Broker Subscriptions - 2012
Broker Subscriptions was a B2B feature Chicago-based Yield Technologies added to their social media product RentSocial in 2012. Like a facebook for renters, RentSocial was a free online gathering place enabling users to collaboratively search for apartments with friends and potential roommates. Broker Subscriptions was a paid turnkey solution for lessors to broker vacancies.
Waiting for the adoption rate of a social media site to reach levels high enough to charge advertisers a sustainable rate was something Yield Technologies realized they couldn’t afford in 2012. Worse, it could dissuade potential suitors looking to acquire Yield. Which meant RentSocial had to be monetized as quickly as possible and in bold, creative ways. Ergo, strategy became paramount.
The two-part approach I took ensured success across contingencies and buoyed investor confidence. First, I authored a bullet-proof strategy report our developers could start building from upon delivery. And second, I created high-fi visual design in parallel. If we got a potential buyer before it was built, at least we could show them our impressive plan and finished visuals. If not, I could back-fill the edge-cases during implementation.
Visual Design

While font choices and color schemes had been established as part of the existing RentSocial aesthetic, the UI would be in new territory in every other way for this feature. It was almost a whole new product unto itself. That gave me the latitude to be creative and invent a vision all its own. It had to be as engaging and visually generous as RentSocial users had come to expect, but because it would serve an entirely different persona, also robust and professional. Nothing my sketchbook and Photoshop couldn’t handle. Here’s a closer look at the UI I designed for this feature.

Information Architecture (IA)

RentSocial, this feature’s parent product, was a splashy diamond in the rough -- at best. At worst, many of its work-flows were confusing and unforgiving. It evinced all the symptoms of a product that put look-and-feel above all else. But now our investors were looking for returns. When you strand a potential renter in a dead-end, it costs you clicks. If you strand a paying customer, it costs you money. The above strategy report I authored for this project put everyone on notice that we were going to build this feature the right way.

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