Redesigning Urbanrake's user experience encourages people to list their gardens on their new platform.
UX and Visual Design
”Our users are not listing their gardens on
Urbanrake is an Airbnb for gardening. They aspire to promote and support urban gardening so people can access locally grown produce right in their neighborhood.
First, I wanted to understand why people were not listing their gardens. My assumption was this is a new platform so it'll take time for people to trust it. I also conducted usability testing on their MVP web app to uncover the underlying problems:
Host UX Problems
Raker UX Problems
DESIGNING THE EXPERIENCE
Users need to learn how to become a host and its benefits
The initial design failed to explain how to become a host and it benefits. Users were confused when they were asked to fill out a long survey to add a listing. My redesigned user flow includes an introduction to becoming a host and breaks up the forum into 5 sections.
A How it Works section helps users consume the content quickly
Ideally, users may complete this flow in 7 steps. The initial web app didn't have a How it Works section on the home page, forcing all users to watch the 2:25 minute video to understand the product.
Check out in two simple steps
I added Review Rules in the checkout flow so rakers have the chance to agree to the hosts' policy before they rent the garden.
Urbanrake pricing needs to be reasonable and attract hosts and rakers
Initially, Urbanrake charged an all-inclusive rental price which would include the cost of renting the garden and water. However, they didn't know how much water would cost. So, I created a pricing formula that explained the breakdown of the cost.
However, I decided to separate the two costs
to create more transparency. Users need to understand the cost of water and that rakers are responsible for that cost as well.
I started with $1 / square feet as my first iteration.
Urbanrake can begin with this price iteration for the planting area cost because they can attract more users by lowering the price at first.
Also, rakers are only charged for the land they are using to grow their produce.
California charges $0.01/gallon of water
1 gallon of water = 1 sq ft
$0.2 X 15 days = $3 per month
$0.01 X 20 sq ft = $0.2
Planting area cost
Urbanrake recommendation = $1.50/sq ft
$1.50 X 20 sq ft = $30 per month
Oakland's rent/square feet according to Zillow
Calculating the cost of water was tricky and required research. I wanted to know how many gallons of water it took to water 1 square feet.
According to UC Davis's Irrigation and Drainage Specialist, Blaine Hanson, it takes about 27,610 gallons of water to water 43,450 sq ft of agricultural land. Thus, it would take .63 gallons of water to water 1 sq ft of land. I rounded up to simplify the math and decided that it would take
1 gallon of water to water 1 sq ft.
The lengthy forum increases drop off rates
Users reached this page without learning what it means to become a host. The initial design of the forum was too long and there was no way to save the forum for later. Also, the order of the information didn't make sense and needed to be grouped together into sections.
Become a host in 5 steps with helpful tips along the way
Before users reach this page, they will get an introduction to why they should become a host, its benefits and learn how to become a host in 3 simple steps.
On this first page of the forum, users must indicate that they have a clean source of water. If not, they will not qualify to become a host. The initial design only had this at the end of the forum. On the second page, they may save and continue later.
The map takes too much space on the search results page
The map took too much real estate. Also, search should be visible at the top of the fold.
Users can see more gardens on the search results page
I moved search and filters to the top of the page and moved the map to the right-hand side.
REDESIGNING THE GARDEN BOX
Users understand that you are paying for the square feet of land.
The title is more interesting.
Users can see the type of garden and it's location.
DESIGNING THE PRICING FORMULA
Becoming a host user flow
Renting a garden user flow
Renting a garden user flow (Part 2)
COMPARISON BETWEEN INITIAL AND FINAL DESIGNS
Urbanrake appreciates the value of redesigning their user flows and plans to implement the new changes that I've recommended. With the new designs, they ought to conduct additional usability testing to see if there is a significant increase in users listing their gardens for rent.
The business model and marketing also needs improvement. Urbanrake needs to research and identify the return on investments for rakers and hosts. Once rakers grow and harvest their produce, they need a way to sell their produce. Perhaps Urbanrake can partner with companies such as Imperfect Produce so rakers can directly sell their fresh produce to people and restaurant owners in the neighborhood.
The garden title is not interesting
Typography needs improvement
It's not necessary to see host picture