Having watched the cost of living continue to rise in cities across the country, I wanted to answer the question: “How might we help people compare earning potentials and expenses in different cities then get matched with cities and neighborhoods based on lifestyle preferences?”
In researching the market, I discovered online resources that help users compare cities based on cost and earning potential. They answered the question, “Where should I move?” quantitatively but not qualitatively.
I decided to pivot from my initial goal and instead create an app that worked more like a dating site where users are matched to cities and neighborhoods based on their own preferences and can browse profiles with Yelp-like reviews.
Audience Interviews & Personas
I interviewed a half dozen people of different demographics, both single and in cohabiting relationships, who were at different stages of the moving process. Based on these conversations, I constructed user personas to help guide my design decisions.
The First Prototype & Usability Testing
To steer people to the preferences section, which was the most important piece of this concept, my initial prototype featured an automatic pop-up directing people to the top right of the screen. During my usability tests, I discovered that not only did people ignore the pop-up but they also ignored this icon altogether in favor of the labeled icons at the bottom.
To make sure the preferences section wasn’t missed, I modified the user flow to include an onboarding sequence where entering preferences for at least two of the app’s nine categories was required.
The Rest of the Updated Prototype
While the onboarding sequence was the most significant change that was included in the second prototype, I also reorganized the menu, display settings, and general look and feel of the app.
The Final Product
While I don’t plan to develop this app, I very much enjoyed designing it. For a closer look at the last iteration of the prototype, you can watch the video above or try it for yourself by clicking here.