Hostmaker Dashboard - A Solution for Maintenance

Improve Hostmaker Dashboard with a control panel for maintenance issues management. The goal was to increase customer retention via improving communication about the maintenance issues using 1 only communication channel.

Hostmaker manages clients properties, guaranteeing a good maintenance condition, requirement to receive guests and good reviews for the property. The way maintenance issues are managed depends on the agreement done with the client. There are two preferences: Hostmaker Managed and Self Managed.
UX research
The project started with an observation of the current situation and a sequence of internal interviews. Working with the internal teams during several iterations, we mapped out the entire journey, the different types of policies, types of maintenance issues and all the stakeholders that must communicate to find an issue resolution.
This exercise allowed us to identify several questions from different design areas that would require user investigation. This research would be crucial to define features and next steps.
From the service design side:
  1. Is this user informed enough about our different policies?
  2. Does the user consider the policies meet their needs?
From the product design side:
  1. What is the level of detail about the issues that the user needs to see?
  2. How many notifications would the user need? How many notifications would the user consider excessive?
The next step was to contact users to perform the interviews: we listed their needs, detail their expectations regarding our level of communication and identify changes to apply in the user journey and new feature proposals for our dashboard.
Defined proposal
According to our investigations, the information about our policies was insufficient. The users were not sure about the service we were delivering and didn’t know they had the chance to change it. We proposed to deliver an email communication for aclarance about policies and test it quantifying the number of users that would request a policy change. This information was also delivered through an alert message in the dashboard.
On another hand, we understood the user needs to see many details about the issues, including the progress history. They also found it very important to be notified about every issue, even when they have no time to take action about it. This would need to be translated into a new UI proposal for our platform.
So, the dashboard maintenance section will allow the user to check in a glance the list of issues for each property, their date, their status, their detail and next steps in the solution process.
Users can open the details of each issue, checking pictures, history and deadline. Then, the user is able to approve or deny budgets related to this issue in particular.
To get more information about the people who are involved in each issue and how we are proceeding about it, the UI has a history section where stakeholders and contractors can leave their messages and keep the user informed every day.
Communication through emails
The email communications were also rethought in order to be clearer and to reinforce the user preferences. The user journey was reformulated in order to include new emails in different moments with different information about each issue, improving transparency. These communications were connected to our dashboard and were done in a way that could easily be automated.
New Feature: Notifications
The users were clear about a common insight: the need of having a notification system that would allow them to communicate quick decisions and that would keep a history of events. This need was translated into a new feature proposal: a notification system.
Consulting the internal teams, we organized the different types of notifications in a hierarchic system, to establish different levels of notifications: information, alerts and errors. The design system was updated with new modules and the dashboard UI was adapted to accept those, preserving the information architecture requirements.
This feature, that was created as a specific solution for maintenance, would improve the communication between Hostmaker and the user in many different areas. The notification system would open a discussion with different stakeholders through all the departments.

Dashy: The dashboard helper

As Hostmaker aims to create human-centred platforms, we designed a new character for this platform: Dashy - the Dashboard helper - to provide guidance through the user’s journey and to interact directly with it in a meaningful way.
Dashy's characterisation and expression were conceived to empathise with the users by delivering a clear message in a friendly environment.


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