Several discovery workshops were conducted to identify a variety of features that could be included in OnTheMarkets' new account area, MyPlace. All ideas, from the obvious to the more adventurous, were captured and categorized into must-haves and nice-to-haves. Through exploring beset-in-class samples in the property industry as well as outside, we were able to capture interesting concepts that could be applied to the property market. There was one trend that kept coming up over and over again: personalisation of one's journey.
Ideation, Journey Mapping
Our ideation phase involved categorising and loosely mapping out segments of features and tools for buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords. Additionally, we identified opportunities for home-movers and home-stayers, which would ultimately be phased out over time. Along with journey mapping, lo-fidelity wireframes were produced to begin visualising how these particular features could be combined and integrated seamlessly. Our goal was to construct a hub that allowed users to save and collaborate on property searches, explore market trends, and access tools to assist with home moves.
Mapping features proved to be crucial when it came to what would be offered to buyers, sellers, tenants, and landlords. As an example, we would show a Get Buyer Ready flow for buyers, where the buyer will qualify for agents, compared to Get Rent Ready, where the user would connect to an account on Rent Passport Canopy. Users could even choose a MyPlace themed avatar, which would persist during collaboration features in MyPlace where users can search for properties together and leave comments.
The account settings would allow users to set their core property profile, which would display content tailored to their location, such as market trends and if it's a good time to sell. A key feature of their account is the ability to set up Very Important Places (VIPs), which allows users to find out how far properties are from points of interest, such as their relatives' homes or favourite restaurants.
As early as ideation, we knew we had a unique opportunity to be the first UK portal to offer collaborative property search. Users can invite friends and family to join in their property search and add properties to a shared list together. Comments can also be left on each property. Many other industries have offered something similar, but rarely allow users to comment due to the complexities of the UX and rules around integrated messaging platforms.
In MyPlace, MyMove was a key area where we wanted users to explore tools to help them with their property moves. Users can book valuations tailored to their moving aspirations, qualify as a buyer or tenant, setup their new home through 3rd party providers such as Slothmove, and explore mortgage and conveyancing options.