New Tools for First-time Homebuyer Engagement

Client: NeighborWorks Date: May 7, 2013 Category: , , View Project


Develop a set of recommendations for internal and external facing technologies that would enable larger scale of engagement, both in terms of reaching a broader audience as well as converting them, and supporting them throughout their homebuying process.


With the economy in constant question, the congressionally chartered non-profit expressed interest in playing a larger role within the housing market as a whole. This interest spurred them to begin exploring exploring ways to broaden their market reach while becoming more self-sustaining. To do this they planned a multi-phase process of creating a better homebuying experience. They engaged three firms, one for business strategy, marketing and technology. I lead the team for Andculture, the technology agency hired.

My Role

  • Strategist
  • Design Researcher
  • Workshop Facilitator
  • Project Book Co-Developer

Technology has already permanently changed homebuying

There was a time when the process of buying a home was prescriptive and linear, but that model has become an anachronism.

Site Visits

While visiting three different offices nationwide we gained context for the challenge at hand, learning how each office currently works and discovering opportunities for improvement.

Co-creation Workshop

We facilitated a prioritization and sketching workshop for the employees, the end-user of our technology. From this we learned what their hopes were for the new technology at a variety of  levels from specific features it should have to the problems they hoped it would solve.

Landscape Analysis

We reviewed related reports and conducted a number of surveys to understand how technology is currently viewed and being used within this field.

Evaluating Consumer Technology

After considering consumer technology trends and project constraints, the decision was made to refocus away from a full business management platform, and on to a consumer focused mobile app to grow engagement.

Architect concept sample screen
Muse concept sample screen

Dual Concepts

Concepts were developed, exploring the two refined character archetypes provided by the marketing agency, the Architect and the Muse. The former emphasized structure and guidance, while the latter was more about creative exploration.

Findings and Recommendation Consolidation

We consolidated what we learned and created into an actionable set of recommendations that the organization could evaluate in the context of the plan for the next phase, as well as the overall vision.