How do we reduce conflict between roommates?

View Full Project Details on Figma

View Prototype

Roommate was an app we created to help reduce the inevitable conflict between roommates. Living with different groups of roommates from all walks of life can be a challenge. Inevitably, no matter how good of situation you are living in there always comes a breaking point with a roommate.

As a peacekeeper myself, I wanted to develop a way for roommates to coincide in peace. If I could pin down points of conflict and brainstorm solutions to anticipate them, it would make for an elevated standard of living for all roommates. Out of this desire, we created the app, Roommate.

We interviewed large pockets of key users of Iridias

User Research

Our goal was to research how and why roommates enter into conflict. We thought back and talked with roommates about times they were in conflict with each other. We were looking for common themes and scenarios for potential users of the app who had experienced conflict with another roommate.

One common theme rose above them all, the issue of household chores. During our research, it was becoming more and more obvious that the underlying theme of conflict was some roommates felt like the others were not pulling their weight with chores in the house.

We found that there were three kinds of roommates.

  • Look good Larry. This roommate only does chores when other roommates are around to make sure everyone knows how good of roommate he is.

  • Sloppy Sam. This roommate simply does not care if he contributes or not. He just assumes other roommates will do the majority of the work.

  • Consistent Carl. This roommate is a chore machine. Whether people are around or not he is always doing the majority of the work in the house.

Now that we had found three primary types of roommates our task was now to find a way to make sure everyone pulled there weight. We needed to make sure "Look good Larry" wouldn't be taking credit for "Consistent Carl's" hard work. We also had to find a way to get "Sloppy Sam" off of the couch and involved with the household chores. This is when we realized that if we could get an accurate assessment of who is doing chores and who isn't, necessary conversations could happen between roommates. We had our idea, and now it was time to create the app that increases roommate collaboration for chores.


Design and Development

We decided the best way of accomplishing this task was to create a way to reward users for any household chores done around the house. Every time a user would do a chore it would give them points and rank them according to other roommates. A little friendly competition and visual display of duties allowed for people to enjoy the chore process.

I partnered with a software engineer as he developed the prototype and I did the UX design and research. We began product testing immediately and asked for additional feedback. We then continued to implement changes and make the app better and better.



We began to see immediate results from our implementation of the app. "Sloppy Sam" who never did any chores was so excited about the app that it was hard to even find a chore in the house to do. "Consistent Carl" would always push the top of the leaderboards as well. "Look good Larry" could no longer ride the coattails of "Consistent Carl" and was accurately assessed how much he contributed.

We came to find when people are rewarded for their work it makes for a much more pleasant roommate situation. When roommates are feeling like another roommate is just being lazy they can check the data on the app to see if it is true. They no longer are under assumptions and they can have necessary conversations with the right people.


My Role

User Research

Design Thinking Process

I met with roommates and talked about past conflicts. I thought through all the times I have personally had conflicts and what they have usually been around.

UX Design and Mockups

User Research Process

I took point on the entire UX design. I did all the mockups and coded part of the back end of the app.


Rapid Prototyping Process

I implemented our first prototype and recorded the results. I then upgraded the app based on user needs.

Read Next


View the Case Study