Stanza Living

A co-living service and space company's resident app which offers services like meal preferences, complaint management, rent payment options, referral serivces and more

My Role

UX Researcher

My UX Research Process

01 Discover

The Scenario

To improve app ratings and performance metrics, Stanza aimed to redesign their resident application by addressing user issues, enhancing user flows, overcoming service hurdles, incorporating desired features, and addressing internal knowledge inconsistencies causing the design gaps

Problem Statement

To redesign the resident facing application to improve user ratings, reduce user errors and enhance in-app feature set

Research Goals

Post discussions and some back and forth with the clients, the following goals were selected as the primary goals of the study:

  • To test all primary application flows
  • To identify the motivations for using the referral program
  • To get overall feedback and suggestions on services
  • To check for stakeholder knowledge gaps

02 Plan

Methods Chosen

We decided to conduct User Interviews + Usability tests with the primary users and Focus Group Interviews with the stakeholders

  • Interviews paired with usability and concept testing with users
  • Focus groups with stakeholders

Why these methods?

Interviews paired with usability testing were chosen with users across geographies and profiles to deep dive into service issues and challenges and to discover usability issues and inform design while,

Focus groups with stakeholders split across organizational hierarchies was chosen to understand group dynamics and inconsistencies in knowledge

Moderated online sessions were chosen because of their cost (time and economic) effectiveness

User Profiles

  • A 50:50 split between students and young professionals and was chosen
  • Stakeholder profiles were selected that spanned from the lowest to highest organizational hierarchies

Even though the population split was around 70/30 between the students and young professionals, a 50:50 split was taken keeping in mind the revenue split

Fig 1. User Profile Breakdown
Fig 2. Keeping in touch with the client at every step- Client's comments on the Research Plan

Timeline Summary

  • A week of research preparation
  • A week of data collection
  • A week of analysis & reporting

Project Optimizations

As this was an agile project, the following optimizations were recommended to meet the given timelines.

  • Live note-taking to reduce delays in prep work
  • Rainbow sheet* to speed up Analysis
*Highlighted in Fig 7.

03 Execute


  • Recruitment Guide
  • Discussion Guide- UI/UT & FG
  • Note-taking Guide
  • Rainbow Sheet*

Discussion and recruitment guides were developed through brainstorming

The tasks were identified and prioritized working closely with the stakeholders and an in-depth screen analysis was done to map out the task flows and develop Usability Testing questions

Note-taking and the rainbow sheet* were prepared on Google Sheets

*Highlighted in Fig 1.7.
Fig 4. Screen analysis on Miro for designing the discussion guide for Usability testing

Data Collection

  • 3-4 interviews were planned per day, owing to frequent cancellations, teams were split and 7-8 interviews were scheduled in the later half of the week
  • Focus groups and 1:1 founder interviews were kept at the end to test on-ground reality with stakeholder user understanding and to get client buy-in as the insights start to emerge

A healthy balance between a structured and unstructured interview aided us in maintaining standardization for generalizability of findings but at the same time gave us the flexibility of deep diving into specific issues and learn more

Fig 5. Discussion Guide for the user interview and usability testing with notes for the moderator in blue


  • Keeping pace with the client deadline requirement gave us a day for each Discussions Guide (DG)
  • Change accommodation windows were discussed and set with the clients before to avoid delays
  • The questions on the DG had to be structured and organized in a manner to avoid conceptual overlap to aid live note taking/ rainbow sheet filing
  • The notetaking guide had to be organized efficiently and prepped for live note taking
  • Focus group note taking was done live on Miro where each researcher followed one speaker
  • Multiple sessions were scheduled concurrently to combat interview drop offs

04 Analyze

Analysis Method

  • Employed Continuous and Comprehensive Content Analysis (CCCA) using the rainbow sheet for UI and UT
  • Affinity mapping was done for the stakeholder interviews and focus groups

Analysis Process

  • Notes were scanned, revised and highlighted for swift parsing
  • The rainbow sheet was completed and themes were broken down/ combined as required
  • Overlapping buckets and segments were combined to reduce repetition
  • Final report structure was discussed and a skeleton report was sent to the client
Fig 6. Note taking guide with prioritization of notes
Fig 7 and 8. Rainbow sheet for data analysis and affinity mapping for data from focus groups

05 Propagate

Reporting Style

  • The report was written in detail with evidence, or user quotes, accompanying every finding
  • Every finding answered ‘why’ questions with user emotions, motivations and values
  • The report was detailed enough to be read and understood independently or without an accompanying presentation
  • Key Takeaways and design recommendations were placed at the top in consideration of busier stakeholders

Presentation Style

The report was presented as a user advocate with an emphasis on user emotions. 

Neutrality was maintained during observation and analysis to combat bias but empathy was evoked during presentation to deliver findings that are ‘felt’ and understood.
Fig 9 and 10. Research report deck example and presenting to the clients

Summarized Findings

  • Suggestions for personalization were provided
  • Reasons for referral underuse were identified and solutions were recommended
  • Disconnect between on the ground staff behavior and organizational expectations was unmasked
  • Ebbs and flows of on-ground service needs and challenges were highlighted
  • Desirability of future features was identified and prioritization according to user needs was set
  • Tedious task flows were recognized and simplification strategies were discussed
  • Feature values were understood and dissatisfactions were narrowed down

06 Learn

Part of my process is to analyze at the end how the project went about and dissect the processes to look for opportunities for improvement. As a surgeon dissects a body after death to understand what went wrong, I feel it is important for a UX professional to do the same at the end of every project/ cycle, i.e. to do a Post-Mortem.


Personally I learned how to-

  • Moderate focus group discussions
  • Analyze using CCCA & Rainbow Sheet method for better internal consistency

The Rainbow sheet method gives more time for organization and conceptual overlaps can be more easily understood and condensed


The rest of the Research team was trained on Using CCCA (Rainbow Sheet) to prepare for faster-paced projects

Project Management

  • Providing choice when splitting up tasks within the team enables more autonomy and enhances team motivation
  • Assigning tasks that are challenging but at the same time not too overwhelming enables persistence even with strict and stressful timelines
  • Reinforcing efforts of individual team members aids in building a cooperative environment
  • Clear communication of responsibilities combats confusion and builds accountability
Fig 11. Conducting a team training workshop on CCCA and Rainbow Sheet

Other Projects