Abodewell: App

Abodewell: App

Role
Lead designer
Tools
Sketch, Flinto, Zeplin, Overflow
Team
Lead designer, product designer, product manager, engineer, QA tester
Abodewell’s mobile application is a buyer-centric platform that pairs with the company's smart open house system, making the open house experience intuitive and independent for home buyers.
The application showcases Abodewell homes for sale in both map and list view, and provides a convenient platform in which users can keep track of previously toured homes, save listings of interest, and initiate an inquiry to purchase directly through the app.
Defining goals
We kicked off the project with a meeting that involved the product manager, designers, as well as a customer service team member and the lead engineer. The design of the application depended heavily on known user expectations (how do users navigate maps on mobile applications and in which contexts?), research on existing solutions (how are competitors and non-competitors handling similar problems?), and the structure of our own smart open house system (how can we make entering a home as quick and painless as possible?) 

These expectations then translated into outlining features the app would need to support, along with accounting for every possible path a user might take and defining every scenario of a user’s journey. We translated our discussion and conclusions into a specs document that underwent extensive review until it was ready for the design phase.
Wireframing and research
Wireframing and research were conducted simultaneously, with each feeding into the other. Competitor and non-competitor research into UX solutions, spontaneous (but well-documented) internal user testing, and a growing repository of both visual and contextual references, informed the overall structure of the application.
First iterations and prototyping
Once the wireframes were at a satisfactory jump off point, we leapt into the visuals. While our pre-defined brand guidelines helped to shape the underlying identity, there were many new aspects and elements that required further visual exploration and evaluation. Alongside the static design, we focused on interaction design, researching interactions and animations across countless mobile apps to determine which interactions best suited our needs and would provide that extra layer of UX intuitiveness. We even created a tumblr blog to keep track of the ones that made the cut, so our engineers would have visual references aside from any prototypes.

Using Flinto, we prototyped the application, and tested it both internally and externally, using tools such as Mechanical Turk and TryMyUI. After multiple such rounds, the app was ready for development.
Getting the developers set up
In order to make it easier for developers to swiftly understand and easily navigate the app's design, we supplemented our Zeplin project with a flow diagram made through Overflow (they were still beta at this point, and worth every bug). The flow diagram, complete with notes about functionality and any corresponding interactive instructions, proved to be the most valuable asset for our engineering team in order to maintain a quick turnaround time and eliminate the need to cross-check with Design or Product.
The result is a comprehensive application with a minimal, clean design that provides users with the information they need in a straightforward manner. Since its launch early this year, our application has seen almost 2000 downloads and holds a 50% retention rate.
You can check out the app available for both iOS and Android on the App Store and Google Play.