Prototyping a new business idea
Hometree are a funded startup whose aim is to provide a hassle-free way for consumers to install energy saving products within their home, thus lowering their energy bills. Hometree’s vision is to bring trust, openness and transparency to a market that is inherently difficult for most consumers to understand.
I worked with the client to concept, prototype and design an MVP that could be used to prove their business model to potential investors and raise seed funding. The goal was to help them launch the product quickly and then refine it through real world feedback and customer interaction.
Hometree has two main audience groups - divided into both B2C and B2B audiences respectively. The product needed to be defined by and focused on the primary needs of it’s public consumer audience (B2C) and then on the needs of it’s secondary trade partner audience (B2B).
As a very early stage startup we needed to help define the business value proposition to it’s audience. Through various workshops and brand exercises we worked with HomeTree’s founders to un-cover and define their value proposition to their customers.
With a general understanding of the site architecture established between myself and the team I moved straight into designing the page layouts and UI within the browser. I worked in sprints to define and design key areas of functionality, agreed them with the product team and then shipped them for development.
The product was prototyped and designed entirely in Webflow. This allowed me to move quickly and design the responsive features of the product within the browser, for real time feedback on how it looked and functioned.
The process of booking home improvements is traditionally time consuming and non-transparent, Hometree wanted to change this. A key part of the HomeTree online experience was to give users the simplest and fastest route possible to select their products and begin the installation process.
An integral part of Hometree’s value proposition is giving customers the ability to manage their bookings and payment options through a web and native app dashboard. I designed the UI for the dashboard in sprints, working closely with the team to define essential and ‘nice to have’ feature sets in an iterative process.
From project start to the initial MVP launch was around 3-4 weeks. We launched with a minimal set of features so marketing and onboarding activities could begin to drive traffic to the site. This constant stream of new users to the site gave me and the product team the opportunity to iterate and refine existing features through short design and development sprints, as well as looking at the broader strategy to define new ones.
The whole value proposition behind HomeTree was the idea of simplifying inherently difficult processes, this applied to both consumers and their B2B audience, local tradesmen. The interface and information available to each of the audience groups was designed to be as readable and accessible as possible, regardless of which device it was being viewed on.
Hometree launched in July 2016 and the site has been met with widespread positive feedback. Hometree secured a seed round of funding in late 2016 after growing their customer base and proving their business model to potential investors.hometree.co.uk