A peer-to-peer rental platform

The problem:

Millennials aren’t buying homes. More so than past generations, they’re rentingand it’s not just homes; it’s cars, music, and workspaces, too. With less permanent living situations and space, people wish they could rent instead of buy things that they don’t foresee using very often.

The solution:

We created a peer-to-peer rental platform that gives people access to things that they occasionally need and would prefer not to buy. On the flip side, the platform gives people the opportunity to monetize things they own and don’t use daily.

Three people

My role:
UX research, UX design, UX writing, UI design
Adobe XD, InVision, Miro, Trello



We interviewed five people to learn if they would be interested in using a peer-to-peer rental platform. If they were, we wondered, how would they use it? What kinds of things would they rent? How would they like it to work? What are their biggest concerns?

User Insight

Everyone we interviewed was interested in using a peer-to-peer rental platform, either to rent things that they’d prefer not to buy or to rent out their own things to generate extra income. Naturally, people were concerned about how other people would treat their stuff, which was something we definitely needed to think about in terms of our rental process.

"I’d prefer to rent an expensive camera lens and try it out before buying it."

"In the music community, people often need to borrow specific guitars or amps just for certain live shows or to record an album. This platform would make that easier."

"Are people going to take proper care of my stuff? Am I going to get it back?"

User Persona

Based on our interviews, we created a user persona, Jane Stevens, who we kept in mind as we went on to design our peer-to-peer rental platform. 


Here, we visualize how Jane finds Trellis and uses it to find a drill that she needs to hang a giant photograph of her cat. 


With no limit on what people could rent out on our site, we realized our taxonomy could quickly become very complicated. Based on what we learned people would be interested in renting, we came up with broad categories. We then recruited four people to participate in a card sort exercise, in which they were instructed to place items into categories or make new ones if necessary. It was a valuable exercise, as our initial categories were not as intuitive as we thought.

User Flow Diagram

Before sketching our pages, we created a user flow diagram to map out all of the steps that Jane would need to take to find and rent a drill.


After sketching pages, we created low-fidelity wireframes to prototype and test on users. In this iteration, people had no trouble finding and renting a drill.

Style Guide

We decided to go with a simple, clean design, especially considering all of the (not so professional) photos of stuff that will live on the site. The green colors are a nod to the environmentally friendly nature of a peer-to-peer rental platform that discourages traditional consumerism and promotes a circular economy.

Testing and Iteration

We prototyped our high-fidelity mockups with the addition of a third-party delivery option to address security concerns and provide an option for greater convenience. Through user testing, we discovered that our integration of that feature was flawed. We went back to the drawing board, literally, and came up with a new flow that made more sense. Instead of choosing a delivery option in the request phase, a borrower waits for the owner to accept their request and then the two of them organize drop-off, pick-up, or Trellis delivery through our messaging feature.

Final Prototype

Final Thoughts

  • We really enjoyed working on this project together. We had some healthy internal debates about aspects of our design and made good use of whiteboards, windows, and sticky notes to work through our challenges.
  • We would love to make Trellis a functioning site because we believe, through research, that we have uncovered a real need that our platform can address.