In the next step I’d like to settle for a smooth and clean looking frontend design that transports a feeling of friendship and sociability through suitable images.

User testing

I’d like to do some user testing to find out how the app can be improved.

Thanks for your attention!

Created By
Sandro Schätz
Appreciate

Credits:

Created with images by rawpixel - "Teamwork and friendship" • Priscilla Du Preez - "untitled image" • designerpoint - "munich marienplatz town hall virgin mary marian"

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