OccupiNYC is New York City’s first self-service online platform for the residential rental marketplace, putting tenants and landlords in contact directly streamlining the NYC apartment hunt.
My involvement with OccupiNYC was to help them bring their idea to life. Their mission is to help people find their next apartment in NYC — on their own time. Users are able to schedule, view and apply on their own time without the need of a broker, which results in cheaper fees!
In the beginning phase, OccupiNYC had already had some generalized user flows and screens for their idea. The goal was to take these and iterate to make the best experience possible.
OccupiNYC has two types of users, tenants and landlords. This application had to cater to both of these user scenarios. As a tenant, there were 4 major needs: explore apartments, schedule a viewing, apply for a lease, and manage the associated documents needed for leases. Landlords on the other hand had a different set of needs: create listings, manage appointments and applications
OccupiNYC user journey is a very progressive approach. Users are able to register and schedule an appointment for a viewing. To prevent landlords from any type of property damage or ill will, a user must be verified during the registration process. Once a user is registered and verified, upon scheduling an appointment they will receive a text or email with a code needed to enter the building. Units or buildings are locked with a vault box that accepts a code for entry. This code is swapped periodically to prevent the reuse of codes. Once they are finished viewing the apartment, they can choose to apply online for an application.
Since there needs to be a sense of security and trust instilled, iconograpnhy and content was very important. I wanted to ensure that when users entered in their personal information, they understood exactly why it was needed and how it would be used.
The goal for the UI and branding was to portray a sense of trust, fun and security. From a branding perspective the colors and font choices help to convey this message. Barlow Semi Condensed was the sans-serif font choice for a soft yet professional look. Hues and shades of Dark Blue (#0f5cdb) and Vibrant Orange (#f46313) were used as the two primary colors for this application. The contrast in these colors helped to distinguish primary and secondary actions through out. Subtle rounded corners also helped to lighten the overall mood through the application.
One of the most important features of the site is the explore. Renting in NYC is tough. It's a very demanding and expensive market. The goal was to make the process of finding your next apartment as simple and fun as possible. The explore page features a map view with all the relative buildings and units for rent. Quick filters such as borough and neighborhood were added to help users dial in their hunt, as well as price, bedrooms and move in dates.
In addition to the public facing pages, registered users also have access to a dashboard and profile management. This allows both tenants and landlords to manage their needs in a unified location. Landlords are able to manage buildings and units, applications and scheduled viewings. Tenants are able to see what they have viewed, applied and any associated documents related to the application process.
This product design effort was an exciting project. OccupiNYC has been gaining traction since its launch. They have been gaining more clients and been rewarded exclusive listings for their platform. Self tours and applications keep growing week after week. Check it out now at https://occupi.nyc/