Concept project: Knight Frank App

Improving process after finding property - General Assembly- Case Study

In this project, I had the chance to share my knowledge with three more people; we made a new App to improve all the process that is needed after finding a property to rent with the company, Knight Frank.

There are many documents and steps that you need to fill in and do before you can get a new renting house. Most of them are compulsory by law. As a team, using user-centred design, we set out to solve all possible problems.

Introduction

First of all, I will talk about the brief provided by General Assembly for Knight Frank ‘s project.

Knight Frank LLP is an estate agency, a residential and commercial property consultancy. It is considered one of the world’s largest property consultancies.

One of the key points of Knight Frank is the belief of personal interactions. The human element is a crucial part of them as they want to ensure every client is matched to the property that suits their needs best.

Knight Frank logo

General Assembly provided us with a brief to solve Knight Frank problem.

Knight Frank wants to improve the process of renting residential property using mobile devices. New tenants will be able to interact with their agent and process paperwork, starting from the moment they select a property; up until they receive the keys to their new home.

They wanted us to make an App or mobile web to solve all the problems with paperwork after the property is selected.

Process

I will divide the process into three steps:

Process applied for Knight Frank’s project

We started this project visiting one of the Knight Frank’s branches and another estate agents that are similar to Knight Frank. We also checked the Apps and websites of Knight Frank and possible competitors apps and websites.

We found very good insights from them, we discover that Knight Frank already use technology like Skype, FaceTime or DocuSign. Also, they care very much about their users.

From the competitors, we discovered that there wasn’t any company that makes what we were going to make. Just one competitor had certain features that we were trying to implement. Even Knight Frank had an App but this was just to look for properties.

After doing the competitors comparison, we sent out a survey to find people with the same characteristics. We interviewed these people that had rented a property in the last year. And this is some information that we found

And this is some information that we found.

Quotes from the interviews

Once we had all the info from competitors, clients and users, we started creating the experience map, this tool gives us a perspective of the user experience.

As you can see the process is not very appealing to the users, as it is a tedious and long process.

Experience map

Having in mind that the user doesn’t like this process but that is compulsory by law, we have tried to make the best App for the user.

After the experience map, we made an affinity map with all the insights from the users, this helped us to find pain points or opinions that users had in common.

Affinity mapping

And we find the next key findings.

Key findings from the affinity mapping

After all this process we went on with the ‘define’ process, the second part of our process.

Define

Once the discovery process had finished we starting making the personas that best fits all the possible users. We created three different personas; two related to the tenants, and another, an estate agent. The estate agent is the second user involved in the process, as he is the one that needs to check and communicate with the main user.

Personas

Theo is a student that is going to move to a flat share with more people, Sam is a young professional that wants to move to a one bedroom flat. And Tom is an estate agent.

We focused on Sam, as she was the persona that best suits our users.

She is a Londoner and tech savvy that wants to live on her own, she is independent and ambitious and she doesn’t like to put up with other people’s clutter.

Once we had created the persona we created the primary scenario, with a situation and a problem. The situation:

Sam has to move out of a flat-share in 3 weeks time so she has been looking at flats with Knight Frank agency.

And the problem:

Sam’s offer on a 1-bed flat has been accepted. She now has to process the paperwork and be ready to move in 3 weeks.

After creating the scenario we started to think of which features would be the MVP for the App. User feedback showed that they are most used to using Apps and because it was easier to implement some features on it such as DocuSign.

We used the ‘Design Studio’ technique to get different ideas from the group, after that we made a ‘features prioritisation’ and we came out with the main features.

Features prioritisation

Once we had the features listed in the MVP we had a first design in mind. We then went back and updated the user journey with all the steps that the user would have to do to have all the paperwork done and get the keys.

User Journey

And that user journey required different user flows, in this case, the user had to make all of them to get the keys.

User flows

Once we had all the previous steps we could go on to the last stage of the process, that is the developing stage.

Develop

In this stage, we created the different prototypes of the new App, from paper prototypes through high fidelity. In all these steps we realised interviews with different users to make the best product that adapts better to them.

Login Screen
Home screen
Application form screen
Contract screen

And just to recap we can see the difference between the first paper sketches and the high fidelity prototypes

Paper prototypes
High fidelity prototypes

Next steps

From user interviews, we found out new needs from users, these could be done in the next sprint. The most important ones are:
Multi-tenant option, at the moment this App is individual for the user, it cannot be used at the same time for different users when they share a property. Enable bank transfers, at the moment, is just possible to pay by card.

Conclusion

With this project, we wanted to solve the problem that Knight Frank had with all the paperwork after choosing a property. We always had the user as a centre of all the process and we tried to make the best App possible to help the user to have an app fast and easy to use, which helps to keep all the documents in one place and that is a single point of contact with the estate agent.