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March 2021

5 weeks



UX Researcher

Information Architecture

UI Designer
Content Designer
Interaction Designer
Rapid Prototyping
Usability Testing


Circa is an innovative rent payment app that provides residents with a more flexible rent payment schedule. Offering a new model of paying rent by a mobile app with multiple payment methods and credit reporting. Circa has the vision of giving people more control and less stress around their finances.

01. Empathize

User Research

User interviews and surveys were conducted to determine how users are currently implementing rent payment applications, and if there is a need for a more payment model.

We also wanted to gain better data on how users felt about creating and maintaining an "alternative rental history".

Proposal: Redesign the payment history feature to create a visual narrative that residents can participate in, one that communicates the factual payment history but also includes context from the resident.

Methodology: Design Thinking Model 

UX Strategy Blueprint
Survey Results
Pain Points

Using an affinity diagram, we synthesized the data to flesh out pain points and design opportunities.

After synthesizing the user research data we determined the following pain points:

  1. Residents have some degree of volatility with expenses

  2. Many residents work in gig-economy or are job-to-job

  3. There is a need to move away from the punitive payment model 

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Market Research

Next, we began researching competitors to better understand what products were already being offered. Circa's main competitors were:

  1. Zibo

  2. Flex.

  3. Avail

  4. Till

During the interview with the stakeholder, the main goal for circa was to remain renter-centered.

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02. Define


Based on user research we created a User Persona. Tamon Roman is a single father who has been recently laid off due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.  Like many Gig-workers, Tamon's pay schedule does not align with his rent payment due date.  Our goal is to provide a product that allows him to add context to his payment history, which will allow him to meet his goal of building a positive credit history without being penalized for circumstances that are out of his control, such as a global pandemic.

Journey Map

Tamon's journey map shows multiple design opportunities including:

  1. Logging changes of financial circumstances in Circa app

  2. Ability to include proof of life events in payment history with photos

  3. Provide landlords access to the resident’s alternative credit contextual payment history

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03. Ideate


Based upon the market research, we used the Crazy 8's method to ideate potential features that we prioritized using the MoSCoW method. 

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Concept Sketches

The current user flow for inputting payment history did not give the user the ability to add context to payments.  We added a contextual feature in the form of tags, as well as photo uploads.

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To revise the payment history screen, we included visuals that added to the personalization of the app.  The main feature of the concept sketches is the ability to add an event to a payment action.   This was done so that actions such as late payments, could be given real word context.  The purpose behind this addition was to help the user create a narrative payment history that could then be exported and sent to a prospective landlord.

04. Prototyping


Because Circa already had a functioning product, we created a Mid-Fi prototype of the revised payment history flow, then conducted usability interviews.

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06. Solution

To ensure our final prototype was in line with Circa's current branding, we created components to match the current design system using Figma.

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High-Fi Prototype

Using our design system, we completed the final prototype with updates to the Dashboard and Payment History screen.

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The Prototype

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