Halfex is a growing hostel, construction and property management that works in collaboration with universities to place students in their hostels and some private housing properties they manage.
I was contacted by the team to develop dashboard concepts for the management of their students and tenants applications as semester was about to end.
RoleUI / UX
- User experience
- Visual design
Halfex cloud is a web app for managing student housing details. Users can browse, search, filter applicant and tenant details.
My main task was to research, conceptualize, ideate and visualize a high fidelity mockup on CMS platform that conveys the Halfex student-friendly values while making it human-centered and intuitive. Going into this project my goal was to create a modular platform that users can tailor to their personal use. To be able to imagine all my ideas, I had to research deeply into Cloud-based SaaS, CMS applications and their principles.
How do I design a student hostel management platform that brings ease to the building, searching and browsing content?
Halfex cloud is a web app for managing student housing details. Users can browse, search, filter applicant and tenant details. The user can customize the dashboard to their convenience. The card-centric visualization makes it easy for the users. The minimalistic and clean UI makes information digestible.
On all the individual dashboards, users can search globally and with the specific page using tag-based search. The search system also shows a stock of recently searched items so users can minimize memory load. An effective search system enhances affordance and improves the overall user experience.
Simplified Content building
Users have access to a streamlined content builder that affords them easy creation of property and housing list. This helps to cut the time spent on adding a new list and editing draft list.
The onboarding experience is simplified but continues using a tooltip to onboard users. Users at the early stage of the workflow are taken on a product tour through key parts of the product using the tooltips. Parts of the product that are not consistent, but still introduces users in their next time of use.
I started by rconducting my initial research, understanding the user through interviews and also reviewing the goals and design requirements. Though much clarity wasn't given from my client, I had to understand the company's vision and the ease its workers wanted.I went on to interview 5 employees of the company to identify their pain points with the current system of managing the student and tenant data.
I went on to the assess and catalog the core function and user flow that clearly depicted how the platform should work. I also had to consider the necessary brand values that were needed to be projected in the designs. After brainstorming and analyzing the concepts I had a clear design direction to follow through.
My initial steps involved, gaining insights and getting a holistic overview of products and existing pieces of literature in the field of hostel management. I reviewed products to understand the user flows as well as the interface designs in order to establish some core features on the market. I also reviewed documents that shed light on the user experiences gaps and pitfalls with existing products. One key finding was the multiple uses of Excel as a spreadsheet and as a database for most of these managements. Conducting this initial research effectively put me on a path of understanding the field even better.
To understand the challenges and the workflow of the user-employees of Halfex- I conducted a series of unstructured interviews virtually with 5 of the employees. I also spent some time to interview three of my hostel managers to gather insights on their workflow and the management style.
The most prevalent issues identified within the initial interviews were grouped into two parts and used to form two fictional representations.
Key user pain points
Ideation,Sketching & Refinements
Moving on to the design stage I started sketching and brainstorming on ideas based on the finding from the research stage. My goal was to ideate the overview display of the dashboard and continue to flesh it out in the wireframing stage.
I progressed on the wireframing stage as I attempted to flesh out the ideas generated in the brainstorming and ideation stage. I sought out views and opinions from mentors and colleagues before starting this process digitally. This gave me an opportunity to reach out to them again as my initial testers. My initial goal was to gain their unbiased opinions about the layout and the features. The most predominant feedback was Search feature which they believe could easy the users from search.
I remained consistent with the companies original colors which was challenging with initially became a lot easier after building the brand tool kit.
After a series of iteration and updates on some minute details on the main dashboard. Much focus was given to individual features that needed to be highlighted.
Single page listing was developed to mitigate the strain and give ease to users limiting the extra time off secondary navigations.
(Tour UI) User Onboarding
The onboarding experience was fundamentally designed to support very diverse users who need to understand what each feature is.
Much affordance is given to the search box to give users the minimum effort in reaching it.