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Home Renovation

Home Renovator

Understanding product users to create a more personalized experience


Home Renovator is a home renovation software where homeowners post requests for work to be done and contractors are hired to complete the work. This software was built over 20 years ago and has not had many updates made to it.


Over the years, the software was adopted by users for whom it was not originally designed. Home Renovator was aware that its customer base had expanded beyond contractors, but they weren’t sure who the new users were and what specific needs they had. 

Some of the specific challenges discovered:

  • It is time-consuming to find relevant jobs.

  • There is a need for a search.

  • Onboarding is confusing. Many non-contractor customers signed up as contractors and had access to features they couldn’t use.

  • There is a need for more targeted notifications.

  • There is a reliance on outside tools to keep track of jobs of interest.


This sub-project lasted about 6 months. The larger effort is still ongoing. 


I worked as a UX Researcher alongside UI designers, product management, and development. 


To gain a better understanding of how non-contractor customers used the software and come up with solutions to better meet their needs.


I worked on this project as the UX Researcher.

Main areas of responsibility:

  • Planning

  • Recruitment

  • Conducting user interviews

  • Data synthesis and analysis


  • Google Docs

  • Calendly

  • Zoom

  • Dovetail

  • Invision Freehand



I met with stakeholders to set clear goals and objectives. Next, I created a project plan and timeline. I had no leads for recruitment, so I set up a survey where customers could self-identify their roles and I used that list as my contact list.


I conducted 1:1 moderated interviews with existing users of the software with varying roles. I discovered what their biggest pain points were and started to see patterns for areas of opportunity.


I ran affinity mapping sessions with the cross-functional team to determine common themes across interviews. The affinity mapping helped us to converge on the greatest pain points we noticed for each user type.


I created user personas and journey maps to help build user empathy.


I then worked with designers to come up with solutions for the pain points we uncovered. 


The designers created high-fidelity prototypes of the solutions.


I conducted a series of usability tests with customers to ensure the new designs met their needs. Some small adjustments were implemented, but overall the designs tested well. From there we handed it off to development to build.



Those looking to find work that they can complete all on their own.


Those looking for a specific category of work, within a larger job.


Those looking to provide specific items that can be used on a job.


By the end of this study, we had a much better understanding of who was using our service. This service that was originally designed for contractors is being used heavily by subcontractors and suppliers. 

We learned what specific goals each user type was trying to accomplish and made changes to the design to make the service more usable for them.

Changes implemented:

  • Adding a search bar to the job posting page.

  • Adding a section to the onboarding where the user can self-identify their role. From there, the onboarding is catered to their role.

  • Adding more flexibility around the types of notifications a user can receive. 

  • Adding the ability to indicate jobs of interest, so they are easy to refer back to later.

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