A mobile app that builds trust between Home Service Providers & consumers
The Problem: Lack of trust between Home Service Providers and Consumers
Home Service Providers (HSPs) and customers lack mutual confidence when scheduling and keeping appointment times. Every day, countless hours are wasted on missed and rescheduled appointment times. On the one hand, HSPs don't feel that they can rely on customers to be present on time for their appointments. On the other hand, customers do not expect HSPs to show up and perform their service in a timely manner.
Survey Deployment: Identifying key pain points and barriers to change
To gather data from users, we deployed a survey to HSPs to paint a realistic image of the current user experience of appointment scheduling systems. In particular, we probed the costs of missed appointments, with an eye towards small and medium-sized companies.
We also deployed a survey to a variety of customers to better understand the frustrations of integrating service appointments into everyday life.
Both sets of surveys returned general feelings of complacency and frustration. HSPs were largely content with the software they used but were open to better solutions. On the other hand, customers were very inured to the pains of diverting time from their day to accommodate large appointment windows. In both cases, stakeholders seemed resigned to the accepted way of scheduling and completing home service repairs.
Competitive Analysis: Examining existing solutions to the problem space
We carried out a competitive analysis on both established and startup HSP companies that offer mobile systems to their customers. By and large, the most common weaknesses included navigational shortcomings leading to inefficient uses of time spent on the app.
Personas: Deep-diving into user goals
SCOTT DIVENS: A substitute school teacher who can't afford to miss a day of work
Scott is a married father of two young kids trying to become a math teacher in suburban Knoxville, Tennessee. Part of that process includes his current job as a substitute teacher - he needs to be prepared to go to work on any day at short notice. The last thing Scott can afford is to decline a substitute teaching assignment so that he can wait around at home for a technician to fix, say, his broken air conditioner.
ALYSSA BOUSAMA: Owner of a small business that has lost money from missed appts
Alyssa is the owner of Bousama Home Repairs, a small business in Knoxville she has inherited from her aging father. As a small business owner, it is of paramount importance for Alyssa to know she can count on completing her daily repair schedule. The current system prevents her from being able to trust her customers to fulfill their end of an appointment. It limits her flexibility to schedule more appointments, and it forces her to request that customers set aside large blocks of time for appointment windows. For Alyssa, mutual trust between customers and HSPs could easily translate to more money, happier customers, and an increasingly thriving small business.
Scenarios: Brainstorming a wide variety of solutions as a team
Our team opted for a scenario-driven design process. The goal was to recognize the breadth of just how many variables are at play with appointment scheduling and completion. Each scenario should serve to illustrate and solve one or more potential pain points. In brainstorming twenty scenarios, we noticed the emergence of a few central themes. In exploring the idea of trust, we sought to develop a system that didn't require the physical presence of the customer during the appointment.
Our Solution: a mobile app to foster trust between consumers and HSPs
Our group saw an opportunity to reframe the problem. What if we could foster sufficient trust between customers and HSPs so that providers can schedule and complete jobs when customers are not home?
If we could reach this requisite level of trust, customers would save valuable time and energy of having to adjust their schedules to make time for an appointment, and HSPs would be able to use this new flexibility to schedule more appointments, thereby increasing their earning potential.
Storyboards: Refining our scenario into a more detailed user flow
In refining our scenarios into concise storyboards, we wanted to make sure that although customers need not be present for an appointment, they still have access to the HSP. Similarly, the HSP should have a way of communicating with the customer, be it through the conveyance of a simple message such as "I have arrived" or to troubleshoot a problem that requires more assistance from the customer.
Wireframes: Creating an efficient user flow for consumers and HSPs
For the technician, our primary focus was to improve efficiency when going from home to home for repairs. To address this, we built in a schedule overview of the appointments for the day which directly connects to Google Maps navigation. To address the issue of allowing the technicians to enter the customer's home while the customer is away, we included the option of having a lockbox sent to the customer which would be provided by the repair company for a small fee. To ensure the technician could send updates to customers while simultaneously taking notes for their report, we added in a simple voice command feature which allowed the technician to make voice recordings while working.
For the customer, our primary concern in designing the user experience was establishing trust between the homeowner and the technician entering into their home. To do this, we included profiles that displayed the technician's name, profile picture, rating and a brief description. Customers could then hand pick their technician for the job at hand. Additionally, a simple dashboard screen allowed customers to check on repair updates that are sent both automatically at key service points (e.g. when the technician arrives at their home) and manually as detailed voice recordings from the technician.
Screen Design: Starting to hone down our look and feel based on repair websites and iOS guidelines
For the screen design, we referenced repair websites such as Handy and HouseCall in addition to sites that had similar features i.e. Yelp for reviews. Based on other repair websites, we chose a pastel blue as our primary color. We also chose to follow iOS guidelines in designing the mobile screens.
In interating upon our wireframes, we expanded screens that contained too much information. For example, the technician selection process was extended to multiple screens to provide progressive disclosure and to not overwhelm the user.
Animation: Showing real time repair updates
Refining our screen design with a secondary color to indicate a clear call to action
Icons from flaticon.com
Photos from https://www.pexels.com/
Laptop mockup from Atif Aziz (https://www.behance.net/AtifAziz)