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Admiring our beautiful wireframes

Designing a new Search

How User Research helped us redesign this feature

Javiera Craig
May 12, 2019 · 9 min read

Good time for ch-ch-ch-changes…!👩‍🎤

Having recently raised series B, opened some new cities in Europe and launched several amazing marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness it was time for us Product Designers at Badi to revisit one of the main sections of our platform: the Search feature. Here is where users looking for a room to rent–we’ll call these Seekers, enter the location they wish to live in and apply filters to find an accommodation of their choice. We had gone through a soft rebranding the year before, but no substantial changes were made to the flow or the UI structure.

The Design Process

CX Feedback and User Interviews

All squad members in our team–and specially Product Designers, make a constant effort to work closely with the Customer Experience Team to make sure we work with up-to-date user feedback. It’s really easy to start making assumptions when you lose sight of the real people using your app everyday and we certainly had learned from past mistakes.

Prototyping and testing

For this project we had the chance to work along with Barcelona-based agency Interactius for user research and usability testing. We started by developing an early Invision prototype that they would later put to the test in their usability lab. This prototype attempted to cover most pain-points from our previous research and also to provide some UI improvements. We started by defining the main areas of interest we wanted to validate, how this prototype would help us in doing so and how its limitations could constrain the test. The user profiles eligible for the test were discussed along with the agency and recruited by our CX Team and Interactius.

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Early wireframes explaining the main UI improvements for our new Search
  • Making sure users understood what each filter was about–the wording, what they expected them to do etc.
  • The discoverability of each filter
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A screen from the final prototype, with ‘quick search’ on top of the list.

The Usability Lab

The day of the test, we provided the agency with a few devices with the prototype installed. The interviewer asked some questions relevant to their experience in Badi and other real estate or flat-sharing platforms, their motivations and goals as Seekers etc. We listened and took notes from the other side of the one-way mirror. When the interview was over participants were invited to test the prototype after a few given use cases. All interviews were recorder for a final report.

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First iteration: map improvements and filter consistency

Map improvements were the second most popular complaint, accompanied by suggestions such as drawing an area of interest (out of scope at the moment) and filtering by neighborhoods (using the Google Maps API turned up to be quite inaccurate in certain areas if not made custom). These were not exactly quick wins, so we thought of other ways to improve the map until we could go back to these ideas.

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‘Search in this area’ button appears when you move around the map to update results
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Old and new designs for inactive and active filters respectively
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Old and new design for Web Search
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Inactive/active filters on web

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