After Mark of HurstX Solutions presented me his concept for Property Hacks, I worked with him to scope out a UX/UI Design & Development project to create a semi-functional MVP under a tight timeline that he could showcase at an upcoming PropTech conference.
With the initial MVP, the audience we were targeting for Realtor Hacks are real estate professionals with an interest in tech, ideally skewing to a younger demographic. As the project progresses and we continue to pivot the audience may shift accordingly.
UX/UI Designer, Web Developer, User Researcher
Due to the timing of my involvement and the tight deadline to get an MVP Developed to showcase at the Blueprint conference, the process that my client and I took during Phase 1 of this project most closely resembles a combination of the Design Thinking & Lean Startup methodologies.
Prior to my involvement, Mark had numerous conversations with his peers in the real estate and property tech community regarding his concept for Realtor Hacks. While this was by no means a substitute for holding in-depth user interviews, it gave him a better idea of how he wanted to shape the first iteration of this concept.
Based on those conversations and his own observations he then had created a detailed Product Requirement Document that outlined details like the project background, Objective, Problem Statement, Target Audience and more which he shared with me.
From my perspective as a designer, I was really keen on diving into the competitive landscape further and identifying some potential design patterns that we could employ to achieve the functionality outlined in the requirements document. As such, my first deliverable within the scope of work was to prepare a Secondary Research Document that provided an overview and takeaways on these areas of focus, in addition to my own research on the target audience (more so to get me up to speed.)
While I had already created a scope of work for Mark as part of the agreement process, creating a more in-depth Feature Roadmap allowed us to expand on the details and get alignment on priorities for this Phase as well as future iterations.
The client was already working with a Graphic Designer to create the Realtor Hacks logo when I started working with him, and while they had discussed some color options, there was no established branding guidelines or overall aesthetic to speak of.
During our initial scoping conversations, Mark was hoping to have me jump into his Webflow project right away but I stressed the importance of starting in Figma to establish the foundation of the design with a Style Tile featuring typography, color palette, component designs etc. as well as UI Designs for key pages on both desktop and mobile.
While creating and gathering feedback on the Style Tile, I started the UI Designs which I provided on both desktop and mobile. In the interest of time and ensuring that we were aligned on the direction I was headed in, I shared early and often while working on the Home Page Desktop UI. As I started to send the UI Designs for the other pages in batches, we created a working Google Sheet document where the client could compile feedback for my review to minimize back and forth in email chains.
After receiving approval on the revised UI and Style Tile, I had 6 business days to get everything developed and semi-functional in Webflow before the Blueprint conference. In order to be as efficient as possible with my time, I focused on getting the frontend static and dynamic content developed on key pages rather than focusing too much time on the backend automations with Zapier, Memberstack, Uploadcare etc. While Mark was at the conference, I continued to work on the website to get it ready for User Testing once he returned.
You can view the staging website below, and please note that it is a work-in-progress as we continue to pivot and iterate based on our learnings and feedback from Usability/Desirability Testing.
After the conference, Mark sourced participants for me to conduct Usability Tests with. As I was working on creating the script, I consulted with one of my UX Mentor's Toni Rosati to seek her guidance on approaching this process for an MVP project. We discussed the importance of incorporating questions and prompts that keyed in on the overall desirability of the website and concept, not just focusing on usability.
After taking an opportunity with United Airlines, I helped transition this work to another freelance designer to assist Mark. This MVP project has been put on hold since.
Partnering with Mark to design and develop the MVP website for Realtor Hacks was an interesting and rewarding challenge. Here are some of the top things I learned during the project: