Case Study

SLC Short Stays

Website for professionals, students, or people that require short-term rental apartments in Salt Lake City.

My Role

UX leader at research planning, usability study, synthesize data, visual design, UI design, UX prototyping.

Project Vision

SLC Short Stays is an online apartment rental website that offers ideal short-term living solutions to verified students and professionals in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Challenges

Introduction

I found that online apartment finder solutions do not allow users to select specific options in their requirements, especially students and professionals. So I need to create an improved design in collaboration with property owners to build a fantastic user experience for students and professionals with SLC Short Stays website.

My project goal

The design objective for SLC Short Stays is to connect students and professionals with curated apartments that will include amenities and extra add-ons, thinking about the specific needs of those users.

Target Audience

Busy students and professionals often move for research studies or professional work and require specific amenities for their home-work routine—students and professionals between 20 to 45 years old.

User Persona

Case Study - SLC Short Stays | User persona | Stacey Turner | JJ Garrido UX Designer
Stacey Turner

Age: 21| Occupation: Biomedicine Student

Stacey is a biomedicine student that lives in the United States. She needs to perform several biomedicine research projects in different cities in order to become a biomedical scientist. She finds very difficult to find apartments online for short term  lease. She is being sponsored by her college and she has an online store where she sells arts that she paints during her free time.

Competitive Analysis

I examined several apartment finder solutions.  Even though some of their websites and apps are really good, they were missing the requirements of students and professionals.

I reduced the list to the following popular apartment finding solutions websites:

Apartments.com Logo
Apartments Lists Logo
Zillow Logo

Even though they have some great features, I noticed the absence of special add-ons and accessibility options on the design of their websites.

Problem Statement

Stacey is an international biomedicine student who needs to rent an apartment for 6 months in Salt Lake City, Utah because she needs to do a biomedicine research project in that city and found space where to live and perform her student and business activities.

User Research

I conducted interviews with target users. I found the following pain points:

The information was clear enough to set a starting point for SLC Short Stays website wireframes.

Website Sitemap

The website structure is very straightforward and simple, considering the target user’s needs.

Initial Designs - Wireframes

Take a sneak peek at my initial designs. Let’s begin with the initial user flow:

To test the user flow, please feel free to test the Low fidelity prototype.

Usability Study

Unmoderated Usability Study

Locations: Utah, United States

Dates: April 10 to 11, 2021.

Length: Each session lasted between 15 to 30 minutes according to the user pace.

Participants: Ten participants, each completing the study individually. 

Details: Ten participants in each location, chosen randomly. Each participant completed 5 questions and gave feedback about 8 possible scenarios for the website.

Compensation: $100 discount using the SLC Short Stays application program.

 

*Each participant went through the usability study in their own home. 

Usability Study - Results

Users were looking for a screen where the apartments appeared in a column but could not find the screen.

Add-ons, special accessories, or amenities selection were not clear enough to understand on the screen.

Users wanted to see a more detailed apartment application screen to understand the requirements of the lease.

High Fidelity Prototypes

Desktop Responsive Version

After synthesizing the insights and analyzing the results, I built the following hi-fi prototype.

Mobile Responsive Version

Additional Research

After receiving more feedback for the hi-fi prototype of the SLC Short Stays website, I will introduce additional screens, like the apartment’s extended listings and the smart locator feature.

Accesibility

I built the prototype thinking in accessibility since the beginning of this project. I’m very aware that empathy is one of the main pillars of a great UX designer. Let me explain briefly what I included:

What I Learned

During the research phase of this project, I noticed that many businesses related to apartment finding forget the importance of UX principles.  I found so many missing features in premium websites that even appear on TV commercials.

Every time I perform a usability study, I learn more deeply about the different perspectives of the users, which broads my vision and ideas at the design phase.

I’m amazed by every finding during all the phases of the UX Research and UX Design process. Once again, I have to say WOW.

I want to give special thanks to my tutors from Google UX Design Professional Certification, my peers who gave me a lot of feedback, and my sponsor Unitytop.

Moving forward, I would like to perform new usability studies for this project to solve any pain point that a user could experience at this stage. This will fulfill the goals of the project and exceed user expectations.