The first step in our process was to figure out what we needed to learn and who could provide us with the right information. We started by interviewing our stakeholders to better understand the business, their users, and their goals for the future.
Insights from the stakeholder interviews included:
Avanti Way wants to shift its focus from real estate agents to customers.
Technology is at the heart of their service, but they struggle to make it user-friendly.
The company's branding needs to be updated to tap into the users' emotions.
I conducted competitor analysis to figure out where Avanti Way stands in the market and how its competitors address the users.
By mapping Avanti Way’s market positioning, along with its competitors, we were able to get a better understanding of where Avanti Way needed to be.
Next, we used the Lean Survey Canvas and sent the survey to actual customers through Avanti Way's communication channels. However, after not receiving the response we needed from our survey, I decided to reach out to our target group personally. I found online communities for people interested in buying or selling property in the US to send our survey to supplement our previous findings.
The majority of respondents were interested in buying property for residential purposes.
Their decision signified a milestone in their lives, such as starting a family or retiring.
They mainly searched on desktop, but mobile came in a close second.
Users found the process difficult, especially struggling to find information and keep track of things like applications and communication with agents.
Respondents of the survey were mainly interested in buying property rather than renting or selling.
75% buying property for living in it.
They were searching for properties during the week, usually before work or during lunch break.
64% were searching property during the week days.
They searched for properties mostly on their computers but mobile came as a close second.
Around 60% searched for properties on desktop computers.
Almost everyone found the process stressful, struggling most with dealing with paperwork and tracking application.
36% of participants struggles with paperwork during the process.
After collecting data from our survey and in-depth interviews, we identified emerging patterns by organizing clusters within an Affinity Diagram. These valuable insights informed the definition of our project scope and the creation of a detailed user persona. Our survey findings revealed that desktops were the preferred choice for users conducting research; therefore, we opted to focus on developing a highly responsive website tailored for desktop use.
Additionally, we advised Avanti Way to consider investing in a mobile app as a logical next step in their development plan.
Our user personas, Alison and Steve, represent a young couple seeking the perfect property for their growing family. While we acknowledge the existence of various user personas for Avanti Way, our focus remains on Alison and Steve, given their prominence in our research and the similarities they share with other personas. With this emphasis, we carefully crafted a problem statement and hypothesis that take into account the needs and aspirations of Alison and Steve.
Alison and Steve, who live in Miami, are ready to become homeowners as they plan to expand their family. They feel confident that this is the right time in terms of finances, career, and support network. However, they have pain points related to the home-buying process, such as not knowing where to start, lack of time to attend home viewings, inefficient communication with agents, and lack of transparency in the process.
Buying a home is a dream come true. However, buyers often feel confused and get discouraged due to the complexities involved in the process.
Introducing a personalized property search function and a dashboard will help users to find a home and manage the process with ease. We will know if we are right through testing and user feedback.
Before contemplating potential solutions, we aimed to understand which parts of Avanti Way's website worked and which had room for improvement. To accomplish this, I conducted usability testing with a group of users, assigning tasks such as locating a desirable property to purchase. We utilized the feedback to construct a revised sitemap, which significantly aided us during the ideation and design phases.
Insights from user testing:
Improve navigation by introducing the back button and breadcrumbs.
Increase credibility by establishing coherence among different pages of the website.
Have more precise UX copy throughout the website, particularly in CTAs and buttons.
Optimize filtering options according to personas.
Modernize the overall look of the website and tailor it to the personas.
Ideation and user testing
During the ideation stage, we explored various potential solutions to tackle the pressing user pain points. Our vision for Avanti Way's website centered on personalizing the customer experience. In the end, we decided to:
Test two versions for searching properties: an optimized filter and a personalized questionnaire highlighting the brand's new tone.
Implement a collaborative dashboard for centralized management and seamless agent communication.
Introduce a blog as a one-stop resource for users.
After creating mid-fi prototypes for both approaches, we tested them with users on Maze. The results showed no clear winner, as both were well-received. After noting user feedback for both directions, we felt confident in presenting both to our client to have the final say.
For Avanti Way, it was important to be more customer-oriented, so they decided on the personalized questionnaire direction.
Branding and design system
Before developing the high-fidelity prototype, we updated Avanti Way's branding per their request. While the company didn't seek drastic changes, they aimed to highlight their new focus to customers.
Based on this insight, we kept the key elements such as colours and typography almost intact by playing with the shades while introducing an additional typeface for headings. With greater flexibility in imagery and layout, we sought to emphasize the emotional aspect of home-buying.
After presenting various options, our client selected a cozy yet elegant mood board to convey their refreshed branding.
Using the guide established for Avanti Way's updated branding, we developed a design system to ensure cohesive and adaptable implementation.
In the high-fidelity prototype, we incorporated feedback from users and stakeholders:
Shortened the questionnaire and added a "skip" button.
Included filters in the property search menu for users who prefer a more traditional way of searching for property.
Implemented breadcrumbs and clarified CTAs.
Removed the collaborative aspect after learning that agents' hectic schedules would make it hard to implement.