Rapid Prototyping, UI Design, Web Development
Bring radical transparency to the student housing market. Create a marketplace for student housing
Design and develop a web or IOS app using the Google Maps API
Streetspot is an online rental marketplace designed to ease the off-campus housing search for university students. With key features like location relative to campus, rent, size, and amenities, StreetSpot uses Google Maps to display housing options within proximity to a university.
Once a user logs in with their .edu email address, they can search for housing, rate their landlord, or post sublet listings. When users have narrowed their search, they can contact landlords to setup a viewings, review a sample lease, and reference their city’s tenant rights.
Streetspot was awarded 1st place in the Tufts Polyhack Design Competition Winner in 2015 and 2016. It received Honorable Mention in the Tufts Ideas Competition
RAPID DESIGN PROCESS
Streetspot was ideated and designed during two 24-hour hackathons. Working within tight time restrictions, I underwent a rapid design process that involved prototyping, reviewing the designs with fellow students, and refining.
At the beginning of the night, I conducted several casual guerrilla style interviews to gain a general understanding of the problems students face when looking for off-campus housing.
Student housing is typically found via word-of mouth and landlord contact information is passed between friends
Proximity to campus and price are the key factors when students are considering housing options
Students have a pre-set list of requirements in mind when they are searching for housing
Students feel that they have been taken advantage of by past landlords. They aren’t aware of their tenant rights and wish they felt more informed
LOGO DESIGN PROGRESSION
My first iteration of this prototype was in the web format.
These are the first screens that the user sees once they’ve created a student account. When a user is connected to their university wifi, the app will automatically generate a basic user profile given their permission, personalizing the experience using select metadata.
The home screen introduces the user to Streetspot’s mission and provides them a snapshot of the experience in three simple steps.
When a user has selected their university, they view this screen – a map with listings in their area. Often, we heard from students that they have a specific house or street in mind, so I designed a search feature that will display any relevant listings.
When deciding how to pivot the view, I assumed students would care most about price. However, citing that there is not much variability in rent around Tufts, students expressed that they cared most about being near campus.
That’s why I designed the explore feature, where students can set a proximity range to campus before viewing listings.
When a user clicks on a listing that fits their preferences, they see more details on this screen. When testing with students, we noticed that they first scrolled through photos and then scanned reviews, looking for any “red flags” or unique amenities (e.g free laundry!). This guided me to summarize key features and display landlord & home quality ratings at the top of the listing.
One key pain point addressed in this design was how students often felt taken advantage of by unfair lease addendums. Using the lease term feature, students can view a sample of the lease posted by past tenants and compare it to the standard lease by their city’s housing authority. If they’re interested in setting up a viewing, they can contact the landlord through a secure messaging portal.