CASE OUTLINE  

CASE STUDY WEBSITE REDESIGN

Spacer

 

Growing a peer-to-peer marketplace for space

Background

MAKING USE OF UNUSED SPACE

Spacer is a peer-to-peer storage and parking marketplace. The website is a platform for people to rent or lease storage or parking space. It is a sharing economy model much like Airbnb and Uber.

This was my final project at General Assembly's UX Design immersive

(10 week, full-time) course.

Project Brief

IMPROVE THE MOBILE EXPERIENCE

The company launched in 2015 and has grown in both Australia and the US. While the website was responsive, the Spacer team had been focussing on the design of the desktop version.

Our brief was to redesign the Host Landing page and the How Spacer Works pages for renters and hosts, with a focus on mobile.

Host Landing

a page for creating a listing

How Spacer works for Renters

explains the process of renting

How Spacer works for Hosts

explains the process of leasing

ROLE

UX designer, lead on UI design and prototyping

TEAM

Worked with another UX designer, Joanne Ng

DURATION

2.5 weeks

MAIN CONTRIBUTIONS

Business and user research

Stakeholder management, leading a concept mapping workshop, interviews, business model canvas

Analysis of findings

Affinity mapping and persona creation workshops

Ideating solution and prototyping

Paper/digital wireframing, UI design and prototyping, usability testing, logo design

Presenting to the client

TOOLS

Pen and paper, Google Forms, Marvel App, Sketch App, InVision

RESEARCH

Business Analysis and Research Strategy

WHY WERE WE TASKED TO REDESIGN THESE SPECIFIC PAGES?

Rather than dive straight into redesigning the 3 pages in the project brief, we started with exploratory research to understand what was important for Spacer as a business and why these 3 pages, in particular, were selected for redesign.

After doing online research, we conducted a mind mapping and business model canvas workshop to form assumptions and generate questions for 3 stakeholder interviews - with the founder, marketing and customer service.

A mind map of our initial exploratory research on Spacer with questions and assumptions

We created a business model canvas as we strived to understand Spacer's customer base and how their products and services met their needs

SPACER'S SUCCESS MEANS HAVING THE LARGEST MARKETPLACE

Interviewing the stakeholders helped us understand their challenges and align on business goals. 

Goals

  1. Become a widely known 'household name' 

  2. Grow the customer base

Challenges

  1. Create brand awareness

  2. Educate people on how to use Spacer

  3. Online conversion

Spacer believed that redesigning the 3 specified pages for mobile (to increase conversion) would grow its marketplace of hosts and renters. ​​

This informed our research strategy to investigate not only what influenced conversion, but discoverability as well. Our approach was to:

  1. Examine web analytics
    How were people using the website?

  2. Interview and website-test with existing and potential customers
    What were users' goals, context of use and what is their experience of the existing website?

  3. Use Spacer ourselves
    Understand the customer journey for hosts and renters

 

!

 

 

Customer

conversion

 

Brand

awareness

 

?

 

 

Yet to discover Spacer

 

Entered website

 

Spacer user

Discoverability and Conversion were growing pains Spacer needed to overcome

Insights from Web Analytics

 

 

USER BEHAVIOUR ON THE WEBSITE

Looking into Google Analytics data on the website and the 3 pages specified in the brief revealed some big insights.

Page Views

Of the 133,680 page views in September 2017:

22,632 (17%)

were of the 

Home page

VS

319 (0.24%)

were of the

How Spacer works page for Hosts

372 (0.24%)

were of the

How Spacer works page for Renters

Bounce Rates

Of the 40,000 sessions in September 2017:

25%

landed on the Home page

with a low 37% bounce rate

4.4%

landed on the Host Landing page

with a high 75% bounce rate

VS

Device Usage

Of the 141,218 sessions in July - September 2017:

47%

were desktop users and spent an average of 5.5 mins per session

45%

were mobile users and spent an average of 2 mins per session

VS

  1. Most traffic landed on the Home page
    The Home page was a major point of entry and needed to be evaluated. The low page views on the How Spacer Works pages indicated to us that these pages were not discoverable to users. From this, we made the assumption that users were unsure of how the platform worked.

     

  2. Equal number of users for desktop and mobile
    This validated the need to optimise the experience for mobile.

Findings from Interviews and Usability Testing

 

EASY TO RENT, DIFFICULT TO LEASE

We conducted interviews and usability tests with 4 existing customers and 5 potential customers (people interested in either renting or leasing space). Our goal was to understand user needs, the decision-making process and get feedback on the existing website on desktop and mobile.

We learned that while the renting process was discoverable and straight forward, it was difficult to learn how to create a listing and lease a space.

