Client:       Year: 2021        Role: Full-Stack Designer 
How do college student's find their roommates today?
Going into college can be challenging for those brand new to living away from their family and friends. As a result, students typically seek social media groups to find roommates and are more than likely to pick a roommate that looks like them on the surface before making sure they will get along first.
Let's make a platform to insure better roommate relationships.
Our goal is to help minimize stress and provide a sense of organization and community to help make your college experience easier. With UpMate, you can get to know potential roommates before selection day and stay on top making sure you have the safest and most stress-free living situation. So get ready to formulate lifelong friends and build your sense of community.
Using the design thinking process to define and solve the problem​​​​​​​
Do you currently have a roommate(s)?
How many roommates do you have? (Not including you)
Students at various universities use campus media outlets to share their roommate horror stories.
Our friendliness diminished over time, like many other roommate situations I have heard of. Eventually, we weren't talking as much and operated on our schedules. Like regular roommates, we'd (nicely) kick each other out if we wanted to have friends or a boy over. We made snarky remarks about our cleanliness or whose turn it was to buy more paper bowls and plastic forks. Two years later, I realized that my worry came from my lack of understanding of the situation. Even though she was from a different place, we were both just college students, handling things daily, and I didn't need to worry about possibly offending her as much as I thought. Interacting with someone new and from a different place than myself was rewarding for that reason.
-The Daily Illini, Andrea Flores​​​​​​​
Social media only heightens the problem that students gravitate toward those who look like them or come from a similar background when given the option to pick a roommate. College offers a person the unique opportunity to venture out of their comfort zone and be exposed to new ideas and people. If USC used questionnaires to match all freshmen, students would meet a broader range of people. Additionally, the stress of requesting someone would cease, and students would likely end up with a better roommate than if they picked one themselves.
-Daily Trojan, Sophie Roppe​​​​​​​
For introverts, or those unfamiliar with college party culture, get-togethers can be a source of anxiety. CAS first-year Kimi Li shared a Welcome Week experience with his roommate. "He partied almost every night from 11 to 4 in the morning. People were dancing, singing, and drinking in our living room. I'm not a party guy, so I don't like that," Li said. Having had a roommate in high school who eventually became his best friend, Li was disappointed and somewhat shocked by this new one. Luckily, after the two talked and sorted out their Living Agreement, things began to get better for both of them. Other students, however, have not been as fortunate."​​​​​​​
-Washington Square News, Alex Tran
Gaining insight into competing roommate site strengths and weaknesses.
Organizing potential platform ideas and branding elements.
Final Overview
Home Page
Users can preview the few things you can do by using UpMate right when they open the application for the first time. The carousel will change over time as new features are implemented or if there is a feature that is more popular than another, it will be highlighted on the carousel. 
Log in and Sign up
Users can instantly tailor their UpMate experience and goals through the sign-up menu. In addition, we have made it so if there is information that a user does not want to showcase, they have the option to hide it immediately, or they can hide it later on in the privacy settings.
Main Menu
The main menu showcases all of the features that UpMate offers. The top carousel will be formed based on how you respond to the "set your status" page in the sign-up and log-in portion of the application. On this page, you can access the roomie finder, roommate chat, building updates, MapMate, the building chat, and the task tracker.
Feature Highlights
Here are some of the primary features of the application. Below, we are focusing on roommate collaboration, finding, and building networking. Users will be able to post different resources and local events on the bulletin board and to ensure our users' safety, we have created a neighborhood watch forum. For seamless transitioning, we implement a navigation bar at the bottom of a page if you are getting into the core of a specific feature. 
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