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I built an online survey using A total of 80 participants responded to the survey which allowed me to gather information on demographics, internet use, reasons for use, difficulties users experienced, market placement and user preferences. I chose to use an online survey as a way to capture information from as wide a base as possible. 

I chose to use closed questions with multiple choice answers so participants were not stumped by questions and were encouraged to complete the survey. Multiple choice answers also reduce the amount of typing for participants and make it easier to complete on mobile devices when participants don't have access to a keyboard. An “Other (Please Specify)” option was included so participants had the option to add further information when able and if desired. Number scale questions were incorporated to enable participants to quickly indicate their likes and dislikes from the site. 

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When designing the survey I based the questions on my evaluation of the product, assumptions and flow maps that I had created from the perspective of a renter and a landlord. flow map.JPG flow map landlord.JPG


Question order was considered and I decided based on research that I would use the funnel technique which places shorter questions i.e. age, gender at the beginning of the survey and longer opinion based questions towards the end of the survey.

User tests

The user test was designed based on the findings from the survey, site flow map and previous research.

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I focused on two aspects of the site based on the problem statements. The first being the perceived primary use of the site, namely finding suitable rented accommodation. The second being the additional or optional uses of the site, features like finding car parking spaces to rent or using the site from a landlord's perspective.

The participants were presented with the flowing scenario.

Imagine that you have just started a new job in Ireland and you are looking for somewhere suitable to live under the following conditions:

● City: Dublin
● Less Than 10km from Dublin City Centre
● Price Range: Max. 1500 p/m

I decided to use the think-aloud methodology to encourage the users to vocalise their thoughts as they worked through the tasks. As such the interviews would not prompt the user unless they became frustrated or stuck. When creating tasks the focus was on the satisfaction of the users experience. I selected tasks that would move the user through the site checking the discoverability, findability, usability and usefulness of the sites features.

The tasks were as follows.

1. Search for a property to rent in Dublin within your price range that you would be
interested in viewing.

2. Save Chosen Advert

3. Create an email alert for similar lettings.

4. Now find a carpark space.

5. How would you go about finding a room in a sharehouse?

6. If you had a property/room available to rent - How would you go about advertising that listing on

The user test was conducted remotely. Video recordings of both were made to help in the evaluation of the quantitative data gleaned from the user tests. Dovetail was used to analyses and transcribe the users tests.

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The interview provided the perspective of an industry professional which gave additional information about the concerns of both landlords and tenants. Renting accommodation is a competitive market where landlords will advertise on multiple sites and in multiple formats. Similarly, renters and tenants will search in many and varied places to find suitable accommodation.

Context Review

The accommodation market in Ireland is competitive with many players. The survey results showed that renters will search on multiple sites for accommodation and while there are many sites to choose from is clearly the most well known.

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With such a crowded market place I choose to investigate five of the main competitors to evaluate I looked at the five competitors for design weaknesses and for areas were did well and where it could be improved.

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