Customer interview and usability testing

Map of the Spacer website

Potential customer interview and usability testing

Spacer was generally easy to find by search

  • Most people found Spacer through Google search and landed on the Home, How Spacer Works for Renters or Search Spaces pages. These pages were easily found by searching for the words 'rent' or 'lease'  with 'storage' or 'parking'

 

  • People couldn’t find Spacer if they searched 'self-storage'

 

  • The Host Landing page could only be found by searching 'host storage' or 'host parking' and people were not using this terminology

Difficulty learning how hosting works

  • People couldn’t find information on the leasing process and were not expecting to sign up beforehand

Link hidden in footer of Home Page

Leasing a space was not obvious

 

  • Though searching for a space was easy for renters, hosts wanting to lease their space had difficulty initiating this process on the Home page 

Hosting was an ambiguous button in the header of the Home Page

ANALYSIS

Using Spacer for Ourselves

 

 

IDENTIFYING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY

To get an understanding of all the nuances of the customer journey, I signed up and hosted a storage space on Spacer for my team member, Joanne, to rent.

We mapped out the journey of hosts and renters to identify points of opportunity

4 personas were created based on our interviews and their customer journeys mapped out to identify pain points and opportunities.

2 primary personas represented the extremes of confident and unconfident hosts.

Though they followed a similar user journey,

  • Confident hosts were trusting and focussed on getting the job done

  • Unconfident hosts were more sceptical and needed reassurance

2 secondary personas represented parking and storage renters

  • Parking renters didn't all realise they could rent parking on first impressions of the Spacer website

  • Storage renters needed to know the type of storage space for needs such as security, privacy, etc. 

Unconfident Host

"Show me value before I use your service!"

Confident Host

"What's the minimum I can do?"

Parking Renter

"Is this for storage or parking?"

Storage Renter

"I want to search by storage type"

Though they follow a similar journey, confident hosts may skip the step of building trust

While the user flow was similar, parking and storage renters had different needs, eg. covered parking vs type of storage area

Reframing the Problem

 

 

PEOPLE HAD DIFFICULTY LEARNING HOW TO LEASE UNUSED SPACE

From our research and journey mapping, we identified that users land on the Home page but have difficulty discovering the How Spacer works for Hosts page. We concluded that this results in users being unsure about how to list spaces on the platform, leading to a shortage of listings.

How might we make leasing unused space a discoverable and easy process? ​​

Our proposed solution was to restructure the content based on customer insights and focus on the home page as the primary point of entry.

This would make leasing a space easier and hopefully result in an increase in the number of listings.

Feature Prioritisation

 

 

MAKE LEASING A SPACE FINDABLE AND EASY

We conducted an affinity mapping workshop to sort through the findings from our interviews. The overarching themes were:

  1. Leasing a space was not obvious on the Home page

  2. Privacy, security and trust are important factors

  3. Hosts had difficulty deciding on a rate for their space

 

 

We ideated features and prioritised them by what would give the most value to the customer.

Affinity map

We used Post-it notes to make sense of our findings from user interviews and usability tests

DESIGN

Ideation

 

MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT

To generate an initial concept, Joanne and I rapidly sketched paper wireframes individually based on our 'must' and 'should' features. The most effective parts of each person’s design were incorporated into a single wireframe.

The result of our designs was a mobile website with a:

 

  • Clear call-to-action for leasing space on the Home page

  • Navigation menu to find content

  • More obvious link to find information on how the process of hosting works

 

Design Studio

Workshop to rapidly generate ideas for a concept design

Prototyping

Final Wireframe

Combining the most effective parts of each person's designs

Prototype 1.0

Interactive prototype for early testing

USABILITY TESTING

Fine-tuning a logical flow with relevant content.

We tested and iterated across 2 prototypes. Our focus was to make it easy for customers to identify that they can lease a space and complete a listing. 

FIRST ITERATION

Testing task completion.

We tested with Prototype 1.0 with 8 non-customers, asking them to complete the following tasks:

1. As a host who is skeptical, find out if Spacer is for you to lease spare space

2. As a host who is confident, advertise your spare space

3. As a renter who is skeptical, find out if Spacer is for you to rent storage/parking

4. As a renter who is confident, rent storage/parking space (for the month of October)

SECOND ITERATION

Structuring content.

For Prototype 2.0, we structured the content based on the user flow from interviews. We then tested content structure and different appearances of the Home page (A/B test) with 5 non-users. What we discovered was:

 

THIRD ITERATION

Simplifying the user flow.

For Prototype 3.0, we incorporated feedback into a logical flow for confident and unconfident hosts and renters.

RESULTS

REFLECTIONS

Asking why.

Understanding that the real goal of the project was to increase the conversion of new hosts was instrumental in designing a strategic solution around marketing and content strategy.

 

Working closely with stakeholders.

Working with the marketing and web development team more closely would have been beneficial in keeping everyone on the same page

 

Survey or interview?

A phone call interview would have yielded better qualitative insights than a survey we conducted

 

Customers appreciate being heard.

Customers were happy to share their feedback and offer ways to improve the service

Final Prototype

NEXT STEPS

Feasibility and measuring success.

This was a one-off project, but if it was ongoing, we would work with the web development and marketing departments to implement the designs. We could then compare our initial analytics data and measure success.

THE OUTCOME

The final deliverables (report, wireframe and logo redesign) were produced and presented to the client in October 2017.

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© 2020 David Lam