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COLIFE

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CoLife: Bio

THE CHALLENGE

Redesign the CoLife website to create a comfortable, engaging experience that communicates the value of homesharing and inspires trust in the service.

THE RESOURCES

Type: Website redesign

Team: 3 members

Timeline: 2 weeks

SKILLS

User interviews, survey design, affinity mapping, personas, design studio, wireframing, prototyping, usability testing, UX writing, stakeholder presentations

CoLife: List

CoLife is a Charleston based startup that connects homeowners with extra space with people who need a place to stay. It differentiates itself from the competition by focusing on the human element of a home and matching people based on shared values. The business is in its early stages but has had some initial success and is ready to move on to more firmly establish its web presence.

CoLife: Text

RESEARCH

CoLife: Text

METHODS

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HEURISTIC EVALUATION

  • Analyzed usability of existing CoLife website

  • Investigated learning curve, memorability, navigation, and search

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SCREENER SURVEY

  • Collected data on housing preferences, tools, and priorities

  • Recruited users for interviews

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USER INTERVIEWS

  • Conducted twelve interviews with two user groups

  • Asked about coliving experiences, tools, preferences, and behaviors

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COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

  • Compared features of eight coliving-related websites

  • Assessed user experiences based on eight verticals

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USABILITY TESTING

  • Performed usability tests on existing CoLife website

  • Tasked users with interpreting homepage and signing up as a guest

CoLife: Team Members

“The difficult part was finding somebody who I would want in my home and somebody who was trustworthy. And not crazy.”

CoLife Host

CoLife: Quote

RESEARCH INSIGHTS

We used affinity mapping to discover trends in our data about hosts and guests.

HOSTS

Hosts see their homes as sanctuaries that could be interrupted by inviting in a stranger.

GUESTS

Guests are most concerned with price, location, cleanliness, and living with people they can share common spaces with.

ALL USERS

Both guests and hosts value trust and safety above all else, and want potential homesharers to be rigorously screened.

EXISTING WEB PRESENCE

The existing CoLife website is not adequately communicating the value of the service and gives the business an unpolished first impression.

CoLife: List

PERSONAS

CoLife: Text
susan_peterson

MEET SUSAN PETERSON,

A COLIFE HOST

"My home is my sanctuary. I want guests to respect that."

CoLife: Bio

Goals

• Earn extra income

• Maintain independence

• Have home reflect Christian values

Keep family and home safe

Pain points

• Can’t trust people you meet online

• Worried it will be awkward

Vetting is time consuming

Needs

Find trustworthy renter

• Screen out bad matches

• Feel comfortable with the process

Behaviors

• Prefers talking on the phone to a website

• Involved in her church

• Values recommendations from friends

CoLife: List
jeff_goode

MEET JEFF GOODE,

A COLIFE GUEST

"I need a comfortable place to live while I get settled."

CoLife: Bio

Goals

• Find a host with compatible personality

• Find host with shared values

• Be casual friends with host

• Save money

Pain points

• Bad experiences with housing from social sites and Craigslist 

• Uncomfortable with messy environment

• Roommates who party too much

Needs

• Find a location near school

• To live with people who are trustworthy

Personal space

• Safe neighborhood

Behaviors

• Careful of what information he shares with websites
• Often does schoolwork at home
• Uses face to face interactions to judge trustworthiness

CoLife: List

PROBLEM STATEMENT

People are interested in using CoLife to find potential home-sharers, but the website leaves them confused and hesitant to commit to the service without personal intervention from the founder.


Susan and Jeff love the idea of having a service that will save them time with their process while still conducting thorough research into compatibility of prospective home-sharers, but are not entirely clear on why they should trust CoLife. 


How might we help them evaluate whether CoLife’s mission and process are a good fit for their needs?

CoLife: Text

DESIGN

CoLife: Text

Trust is essential to the mission and work of CoLife. As a whole, it is also one of the most important values to Susan and Jeff for safety and comfort in their living situation. With this in mind, we decided to frame our designs around four key values:

  • Credibility

  • Safety

  • Comfort

  • Community

We began by doing a design studio to generate paper sketches of a wide variety of potential layouts for the new website’s homepage, about page, and a sample guest/host page. We focused our designs on providing key contextual information about CoLife’s process and benefits. When we were satisfied with the layout of these three pages, we moved on to mid-fidelity designs.

CoLife: Text

MID-FIDELITY WIREFRAMES

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HOMEPAGE

Insight: Many users have never heard of coliving

Feature: Simple explanation of the concept and benefits featuring text and iconography

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HERO IMAGES

Insight: Users trust websites with friendly faces and imagery

Feature: Hero images on every page adding visual context and showing smiling faces

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GUEST AND HOST PAGES

Insight: Younger users want to fully understand the process before engaging with the service

Feature: Dedicated host and guest pages with step by step explanation of the matching process

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CONTACT

Insight: Hosts prefer the option to give personal information over the phone

Feature: Contact footer on every page and both email and phone options

CoLife: News

MID-FIDELITY USABILITY TESTING

We performed three rounds of testing with our mid-fidelity prototype. In these assessments of the design, we asked users give a first impression of the website’s purpose,  sign up to become a guest, and find a way to ask more questions. 

  • 1/3 users were able to understand the purpose of the website on first glance

  • 3/3 users successfully completed all tasks

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CoLife: Image

HI-FIDELITY WIREFRAMES VERSION 1

Changes from mid-fidelity:

New copy
Iconography
Soft blue and yellow color palette
Wide margins

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CoLife: Image

HI-FIDELITY USABILITY TESTING

We performed three rounds of usability testing using the same tasks we had used for mid-fidelity.
3/3 users were able to successfully complete the tasks assigned
2/3 users found inconsistent terminology confusing
Users took multiple paths to complete each task

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CoLife: Image

“It’s really well laid out and easy to navigate.”

Usability tester

CoLife: Quote

DELIVERY

Finally, we sought specific visual design feedback from our colleagues. We got valuable feedback that the current design was too narrow and the color scheme wasn’t welcoming. We performed one final iteration of the website to create our final designs.

CoLife: Text

HI-FIDELITY WIREFRAMES TRANSFORMATION

Changes based on feedback

Yellow replaced with off white
Content column widened
White overlay on hero images
Terminology standardized

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CoLife: Image

CLIENT REACTION AND NEXT STEPS

When we presented the founder of CoLife with our designs, he was overjoyed. We presented him with:

  • High resolution wireframes

  • InVision prototype

  • Spec doc

  • Research report

For next steps, the client plans to contract a developer to build out the site. We will be available to advise on any design changes and the creation of a mobile-specific layout for the site.

CoLife: Text

"Lauren's team did an exceptional job capturing the needs of users and designing a site that functionally and aesthetically pleases users. They dove deep into user's needs, listened and implemented. They far exceeded my expectations. Lauren is an exceptional leader and communicator who gets things done while communicating with empathy and being concise. Highly recommend!"

Derek Snook, CoLife Founder

CoLife: Quote
CoLife: Text
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