If you have ever tried to find flatmates, you are probably familiar with the likes of Craigslist and WG-Gesucht. Finding a flat or flatmates there is as fun as filing your taxes. We wanted to turn the necessity of finding a room into something pleasant: an app that puts humans and their spaces first.

What it does

Whether you are seeking a room or someone new for your flat share, you get an awesome profile on FLATM8. Everybody can swipe on potential roommates and flats, and if it's a match you get to chat. Your personal data and the exact location of your flat are kept private until you agree to share it. The cards you can swipe are selected by our intelligent matchmaking engine, based on your preferences and your past swipes—the more you swipe, the better its gets! FLATM8 makes it easy to add stunning virtual reality imagery. Do you have a cardboard viewer? That makes for an even more immersive VR experience.

How we built it

We started with mockups and iterative prototypes in Adobe Experience Design CC. We built the frontend in pure web technologies and still managed to deliver the experience and reliability of a native app. For the backend, we used Python and the Django framework as well as machine learning libraries.

Challenges we ran into & accomplishments that we're proud of

Creating a web app that feels like a native app was quite a challenge. We found the card swipe gestures and the VR integration especially tricky, but we're really proud of the result!

What we learned

We had a great time applying project management techniques, something we plan on doing more going forward. Creating and discussing prototypes proved to be a great way to set expectations and have a vision to focus on.

What's next for FLATM8

There’s so much more we would like to do with FLATM8. We think it delivers a great value and some people would like to pay for a premium tier. The VR experience is something we could expand to entire apartments. Swiping together is way more fun and we'd like to implement that, too. And we believe FLATM8 is a great platform that can work for other types of real estate.

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