The ultimate destination for all your property-related needs.
Everyone knows about Magicbricks, The platform is among the top choices of most users due to the large volume of listed properties and leads, and the trust from having been in the industry for many years.
Users are not aware of all the content, tools and services currently offered. These are not obvious to them even after they arrive to the platform.
Even when users are aware of them, in many cases they struggle to find them on the site or recognize their value, because many of the terms are not self-explanatory, e.g. Propworth, Vastu, Tenant verification, home loan.
- Users have expressed an interest in having at their disposition a one-stop-shop platform where, apart from buying, selling and renting a property, they can find complimentary services.
- To integrate the platform with Magicbricks in a way that users are aware of it and can easily find it when needed.
- The added value of this would be the comfort of not having to search elsewhere, and the trust they have in services recommended by MB and it’s users.
- To educate and guide the user in Post Purchase/rent phase by providing them useful articles and videos.
- To extend the User’s journey on MB from Pre Purchase/rent to Post Purchase/rent.
- To generate additional leads who are looking for home services.
- To create an ultimate destination for all property-related needs.
- Incorporating different levels of listing would add revenue opportunity to MB from Ancillary businesses.
- Property Services page would additionally provide visibility options for a whole set of categories that do not currently fit on the Property detail page.
- The category page can be optimized for city levels on SEO to draw independent traffic for non-Mb customers too.
How it will help Service providers?
We have a traffic of 2lac+ from SEO, 90k from alerts and notifications, A similar infrastructure for Property services could provide an entry funnel into Property Service page and result in lead generation.
I followed the Double Diamond approach for the project. We started by gathering data from PMs and business teams and did a competitive study to better understand the problem. Then we narrowed down the data to some of the key problems/constraints we need to address while designing. After that, we explored multiple solutions for solving these problems, and finally, we narrowed down to a final solution.
Apart from the broad segmentation of an MB user as Owner, Buyer or Rental seeker, we can classify MB users based on their likelihood of availing services under the below buckets.
Because we were targeting every user landing on Magicbricks, we slightly changed the Questionnaire we ask during user interviews from the property seeker and owner to get insights for Property Services. Questions we added were-
- Have you noticed any tool or service on Magicbricks which can be helpful to you?
- If yes to Q1, have you tried them?
- If yes to Q2, how was the experience?
- If no for Q2 or Q3, would you like to recommend any service which you think is missing from the platform, which can make your property buying journey easier?
- Would you like to recommend any service which you need after buy/rent a property?
During the interviews we found the services that seemed to be most interesting to the interviewed users were:
- Technical advice: Since buying a property is a big and potentially risky investment, buyers want to make sure they won’t get bad surprises (ex: plumbing/water issues). If reparations are needed, they would like to get an estimate of how much the operation will cost
- Legal advice: Another major concern is getting advice on all the necessary paperwork and documentation needed, as well as making sure the property fulfills all legal requirements.
- Interior design and implementation: Some users said they might be interested in renovating parts of their newly purchased property, particularly the kitchen.
- Tenant Verification: Owners wanted this feature to verify their tenants before closing the deals (This feature is available on Magicbricks).
- Rental Agreement: It will save time and help the Owner and tenant if they do not live nearby.
- Property Valuation: To know the actual value of the property. (Surprisingly this feature is available on Magicbricks)
From my user interviews, I created a list of services users want or would require during or after purchasing a property.
Then, I created a 2*2 affinity mapping diagram to prioritize these services by most important, to figure out what we can provide and what we cannot.
Then, I created a proto persona for a typical user for Property Services based on stakeholder interviews.
Then I created a storyboard, where our user Shailey has just bought a house and now she is facing problems in finding service providers of movers & packers, interior designing, rental furniture etc. Imagining the scenario helped me empathize with the users, and I could better address the frustrations they would face.
After I gathered all the information I needed in order to move into the next phase of the process, I came across the number for apps that are already in the market and trying to solve the same problem by their means.
