thisopenspace is an online platform that connects short-term commercial rental spaces with people looking to rent. Just think – “Airbnb” of commercial spaces.
This internship was picked up when the lead Product Designer needed assistance in the design department, specifically for planning and executing different research based initiatives. I became the lead researcher within the company, with consultation from other designers and product managers.
During my four months at thisopenspace, the company went through a directional change, which provided many opportunities for research. I am going to pay particular attention to the “retail focused” discovery research process.
The platform was looking to focus solely on their “retail” user segment. To do this was no easy undertaking; it started with having to understand our current retail user in context of providing a platform that serves their current needs, and addresses the pain points they currently face when looking for a short-term retail space.
To support the retail focused platform, we had to determine who are retail guest is, and how they currently interact with our platform. I set out to talk to five brands who use our platform to look for short-term commercial space (for pop-ups, market activation, etc), and five hosts who have a retail space listed on thisopenspace. I was in charge of recruitment, scheduling and interviewing.
My goal through this research was for the retail focused platform to be useful, usable and desirable. In our interviews, we focused on understanding the layers of why to uncover values.
I wrote out the interview plan, which included the interview questions, interview goals, and interview timeline/schedule. I was also responsible for recruitment and analysis of data once interviews were completed.
In total, I conducted 10 in-depth interviews (one hour each) with participants from a range of brands and retail space owners/lease-holders. I recruited and executed these 10 interviews within a three week timeframe.
Outcomes, Impact and Next Steps
Upon completion of the discovery interviews, I presented the key findings & learnings to the 30 employees at thisopenspace. I also started a research findings database on Airtable, which has the scalability to grow with the company and be a central reference point for employees to refer to for all qualitative research findings.
The impact was to inform the design team what worked and what did not in terms of the overall flow, visuals, and content, and to provide the product team evidence to help them make decisions on the priority level of the action items for the next release.
I leveraged the research findings and conducted a retail audit across our platform to identify immediate changes. I ensured all of my decisions were grounded in my research findings and were doable within the allocated timeframe of two weeks.