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Our Client
Team Size

5 People

Flatiron School

1 Month


UX Research

Design Systems

User Testing



Home Improvement

The home services industry is worth billions, but millennial homeowners and renters report difficulty finding contractors that perform reliable, affordable, and quality work. Compounded by a seemingly ubiquitous lack of millennial DIY know-how, this is a problem that has long led to frustration for homeowners and renters. The solution was to create an on-demand home service application that enables the user to take back control of the project. 

User Research and Design for Desktop Application

UX Challenges

UX Goals

My Role

Assess the full end-to-end customer journey of the home repair process in order to build a home service marketplace that puts the control back in the hands of the homeowner, while emphasizing the following brand principles:

  • Provide stakeholders with documentation that will help them to better understand the trends around home service providers

  • Identify direct/indirect competitors to find potential opportunities for differentiation, and to gain ideas and inspiration for the product

  • Empathize with users, based on research findings

I collaborated with a team of UX designers to research how millennials choose to undergo a home improvement project and design an application based on our discoveries. 

During this project, I worked as a mediator to ensure that group members were able to understand each other and our client base. I made certain that everyone understood each other's ideas and that their voices were heard. In addition, I synthesized the work so it would be understandable for the client, and could easily be understood by any outside parties.

  1. Seamless: Cut through the noise, curate the experience

  2. Transparent: Users know what they’re getting and at what price

  3. Retain: Keep users engaged and coming back for more

  4. Trustworthy: Users trust the product and its offerings


The first step of the design process was to gain an understanding of the millennial housing market as a whole, find out what methods millennials currently use to hire home service professionals, and learn more about the problems that arise when hiring a home service professional. Notable trends in the area are:

The second method involved user data from interviews. The interviews helped provide specific details about our target audience. Some details we hoped to find were the different home improvement experiences for renters vs. homeowners, learning more about millennial behavior, when they are interested in getting a home improvement project done, and identifying the potential goals, needs, motivations, and frustrations millennials have while undertaking home improvement projects.

User Data

For this project, our team collected two forms of user data. The first method we implemented was a user survey. The primary goal was to define and scope our target audience by collecting demographic data from a wide audience (50-100 people). In our survey, we asked questions about basic demographics such as age and location. Have our users hired a home service professional, and by what means? And what influences users when hiring a home service professional?

User Interview

  • All competitors did not have a feature that allowed the users to filter by budget

  • Sites lacked transparency, excluding details about contractors and project length

  • Most of their sites were unintuitive, such as key details being hidden behind several pages worth of clicking

  1. Millennials conduct significantly more research than previous generations before hiring a contractor

  2. Millennials want to feel like they are in control during the process

  3. Millennials are mostly indifferent to the pricing of a project

We looked at competitors in the industry, (Home Advisor, Angie’s List, Amazon’s Home Services, Lowes, Home Depot, and Task Rabbit) to see how they offer home services through their sites.


This persona is meant to encapsulate the average millennial homeowner. This includes a well-paying job, an urban household, and knowledge about homeownership. Details of this persona were generated based on research gathered from prior sprints.

Empathy Map

To better understand the experiences of a millennial homeowner we created an empathy map that shows what we expect our persona to experience during their interactions when undertaking a home improvement project.

Journey Map

Finally, we created a journey map that tracks the expected timeline our expected user would go through when undertaking a home improvement project.

Ideation Artifacts

We then workshopped two ideation methods: mind mapping and challenging assumptions. We had to identify five topic areas to help us organize our approach to addressing the challenge: User needs, Inspiration, Constraints, Commercial drivers, and Service Design Triggers. We then mapped various keywords and terms associated with each topic. After we finished the Better Mind Mapping exercise, we sought to challenge any assumptions we wrote asking questions like how and why on sticky notes. We constructed an artifact that summarized the findings from both of these workshops. 

​A platform that enables you to brainstorm a home improvement project, where you can group together inspirational images from the web, blog posts, and articles, and then submit them for a pool of contractors to view. From there they will message you if they think they can help. When conceiving this idea we wanted to be sure that users felt like they had full control over the project's prospects, allowing users to feel empowered during their customizable experience.

Concept A

A platform that has a taskboard specifically designed to enable users and professionals to streamline home improvement projects for maximum efficiency. One of the most common comments our team heard from user interviews was to gain more information about their professional. With this concept, users are able to see reviews of previous projects. Additionally, users who want to feel in control of their project are given a scheduling feature that allows them to oversee the duration of the project.

Concept B

An online platform for sourcing home improvement professionals and tracking project progress, designed as much transparency and open communication between users and professionals as possible.

Concept C


Before we began combining our ideas into a single concept, our team created a site map to carefully plan out the sequence of our application.



When a home improvement project is too much for millennial homeowners to take on alone, they seek reliable professionals to help them while still being involved. However, because current online platforms lack transparency and useful information about professionals, our users need a platform that ensures good communication and full transparency.



Customization: Every millennial homeowners’ home improvement needs are different. Our platform should be flexible for a variety of home improvement projects and provide a variety of options.

Clarity and Transparency: Our platform should cultivate transparency between clients and professionals. Information will be presented as clear as possible and means of communication should be as efficient as possible.

Empowerment: Users want to feel a sense of agency and control in their home improvement projects. Our platform should help users feel empowered in all phases of their projects.

Accountability: A big frustration for homeowners is when professionals don’t deliver on agreed expectations. Our design solution should enable the user to keep the professional accountable.

After sending out our survey to various sites, we received a total of 62 responses. The most important data was:


Based on our results, we felt the top criteria to focus on for our project would be:

Following our user survey, we generated a list of insights. We then turned the most frequent or similar statements into key insights: 

  • When the task is too much for me, I prefer to just hire a professional

  • As a renter, I don't want to take on bigger projects because I'm not as committed

  • As a homeowner, I am more mindful of the amount of money I put into my home

  • I don’t trust current online home service platforms

  • I want to do most of my home improvement right when I move in

  • 81% Prefer Debit/Credit Card

  • 90% Reading Reviews > 24% Writing Reviews

  • 75% Neutral to Comfortable DIYing

After creating low-fidelity concepts, we had users from other teams in our class evaluate our wireframes. We then created a RoseBudThorn diagram in order to assess which features were working, what needed to be improved upon, and what needed to be removed entirely.

Evaluation Artifact

In the process of creating a site map, our team discovered that our low-fidelity wireframes cohesively came together to create a proper sequence. The first concept allowed user’s to customize their project, the second concept allows users to select a professional and schedule the project, and the third concept allows users to communicate with the professional and stay involved with the project as it progresses.



Following the completion of our prototype, our team tested the application with 6 members of our target audience. We gave our testers several tasks relating to each section of the site and asked them to assess whether they enjoyed the task and how easy they felt it was.



Overall, Home Improvement was met with high amounts of praise, every user that was tested stated it was a very satisfying experience, and overall the process intuitive. Test subjects were particularly fond of the hiring and scheduling features, as these are areas that most millennials have struggled with in the past. The area that needed the most improvement was the communication feature, which the test subjects stated was too complicated and contained unintuitive icons for navigation.

Before handing off the final prototype, our team went through various pages and explained key features and interactions in order to give our client a better understanding of the context and details when they inherit Home Improvement.



Lastly, our team created a future recommendations document which contains what we believe are important next steps for our prototype, and what to consider when moving forward with the project.



DCU Fintech

User Research & Design


User Research & Design

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