Home renovation startup Block makes it easy to ‘plan, design, and build with the industry's top designers and contractors.’ Homeowners and contractors can connect, track progress, get updates, and manage workflows all in one place.
In line with its goal to democratize home renovation, Block asked Substantial to design and test a minimum viable product (MVP) for homeowners on tighter budgets and/or uninterested in full-service renovation and design - ‘Direct’ would be a lower cost version of the company’s core product.
A phased approach included a discovery period followed by design + build.
Substantial worked closely with Block leadership, staff, and support teams and guided the company through the iterative processes of communication, collaboration, progress-tracking, prioritization, decision-making, and scoping.
To meet stakeholder needs for Direct, the app needed to do all of the following:
help homeowners feel confident about working with contractors directly
help contractors earn more by giving them tools like template designs that let them easily plan and manage renovations and projects
put contractors in touch with ready-to-purchase customers
reduce strain on internal staff and support services
promote positive relationships among all target groups
In-depth interviews and testing with employee stakeholders, contractors and homeowners informed app design and positively influenced internal processes including task assignment (manual vs automated); and efficiency.
By fostering a culture of asking questions, Substantial helped BLOCK launch a MVP in under four months while reducing load on staff resources.