Designing a better way of living with roommates: NeatFreak.
Clean roommates want something to enforce staying organized in order to stay connected with their roommates while maintaining a clean home.
Sharing a space with people is hard, but we all have to go through it. Problems arise when peoples standards of cleaning, staying organized and prioritizing tasks differ.
An example of differing standards of living is within my own apartment. One of my roommates is known as the neat freak, while another roommate is basically a slob. The neat freak wants an organized way of keeping track of who’s week it is to clean and what needs to be cleaned. On the flip side, the slob wants to do the bare minimum and needs constant reminders to get things done. A lot of conflict arises when these two individuals come together. That is why I created an app to organize, remind and connect roommates. My app acts as a reinforcing agent in keeping roommates accountable.
In order to solve the problem, I had to identify core functionalities that roommates do together, such as:
- Pay Bills
- Buying house supplies
- Going to events/hangout with entertainment
What causes the most conflict between roommates is often the cleaning, so that’s what I focused on. Then I distinguished App wants vs needs.
- Checklist: An easy way to see what the user has done and what they need to do.
- Alert System: A reminder of what the user needs to do and at what time.
- Events: A way for roommates to socialize, so it’s not all about strict rules.
- Payments: Way to keep track of spending in the household
Creating an app that allows users to create, share and remind their roommates of tasks to do, already exists. The value I add is the events aspect that aims to connect roommates through experiences they can enjoy together. I found this to be detrimental because regardless of reminding your roommates to be clean, there’s an element of bonding that needs to happen. Through creating a bond, a level of trust and respect also forms. These connections being built create social accountability, along with the foundational accountability that comes with reminders/task lists.
Initially, I thought it would be all about the task lists and how that would work, but really the events differentiate my product. Through the design process, I’ve come to realize this, so in the future, that’s something I’d want to build upon.
Click here to view the project `NeatFreaks-Version 1`
This prototype brought to you by InVisionApp. Screens made on Figma.
Follow-Up & Feedback
Some remarks about my design involved the user not knowing where they are in the app. This is due to the lack of text and color indicators, so that is something I’d invest my time in. However, from discussion with people I’ve been told that they would still use this application. They saw the value of creating tasks and staying connected. Along with this, they’ve told me that finding events to do with roommates is useful. Knowing this, as I said previously that’s something I’d expand on.
Looking back at my design I also realize that there are very confusing components, such as the plus sign in the tasks view. This plus sign could mean anything, so adding text to aid the user, would be a possible solution to its ambiguity. Another thing I’ve noticed is the search bar in the task view. Search bars by default should be on the top of the viewport, but mine is not. So being inconsistent with standard design elements is something I’d want to review with my app.