Design trust, encourage connections


Overview · Understanding problem · Ideation · Final design · Learnings · Back home

Nobul is a startup in Toronto helping home buyers and sellers find the right real estate agent. As their only product design intern, I worked closely with the analyst to identify the pain points in our funnel and optimize the customer journey.

Project Duration: 3 weeks

Role: Product designer intern

Team: Myself

Key skills: UI/UX design, content strategy, visual design, User research


Many home buyers visited our site but most them drop off and very few of them end up connecting with agents. I took on this challenge to redesign an onboarding solution for home buyers to connect with Real Estate agents.

My goals are to - Match home buyers with agents that fits their needs. - Help make good introduction for buyers and agents to meet offline.

Understanding why homebuyers drop off


With help from another co-worker, I interviewed 6 home buyers. After reviewing the interview and reading reports on the web. I found three pain points:

  • Real estate agents we recommended are not personalized enough. Homebuyers want an agent with relevant experiences.
  • Homebuyers are skeptical about connecting with strangers online. Working with an agent is very committal at this stage in home buyer's decision progress.
  • The old onboard experience lacks of clear guidance and feedback. Users get confused about what should happen next.


I drafted several key interactions to address the problem.


After ideating on paper, I switched to Figma to build out the wireframes. This is the final result of the user flow after a couple arounds of iterations:


Final design

Finding out home buyer's preference

The questionnaire help us to understand home buyer's preference so we can recommend agents with relevant experience. I chose single-step forms because

  • It reduces cognitive load and make the process less intimidating.
  • It's good for tracking user behaviors. The more there is on a page, the harder it is to determine why a user has left the page.
  • I want to implement conditional logic into the form. It means to adjust the question according to how the user answers the previous question.

I added a few micro interactions to encourage the user completing the form


Sign up

To increase signup rate, I placed the sign up at the end of the questionnaire. A user who spends time answering all the questions will more likely gave us their personal information.

  • A loading animation to give user feedback and increase the perceived value of the third screen.
  • No password field — I want the sign up feels like part of the question; therefore, I decide to not include the password field in the form. We will email the user later asking to set up the password.

Agent page

After signing up, user will land on the agent page where they can see the agents and connecting with them.


Get introduced

I'd like to hop on a phone call to get to know the agent before working with him.

Our old copy says "Connect" but I found it is very committal at this stage in home buyer's decision progress. I changed the copy to "get introduced".


"Get introduced" creates a middle ground for the user and the agent to get to know each other before making any decisions. The popover provides the necessary information to set good expectations.


I enjoyed Yucen's industriousness, openness to new ideas, and his agreeableness. I found him to always be on the hunt for the latest knowledge, bringing that back to the team for implementation, and being a team player when the time came. — Patrick, my manager

Being at an early stage company allows me to work on a lot of things. I learned a lot from the experience and here are 3 takeaways from me.

Be reachable and transparent If company is small size, take advantage of that. I learned to be very reachable and always open for questions. Then people will also be very open to me. I would ran to different tables and seek feedback from the engineers, the sales team and the data analyst. This allows me to iterate fast and create better design.
Be comfortable with changes and uncertainties As an early stage company, they're always testing things and trying new features. I learned to work quickly. Be open to changes. Ask questions. Really understanding what leaders want and gaining buy-in from them to derive immediate value.
Design for function At startup, the primary goal of design should be getting more customer. I learned to design with clear purpose. I ask myself questions like "what function does this serve?" "How will this drive our business values" These questions help me making design decisions. The answers will also allow me to communicate value with the leaders.

Thanks for reading!

👋If you're looking for a designer to help solve problems and ship apps/websites that people love. Let's chat!

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