I found that there was no direct competitor available in the market providing the same set of services. Out of all service providers, QuikrEasy and Housejoy matched the most.
Define the problem
Pain point 1: Magicbricks navigation. Users are not aware of all the content, tools and services currently offered. These are not obvious to them even after they arrive to the platform. For eg during the interviews user asked for a feature where they can check the real value of the property. They surprised when we said that we have this feature “Propworth” on our platform.
Pain point 2: Services & Tool’s discoverability. Even when users are aware of them, in many cases they struggle to find them on the site or recognize their value, because many of the terms are not self-explanatory, e.g. Propworth, Smart Search.
Vastu & Tenant Verification services are provided by Magicbricks but even I don’t know how to locate them on Magicbricks.
Pain point 3: No search option. And if users want to search them on the site, they can’t because no search option is available on the website.
Pain point 4: Poor SEO content. The pages didn’t have much information about the services and did not have SEO friendly content. So, If users search those services on google, because of poor SEO they will not be able to find it.
I created user flow for steps a user typically goes through in order to complete two common tasks in Property Services:
- Finding services
- Availing the service
User flow helped me to give freedom to my flow of thought and not be constrained by details. My main objective was to create an easy flow and a clearer way to navigate to “Property Services”.
Once I organized all my insights from the exploration phase, I began to design the website. To start this process I began to wireframe several of the site’s main screens, using my user flows as a guide. This allowed me to quickly explore several concepts for the website layout. I then tested this with 3 participants to validate whether these solutions addressed both the user and business needs.
After sketching on paper I turned my ideas into high fidelity screens using Sketch, then used Invision to create a clickable prototype to validate my solutions.
Make navigation easier: We tried and tested many options for the “Property services” home page. Idea was to show all services to our users clearly and upfront. After having multiple guerilla testing sessions we finalized the “Urban company” design model. We found users were familiar with it and easy to locate services available.
SEO Friendly Category Page: We found that earlier our services did not have SEO friendly content so that if a user tries to google it, our page will not come in suggestions. So new users will not be able to find it. And we also did not have enough content to generate the interest and trust in our user who lands on that page from Magicbricks. For that, we designed completely new dedicated pages for our services. Where the user can come and read about it, can watch the videos, how it will benefit them and can ask questions about it. I also included a breadcrumb trail to make it easier for the user to navigate and identify where there are within the website.
Integration with Magicbricks: The next and crucial step was to let the world know about Property Services. Apart from media publications and digital advertisements, we had to communicate with our existing and upcoming users of Magicbricks. So we started to figure out where our users spend their time most. Then we chose Home page and Search result page for our regular/upcoming users and Mailers for past users.
- Other Home Services: Because the user has just completed his home buying journey with Magicbricks, this makes us different from our Property Services competitor. So I think to dominate the market we can also try other home services like home cleaning, electrician, plumber & carpenter, electronics and appliances repair, etc.
- Rating & Reviews of Service: There seems to be a preference, once again, for a system of ratings and reviews from other users, as well as photos of their work, to help make the decision of which service provider to choose.
- Local Service Providers: For services such as interior design, plumbing, and other household services, there is a preference for local suppliers, that might know better the building or area, or of whom there might be examples of their work in nearby properties.
- Technical advice: Since buying a property is a big and potentially risky investment, buyers want to make sure they won’t get bad surprises (ex: plumbing/water issues). If reparations are needed, they would like to get an estimate of how much the operation will cost.
This UX case study has been a challenging and rewarding experience for me. I was overwhelmed by the idea of getting out into the “wild” and talking to strangers for the usability testings. However, it turned out to be an amazing experience to understand users and find out what makes the tick.
Although I had a very short timeline for this project, I am glad to learn that even by making small changes, we are able to yield big impacts and create a great experience for users. Also, it is so important to always validate our assumptions through testing.