Posted by: jimmydlg | February 9, 2009

I didn’t find a whole lot of useful Roommate Websites, which is a very encouraging result. Below I’ve listed the sites I did find that have features I may want to consider using or emulating myself.

http://www.roommates.com/
This site seems to have a very compact look and feel. Like most other roommates sites it had a QuickView or QuickSearch control on the left panel. It does seem a little busy though, and I can’t imagine the random “Roommate Pick” on the front page would ever be of use.

Strongest Feature: The messaging application built into the site has the look and feel of an email program. That makes it seem intuitive to use and familiar.

http://www.roommateclick.com/
This site was pretty slow to load, but it has an interesting home page.  They have a quick search bar on the front page, whic some extra controls for creating profiles, which seems nice. This site is very minimalistic, and the profile displays are very consise.

Strongest Feature: The search results are very compact and show the user quickly how many results were found and let them easily browse through the results. Also there’s a “send interest” options which informs the other person you’re interested, but doesn’t require you to type messages or anything.

http://www.easyroommate.com/index.aspx
The front page seems clean and consitently styled. This site has pictures of the newest rooms and roommates, but again, I’m not sure region specific items on the home page of a site that may have 30 or 40 regions is all that useful. It’s pretty, and it takes up space, but it doesn’t do much more than that. The new roommate and rooms counter is nice, it shows the site is busy and if it’s busy that means there may be more traffic if you’re in the process of looking.

Strongest Feature: The results option shows you matches that have been set up by you when you created the account with a pre-set of criteria, but it also allows you to modify those slightly in case you don’t have enough matches.

http://www.roomster.com/
Again, pictures and profiles on the home page, not so interesting. The navigation bar on this site is very minimalistic, I like that and intend to use one similar. There’s also an “Answer my questions” section where people can post their own custom questions, I kind of like that. The profile seems a little busy, but some of it looks auto-generated, which could be kind of interesting to use. It would give the profile more body and make it more interesting to read.

Strongest Feature: Popular Cities are listed right on the home page. If I’m browsing from one of them, I think I’d be much more likely as a user to click on them and begin viewing the site’s offering faster than if I had to fill out a search box.

http://www.roommatenation.com/
Well, this is an example of a site I wouldn’t want to use any features from. Although, I do like that you can get right to the profiles before signing up, and then sign up once you’ve found something interesting. This site is a perfect example why my idea should exist, there is so much “noise” on this site, and it looks like some of the profiles may be really old. I’ll want to be sure to only show active profiles, or profiles that have been used only recently.

Strongest Feature: Well.. it serves as a good example of what NOT to do I think.

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Responses

  1. I’d have to go with roommates.com or roommateclick myself, they seem to have some of the simplest layouts and more inviting looks of your options. The bottom two (roomster and roommatenation) look really poor, makes me think that the roommates they provide would be pretty drab. However, the “answer my questions” section of roomster has promise, if it was taken farther I like the idea of open questions that can be answered by anyone.

    I agree that the random “roommate pick” of roommates.com is absolute pointless – why would I use such a tool when Craigslist offers the same tool for free?


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