A Devwalks Case Study
Vogue Lettings is an early stage startup with a focus on connecting university students with affordable accomodation in the UK. Led by its founder Asam Shah, the Vogue Lettings team was looking to create an online presence as well as a way to manage properties, leases and students.
The Vogue Lettings team did have other requirements for the first version of their software:
- It should be scalable for large amounts of users and visitors.
- It should use modern, popular technology to allow for future technical hires internally.
Creating New Business
When creating a new software company, testing your initial assumptions about the value that you intend on providing to your customers should be your number one priority.
The focus of the first version of your product should be to test those assumptions as quickly as possible while also creating trust and awareness in your unique brand.
In order to appeal to the university student demographic, the web application had to be both simple to use, but also look fresh and modern. For the sake of the Vogue team, the back-end management tools had to be efficient and allow them to manage a large number of properties and leases effectively.
Our primary goals for this project were:
- Create a compelling and vibrant user experience for students looking for accomodation.
- Create efficient work-flows for the Vogue Lettings team to manage properties, leases and users.
- Allow clear visibility of leases to both the admin users and the students, with the ability to upload lease and other documents.
- Real-time communication between Vogue team-members and students enquiring about a property, looking to book a property viewing or existing members looking for support with their current lease.
- Geo-location and mapping functionality so that students could see properties in relation to universities and other key locations within their city of interest.
Jobs To Be Done
An insightful way of thinking about creating a valuable software product is to consider the users jobs-to-be-done.
What important 'jobs' will your software help your users complete faster and easier than they've every been able to do before? The jobs-to-be-done framework also lends itself to the design of the software project, creating clear goals for each piece of underlying functionality of the software product.
The Vogue Lettings application achieves all of the initial project goals and more, enabling the Vogue Lettings team to launch their business with an incredibly effective piece of software that will engage their target market and allow them to manage numerous leases with ease.
The project was built in a scalable way that will allow for thousands of simultaneous users with minimal server infrastructure and will also allow for further features or adjustments to be made easily in the future.
Testing Early And Quickly
When building any product, it's easy to get caught up in our own world of possibilities and wants, while sometimes forgetting our customers! That's why we recommend testing early versions of your software project early on your real customers and not just with internal stakeholders.
Depending on how a project is planned, it's even possible to create testable prototypes using software such as Keynote or InVision that allow users to feel like they're interacting with a real website or mobile application, without having to write a single line of code. This is a fantastic way of working through user expectations and user experience quirks without the delay and expense of late-stage scope change.