CASE STUDY WEBSITE REDESIGN
Growing a peer-to-peer marketplace for space
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.
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.
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
UX designer, lead on UI design and prototyping
Worked with another UX designer, Joanne Ng
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
Pen and paper, Google Forms, Marvel App, Sketch App, InVision
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.
Become a widely known 'household name'
Grow the customer base
Create brand awareness
Educate people on how to use Spacer
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:
Examine web analytics
How were people using the website?
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?
Use Spacer ourselves
Understand the customer journey for hosts and renters
Yet to discover Spacer
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.
Of the 133,680 page views in September 2017:
were of the
were of the
How Spacer works page for Hosts
were of the
How Spacer works page for Renters
Of the 40,000 sessions in September 2017:
landed on the Home page
with a low 37% bounce rate
landed on the Host Landing page
with a high 75% bounce rate
Of the 141,218 sessions in July - September 2017:
were desktop users and spent an average of 5.5 mins per session
were mobile users and spent an average of 2 mins per session
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.
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
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.
"Show me value before I use your service!"
"What's the minimum I can do?"
"Is this for storage or parking?"
"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.
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:
Leasing a space was not obvious on the Home page
Privacy, security and trust are important factors
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.
We used Post-it notes to make sense of our findings from user interviews and usability tests
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
Workshop to rapidly generate ideas for a concept design
Combining the most effective parts of each person's designs
Interactive prototype for early 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.
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)
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:
Simplifying the user flow.
For Prototype 3.0, we incorporated feedback into a logical flow for confident and unconfident hosts and renters.
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
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 final deliverables (report, wireframe and logo redesign) were produced and presented to the client in October 2017.