HOMESPACES

How can you find spaces to rent within a budget, especially when moving to a new city?

PROBLEM

It is often difficult to rent spaces within a budget, especially when moving to a new city. Students have to find spaces to stay. Dorms and off-campus housing are very expensive. This introduces a problem of affordability.



SOLUTION

To fix this problem, I’ve introduced Homespaces, a platform which allows students and to find affordable spaces to rent. It also allows temporary spaces for modeling shoots, parties and storage purposes.



MY ROLE

Ideation
User Research
Prototyping



USER RESEARCH

I had researched for Apartment Rent Reports online and came across data drawn from a website known as apartmentlist. There was a report for the months of July - August 2018 which was drawn from millions of listings on their website. Using 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartment rents per month, I had plotted a graph classifying rents into 4 categories depending on how ranges of expense per state.





By interpreting this information we can understand how difficult it is to rent an apartment — based on financial background. My goal is to reduce these expenses by creating a network that is friendly to college students as they take massive loans to study in universities around the US.



IDEATION AND COMMON ISSUES

There are major issues that affect platforms that people normally use to rent spaces. Consider Craigslist, a platform which allows people to buy/sell/rent all at low prices. There are some issues in these platforms — an example of which is the safety of both parties - buyer and seller.









With the constant rising of housing prices over the years, it can be said that a lot of people simply cannot pay a premium to buy a house. Along with this, there are articles that explain how millennials cannot savor the taste of avocado toast if they want to buy a house.




Courtesy of Reuters


I wasn't just adding this for a sense of humor, but I wanted to show how housing prices inflated over the years.




USER PERSONAS

 

Disclaimer: The photos used are from Unsplash and are for non-commercial purposes. Any Resemblance to Actual Persons, Living or Dead, is Purely Coincidental.

Bianca just got accepted into a prestigious university in downtown Los Angeles. She cannot afford on-campus housing and looks for places to rent that are close enough to her university. The problem, here, is that downtown Los Angeles is one of the most dangerous places to live -- if you find yourself in the wrong neighborhood. How does she find an affordable and safe place to stay?

Michael is an independent filmmaker who has a house in downtown Los Angeles and another in Venice Beach. He uses Homespaces to rent his house in Downtown Los Angeles to other people. By using the mobile app, Bianca can instantly connect with Michael and message him regarding her stay.



WIREFRAMING

For Homespaces, I’ve introduced a more human-centric approach to the gathering of user data. Instead of the traditional method where the user creates an account by filling forms, there is now a chatbot or assistant which takes user data and parses it to get valuable information.

Payment is done using digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Paypal - which enables cashless transactions between renter and owner 24x7.





One of the additional features I thought of adding to Homespaces - was to create a rating based system, similar to how Uber works. Each space gets a rating based on the renters which increases its reputation. By using machine learning algorithms we can recommend spaces to users based on their interests.



LO-FI PROTOTYPING













HI-FI PROTOTYPING









INTERACTIVE PROTOTYPE





BRANDING