role: UX Designer UXD Bootcamp
My mini passion is all about finding 
the perfect fixer-upper...
After doing some research, I found that there is not any commonly used
app for the specific purpose of finding a home in need of repair.
I set out to design an app concept to fill in the gap.
a simple survey
experiential interviews
Gathering general information about home ownership and home searching got me wondering: what were the search criteria searchers using to find a new home? I explored this during detailed experiential interviews. I asked homeowners to tell me how they went about finding their last home and the search criteria they used. I found that searchers were more interested in finding the right neighborhood rather than the exactly perfect house. The methods used to complete the search for the neighborhood were hit or miss google searches or using word of mouth to find the reputation of the neighborhood.

creating personas
Based on interviews and survey responses three personas were created to inform the design of the prototype.
Empathy maps were utilized to really dig deep into the persona. 
The four quadrants of feels, does, problems, and goals were filled in and accompanied with basic demographic information of age, sex and occupation.
task driven card sort and analysis
I created a list of tasks that the personas would like to complete given their home search situations. I created as many tasks as possible to create a card sort analysis where I then asked potential searchers to put the tasks into clusters and categories. The results informed the order of how the tasks would be presented.
user testing
I used the following lo-fidelity mockups in conjunction with the Invision app to test potential searchers on how easily they could complete the following tasks:

1. Creating a new search for a home
2. Send a message to the seller
3. Change search criteria for future recommendations
4. View saved homes
In general the users were able to complete the tasks but had some trouble with the lo-fidelity mockups. 
In the mockups I used the hamburger button to get back to the dashboard. This was problematic in that most users were confused at the purpose of the button. So, in the hi-fidelity mockups I created a quick access bar across the bottom of the screen that would allow the user to get back to the dashboard after seeing search results, send messages and favorite houses seen in the search results.
Another thing that slowed users down was the lack of visual cues on the dashboard. They said they had to scan a lot to find the options they needed. In the hi-fidelity mockups I ordered the functions on the dashboard in order of most likely to be completed first and also allowed for simple notifications messages on the options so the searcher could see at a glance if an item needed their attention.

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