Posted on 27 Sep, 2011
We interviewed 9 different users to gather information for this project. All of them were either college students or recent graduates who had searched for an apartment online for a summer internship. Most eventually found their apartment through a site, but some had to resort to living with friends or at school.
Some of our users were searching for an apartment in Boston, which was local, while others searched were searching on the West Coast in cities like San Francisco or Seattle, where they weren't able to visit the apartment beforehand. Some of our users spent weeks trying to find the perfect place, others only got their internship at the last minute and had to take the first available apartment.
We learned some key facts from talking to users:
- Everyone interviewed used Craigslist extensively in their search process, although some ended up finding their apartment on another site
- Users are overwhelmed, they have to go through hundreds of new posts on Craigslist every day, often with no indication that their search will be fruitful.
- Users are also frustrated, they spend hours finding the perfect apartment, only to have the seller not return e-mails or back out at the last minute.
- Many of our users were first time apartment renters, and were unfamiliar with concepts like a security deposit or lease