How do you create and transform a product for a startup going through a pivot?
Wizio is an early stage Real Estate VR startup that’s working to make VR property tours easier and cheaper for real estate agents, vacation property owners, and landlords. When I joined the company, they were in the middle of a major pivot: from a landlord rating site, to a DIY virtual reality content platform, and finally to a full-stack product suite for creating VR Real Estate content, hosting it, and marketing it.
Working with such an early stage startup, I quickly had to change my style of working and learn how to build a product in an environment that was constantly changing. I began to prioritize UX best-practices such as user testing, journey mapping, data analytics and customer interviews over rapidfire iterations, pushing to root all of our decisions in this research.
Wireframing & Prototyping
In addition to UX research, the other method I championed to establish more stability was to create a better design process. By embracing wireframes as well as high and low fidelity prototypes, we were able to get more valuable feedback from stakeholders faster, and before we had invested weeks worth of work going down the wrong path.
Wireframes for the homepage and listing pages
Embracing the MVP
The feature where these new standards played the biggest role was in the creation of our listing page MVP. Although agents could use our iFrame feature to embed directly in their website, we discovered most were sending their clients direct links to the VR player for each listing. By doing user interviews we realized that Wizio tours didn’t really have a place to live, thus it was difficult for agents to share their Wizio listings with apartment hunters. We have been working to make this exchange easier for the agent and more enjoyable for the user, and the first stage of this was creating an auto-generated page for each listing with the data we were already collecting. By putting out this MVP, we have already been able to get valuable feedback and sign more agents onto the platform.