A client project working to improve usability and improving navigation of a website that lets users rent commercial spaces.



HotPatch is like AirBnB for businesses! Users can rent and book space for all sorts of commercial purpose, such as recording studios, offices, salons, photoshoot spots & more.

They currently have a very high bounce rate and came to us with three main priorities to help with this:

  • Improve the browsing and filtering.
  • Improve navigation across sectors.
  • Make the system more user friendly.

My Role

This was a collaborative project with 2 other UX/UI designers.

We worked hard to play an equal part in each phase of the sprint, but I took the lead on user research, facilitated client meetings and moderated team discussions before carrying out user testing and producing a high-fidelity final product.


Our solution provided users with a new search bar that immediately brought them more relevant results than searching by industry categories and it fixed numerous issues to improve the user friendliness of their filtering system. Beyond that we began to work on the UX writing of the homepage to better communicate what HotPatch provides to their users, and we refined the listings page to make the booking process more straightforward.


A System Usability Survey put the prototype solution at an A grade or “Excellent”, whilst the HotPatch founder declared that the solution "...solved a problem that we have been wrestling with for years."

The changes are currently in development.

You can view the extended version of the case study on Medium.
View on Medium



In order to create a design that could help to solve HotPatch’s bounce rate, my team needed first to understand its causes. We drafted a research plan which aimed to pinpoint which pages were experiencing the highest bounce rate, and also the biggest frustrations users experience on the existing site.

We set out to understand these problems through a variety of methods:

  • Site Audit and Heuristic Analysis
  • Data Analytics
  • User Research (Interviews and Testing)
  • Competitor/Comparative Analysis

Heuristic Analysis

We began by carrying out an audit and heuristic analysis of the existing site. This helped us gain insight into the business, and we immediately saw design problems that could have quick fixes, such as:

  • Visibility of System Status - issues with colour contrasts 
  • Consistency & Standards - use of a variety of terms for the same thing
  • Error Prevention - buttons that don’t work

Data Analytics

HotPatch provided us with access to their Google Analytics, MouseJar and HotFlow accounts in order to help us identify where the majority of users were exiting the site. Unfortunately our review of this data suggested that users were bouncing at a similar rate on each of the 3 key pages on the site: the home page, the filtering page and the listing page.

Competitor Analysis

We conducted competitive analysis on a range of competitors including: Tutti, Peerspace, Storefront, Giggster and Treatwell. Our intention was to see if HotPatch’s competitors were designed in ways that alleviate some of the issues contributing to HotPatch’s high bounce rate. 

We carried out a task analysis and found that HotPatch actually had one of the shortest user journeys to complete a booking.

A pluses and delta examination of each competitor revealed that all of the competitors had very similar designs on the filtering and listing page, but had more variance on the home page. 

  • Tutti used categories
  • Storefront used What/Where/When builder
  • Peerspace used a What/Where/When search bar

We also carried out some comparative analysis on sites such as AirBnb and, to see how they help their customers navigate their large archives of property listings. They also use What/Where/When search tools which remain active in a global navigation bar.

User Research

We spoke to 15 different people and were able to synthesize the results in to the following insights:

  • The global navigation bar isn’t noticeable.
  • People are confused on what a “patch” is, and what service HotPatch provides.
  • ‘Categories’ is quite a vague term for new users.
  • Numerous filtering interactions on the filtering page do not work. 

We also asked our participants to complete a System Usability Survey, the results of which put the existing HotPatch site at an F grade or “Poor”.


All of our findings allowed us to refine our initial assumptions and create both a persona and user journey to help visualise our user’s challenges and enable us to better empathise with their problems.


We brainstormed to create Stef’s persona. This was a really useful process to explore ideas and talk about her needs and frustrations. It definitely helped us empathise with her during our design process.

User Journey

We also collaborated to produce the following user journey, which used the Stef persona to visually represent a typical first time user’s experience navigating through the HotPatch site.

The journey allowed us to clearly lay out and connect user frustrations identified from our research to the 3 key bounce points identified in the data analytics.

Problem Statement

From this we were able to create a series of problem statements.

Stef needs a straightforward browsing/filtering experience so that she finds relevant listings quicker.

How Might We...

How might we... provide a straightforward browsing/filtering process?


Design Studio

We kicked off our idea generation with a design studio that included the client and was centered around the How Might We statement. We asked everyone to sketch possible solutions and then present their ideas to the group.

  • What? Where? When? (Search Feature)
  • Functioning filters with animations and colour to give user immediate feedback
  • Reviews on Product Cards

Low to Mid Fidelity

With these ideas we started developing wireframes that focused on a single solution to design, test and iterate.

User Testing

Using our mid fidelity wireframes we carried out 8 moderated user interviews and 6 unmoderated user tests.

The new design had a 100% task completion rate across all tests carried out, and the participants' answers to a new System Usability Survey put the prototype at an A grade or “Excellent”. 

Insights from our feedback established:

  • All testers found the experience very straightforward.
  • Users liked having more information available about what HotPatch does, but they still wanted more.
  • Users wanted the new search bar to be more prominent on the home page


Following user testing we were able to make some quick iterations on the existing design as we took it into High Fidelity.


How We Met the Brief

In the hopes that it would lower their high bounce rate, HotPatch wanted a new method of navigating and filtration to help users find relevant spaces to rent.

Our solution provided users with a new search bar that immediately brought them more relevant results than searching by industry categories and it fixed numerous issues to improve the user friendliness of their filtering system. Beyond that we began to work on the UX writing of the homepage to better communicate what HotPatch provides to their users, and we refined the listings page to make the booking process more straightforward.

Home Page

Features the "What/Where/When" search tool.

Includes animated hero image which gives examples of spaces for hire.

More detailed explanation of HotPatch below the hero section.

Filter Page

Includes collapsible map and improved filtering with feedback.

Patch Page

Reworked images, collapsible amenities, sticky booking widget.


Overview of the final solution in high fidelity.

Next Steps

We spoke with HotPatch in depth after the presentation and gave an indication of what next steps we would take as it still felt there was so much to explore to create more social connection.

  • Further user testing and iterations
  • Development of the host side
  • UI research to implement a new style guide
  • Development of mobile version and appResearch into UX writingWhat were the biggest user frustrationsFurther research into presenting multi-purpose spaces
  • Development of mobile version and app
  • Research into UX writing
  • What were the biggest user frustrations
  • Further research into presenting multi-purpose spaces


  • Organisation of the research phase — I experience how difficult it can be to recruit relevant participants for user research. I felt that some of the difficulties could have been avoided with better organisation, and perhaps the offer of an incentive to participants.
  • Team structure — Our team worked well together in the sense that we all got on well, but we were very preoccupied in making sure the workload was split evenly. I think that this came at the expense of some productivity. We tried to reach every decision by committee which sometimes took a long time, and also took a long time to put our high-fidelity prototype together because each of us were working on different parts and at different speeds.
  • Facilitating — I enjoyed chairing the client meetings and found that I was comfortable talking in a professional manner with them.

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