Case Study


Imagine you work for a big tech firm that has announced that all operations will now be remote. You do not want to live in an overpriced city or take a long commute to work. You can now live anywhere you want. But where? How can you find the best neighbourhood that fits your leisure and family needs? Introducing, Pindrop, a platform designed to allow people to live their best lives in the best places. We created a website that helps newly remote employees and families relocate to a new neighbourhood.

The Basics



Courtney — Project Manager
King — Content Strategist
Umesh — UX Researcher
Micheal — Developer


4 Weeks


Principal Visual Design (UI), Ideation, User Interviews, User Testing, Market research

01: Understanding

Project Brief

More than one-in-three American labour force participants (35%) are millennials, making them the largest generation in the U.S. labour force. The past year has seen a 60% increase in the millennial generation relocating abroad. Nine in every ten graduates would consider moving abroad for work.

In light of the events in 2020, the global pandemic is also making companies rethink their working policies. As employees worldwide are adjusting to working remotely, some people are reconsidering living in high-density cities, where both rent and the cost of living are incredibly high.

The challenge was to design a product to help people relocate to a new city or country.

Problem Statement

Employees now have the option to work remotely; they are free to move away from expensive, congested metropolitan areas. They want to relocate to a place where their quality of life is improved, but they do not have the knowledge and information needed to find the perfect neighbourhood and home.

How might we design a product that allows employees to make a more informed decision when deciding to move to a new community and home?


Key takeaways

- Users did not want to feel restricted to one area. How might we open up their options?

- Users living in high-cost cities want alternative affordable living options considering they do not need to live where they work. Why pay “Bay area prices” when they can live somewhere else? How might we help facilitate their search options?

- Users want to live where they are able to enjoy their hobbies. How might we showcase neighbourhood amenities?

- Users need childcare close to home. How might we showcase family-friendly neighbourhoods?

- Users want pet-friendly (to their breed) rental properties. How might we curate pet-friendly areas?

- Users want to learn about an area and housing options without having to commit or interact with a Realtor. How might we help the user's home search be less painless?


When interviewing potential users, “Settle-down Susan” and “Nomad Nick” were the most represented group as they covered a majority of the issues in two user cases.

02: Ideation

User Flows

As a team, we had many discussions and iterations concerning user flow. We had to think of a few different methods to decide on the right flow. At first, we had multiple flows to cater to other use cases. For example, a few of us wanted to have an onboarding screen that allowed users to select the path they wish to choose. There would be three paths.

1. The user knows in which city they want to live, but was not sure about
   the neighbourhoods.

2. The user does not know where they want to live and needs ideas.

3. The user knows what part of the USA they want to live in, but cannot
   decide on the state or city.

Eventually, we went back to the user personas that we created and put ourselves in their shoes. We started to understand their situation and how they would want the information to be represented to them. For example, “Settle down Susan” knows she wants to be in a suburb and buy a house for her child. We created the flow to give her the options she needs without compromising “Nomad Nick” options.


The main challenge was deciding what the user’s next step would be once they selected their desired neighbourhood. What do they do now? It is not best practice to navigate users to a third-party website with no partnerships. A larger budget and time would have allowed us to connect with Zillow or to add their listings directly into our website via iframe or an API. The solution would enable users to have the full experience on one website with the possibility of monetization for Pindrop, as this would be a referral.

For the MVP, we decided to link out to Zillow with a specific code that drops the user directly into the neighbourhood we curated for them.


Once we finalized the user flow, we each sketched out our interpretations of what we learned from the users. We took all the best ideas that solved some of the users' problems and built out the wireframes. Finally, we concluded that this would be a desktop application because of technology limitations.

03: Design

Visual Design

I was responsible for visual design. I started with a few different colour ideas by re-reading the user interviews and getting an idea of how we wanted the user to feel when using Pindrop. The central theme I learned was that users wanted peace of mind. I went with a calm blue as the website’s primary colour and contrasted that with red to represent a pushpin. I added secondary colours that complemented the blue for ads, pages, designs and backgrounds. Next, I chose the font Sofia Pro because it was versatile, easy to read and readily available for everyone to use. I used Font Awesome for iconology because it’s a font and not an image. This makes it more versatile if and when it needs to be changed or updated.



For the homepage design, I kept it simple. At first, I wanted to use real images of real people to convey our message, but it felt out of place and a bit too complex. I then created vector art that represented our personas.

Questionnaire Page:

I designed a movable map that would zoom in-and-out depending on the answers to the location the user wanted to view. We had to remove that function for the MVP for technical reasons.

Results Page:

Also, the “Save Recommendation” function was another feature we had to cut from the MVP because of time constraints.

Usability Testing Results

Before the MVP launched, we did a usability test with the first iteration. The test went very well, with a very high 97% direct success rate (as you can see below). The first part of the test, which was to select a preferred region, confused the users as they did not understand how to do this. Unfortunately, users miss-clicked the area, and we came to the conclusion that this page needed to be more precise. We fixed this misunderstanding before launching the MVP.

04: Solution

Final Design

In order to launch the MVP, we had to trim down some of the original features and upgrade the look and feel of the “final results” page. We removed the map and updated the page that was confusing users, removed the listings feature, linked the home finder to function to a curated Zillow list, and updated the neighbourhood pages with better imagery and copy. You can visit the website here.


We have launched the MVP and shared it with family and friends. A survey was added to the top of the page to allow users to give feedback so we can learn more about their experiences with our website. It won’t be easy to know if users were entirely successful (finding a place to live), but we will gather feedback and slowly build a product they will love. Once we review the feedback and update the website, we will re-evaluate and assess its viability as a business for our team to pursue officially.

05: Conclusion

What We Learned

1. Work within our means. We have big dreams for this solution, but we have to  
   make sure we do not overpromise and underdeliver.

2. Take more time to plan. Jumping to a solution too fast can result in missing
    the picture of what the user needs. Focus on the problem statement and  
    have empathy for the user.

3. Test often. It is ok to test as much as possible. The best solutions are the
    ones that stand the test of time.


The biggest challenge with this project was the time constraints and limited resources we had to complete this project. Initially, we entered a hackathon where four total strangers joined together and had one week to create something tangible. We had our disagreements, but we kept our focus on the goal and produced something people enjoyed and wanted to see more. In the end, we won the competition and were encouraged to create an MVP. With more time and some resources, I believe Pindrop could be used by millions of people to find their dream home.

What’s next

Our team will be re-evaluating Pindrop and host a public launch in September 2020. We would like to see if it is a viable business. If we get traction, we will connect with the users for feedback, and find out what features they need and start building them.

First, we will add the features we removed due to time and budget and add new features. We will also discuss funding tactics to build out more intricate areas of the website. Our goal will be to help one million users relocate, finding their dream home in their ideal location. There are many avenues to building this business, and it will take time, dedication and proper partners to make this dream a reality.