System helping landlords and owners of apartments manage their incomes and expenses and communicate with their tenants.
During the initial research about future users we found out that their needs differ a lot. Landlords managing three apartments have different needs and pains than managers managing 80 apartments and houses all over the country. Also, we found out that different countries have different habits in terms of paying the rent, arranging services or communication with the landlord himself. These cultural differences were the biggest challenge we had to take into account while designing our solution.
We have designed a platform for owners of multiple apartments who need help with managing their problems related to the rental of the apartments. Users can view and manage their apartments, tenants, and finances – rents and services.
To allow landlords effectively communicate with their tenants, we separated the platform into two different parts/views.
- Landlord view
- Tenant view
Landlord part is an information system offering overview of all apartments as well as detailed data about every single unit. The manager should be able to check if all bills have been paid by the tenant as well as to pay his/her own invoices of the apartment services.
Tenant part should serve two main purposes – to allow tenant pay his/her rent and offer easy communication channel between him/her and landlord.
We focused to on keeping the site architecture as simple and intuitive as possible despite the fact that the system is complex with diverse functionality, especially in the landlord section.
The owner's homepage contains a quick view of the finances and apartments – all of the debts, unpaid earnings, and expenses. All sudden information that needs the owner's immediate attention can be accessed right from mainpage dashboard. To preserve simplicity, we have reduced the number of subpages in the system to a minimum. Except for homepage dashboard, the system contains details of individual apartments, its services and tenants.
The tenant view was designed as a single page application where tenants can pay their rents – just one click. As a registered user, they are able to use extra functionality. Tenants can add and manage their own services and communicate with the owner of the apartment.
Testing of Prototypes
Each iteration of design process has been carefully verified with stakeholders to sanecheck the concept direction.
Evaluation helped us reveal weaknesses in the structure of system as well as to uncover usability weaknesses mainly in services management. Users mostly struggled with application orientation in the building–apartment part of the system. This observation led our team to major redesign changes in the real-estate hierarchy orientation.
As this has been one of my first bigger projects, I finally appreciated evaluating the service concept in each iteration of design process as our teachers have always emphasised. Our effort has saved the development team hundreds of hours of reimplementations by uncovering the weak spots in time.
This project has been realized in cooperation with an amazing colleague Samuel Antol