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Customer Story: SuzanneStays

by Yianni Stergou, Mar 27, 2019

SuzanneStays is a real estate platform specialising in accessible accomodation. Their vision is to enable everyone to holiday away from home, no matter their restrictions. From late 2018 to early 2019 WorkingMouse helped co-founders Michael, Suzanne and Paul build the platform. Like many new businesses, SuzanneStays was created to fill a gap in the market. Often, accomodation providers advertise ‘disabled accomodation’ but rarely are these accomodation options actually fully accessible.

Backstory

Suzanne and Michael met in November 1993, and share a common passion for travel and adventure. In December 2017 Suzanne was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND/ALS). Like many people faced with the fatal diagnosis, Suzanne created her bucket list which featured predominantly family travel, and adventures she still wanted to enjoy. Whilst travelling around the world it became obvious that there are many variations on the term ‘accessible’ and ‘wheelchair friendly.’ In addition to that, there was no easy way to search for only accessible accomodation. For these two reasons, Michael and Suzanne along with business partner Paul engaged WorkingMouse to create their vision for SuzanneStays.

The Scope

The scope began with an overarching vision “enable the disabled to holiday away from home.”  This vision was fed into everything the team designed and subsequently built. The paramount focus was to allow everyone to holiday away from home without the stress of wondering whether equipment will be delivered or something is truly accessible.
The project team consisted of Jordie Peters (Squad Lead), Nicola D’Andrea (UX Designer), Blake Lockett (Web Developer), Lissy Lawrence (Tools Developer).

Design Considerations

The design needed to be focused around humans. We wanted people to be excited about holidaying. As a result, we created a ‘build a holiday’ wizard for people that know they want to go on holiday but haven’t decided where to go or what to do.
The other key consideration when designing SuzanneStays was acknowledging that we need a highly accessible website. Semantic HTML was a priority along with a top menu bar that allows users to increase or decrease the text size and switch into high contrast mode. A floating navigation menu was implemented on every property profile page.

The Platform

As with many software projects, the platform evolved and grew organically from the initial vision. The core components of SuzanneStays is creating an initial interest for holidaying - achieved through the build a holiday wizard. Then showing different accomodation options with a detailed description of their accessibility and room configurations. The booking wizard stages users through the process of selecting their holiday dates, configuring the room setup and paying for the holiday. Users can then see their upcoming trips and are reminded through emails. 
SuzanneStays is predicated on two sides of the market coming together; people looking for accessible accomodation and people able to provide that accomodation. To tailor to two sides of the market, we created two portals. This second portal stages property owners through the process of taking their current property, assessing whether any changes are required to make it accessible, facilitating those changes and finally, listing their property on SuzanneStays. It is a singular view of where the property owner is at in the on boarding process.

The Future

SuzanneStays launches this Thursday, the 28th of March. On the immediate roadmap the company plans to grow their property base and engage with the growing user base. In the future, the platforms offering and list of features will grow to engage an increasing demand.
Knowing the product owners (Michael, Suzanne and Paul) as well as the problem SuzanneStays seeks to address, we are delighted to see the result of the entire team’s hard work coming to fruition. We will be with them at every stage of the journey. 

Check out some of our other customer stories.