I led the experience design team to deliver a customer support platform with strong ROI.

I was responsible for the end concept, workflow, and design on an app to support clients of TurnKey Vacation Rentals—a national property manager with 3,500 homes under management. This app decisively lowered the overall cost of supporting vacation rental owners while simultaneously delivering improved owner satisfaction.


Average number of incoming emails and phone calls saved per week


Improvement in resolution time for cases created on the project board


Increase in five-star ratings, for cases created on the project board

A rendering of the customer support app in desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile views. Three breakpoints were included in the final design spec.

The problem

TurnKey clients – owners of vacation rental properties – were often frustrated that they can’t easily assign tasks regarding their vacation rental directly to TurnKey. The current route to this was:

  • • A phone call, costly for TurnKey support and inconvenient for owners
  • • An email, which was difficult to track for both TurnKey and owners

The solution needed to be:

  • • Easier to track
  • • Generate lower support costs
  • • Result in higher NPS

We started by mapping the customer journey

First, we worked to understand the user's experience through interviews and surveys. Then we mapped their experience to our current service delivery through service design/journey maps. The result of this research was presented to the TurnKey leadership team as the first part of this project.

Next, we completed a competitive analysis to make sure we had a handle on best practices

We looked at industry favorites like ZenDesk, Intercom and others to get a sense of best practices for using customer support tickets as a communication tactic.

Lo-fi wireframes quickly brought the idea to life

We sketched ideas on paper and used MarvelApp to quickly create clickable prototypes. Working first with internal stakeholders, we quickly learned that users probably needed to see the case context even as they were submitting comments. Cases are often complex and people needed access to past comments as well as the case details while responding. After a few iterations, we were confident enough to start the process of user testing.

With customer feedback on lo-fi prototypes, we were able to dramatically lower the usability risk of this greenfield product.

I created a high fidelity prototype in Sketch and InVision for the development team

I led the design team in building out mock-ups for all screens and interactions of the application. We worked in tandem with the development team to iterate on needed workflows.

In the cases list view, an owner of a vacation rental can get an overview of all work done by TurnKey.

A case details view includes sections for case activity, photos, and a summary.

Connected to each "case details" are photos of the issue taken by the owner or TurnKey staff.

Owners can rate cases and communicate directly with the TurnKey field specialist performing the repair.

Case photos are integrated right into the communication stream so they're contextual and helpful.

Owners are given the opportunity to create support cases right in the "Owner dashboard."

We used Zeplin to create styleguides and to collaborate directly with developers.

After development was complete, the design group led a pre-alpha Design QA

The TurnKey design group leads this critical step in the development process. Designers hunt through the development app to see where the output deviates from the design spec. We record functional and aesthetic bugs in a development backlog.

We saw wins across a broad range of metrics, including a 9% gain in the all-important customer satisfaction "CSAT" metric.

CSAT, after
CSAT, before

This project resulted in a decisive win for TurnKey. It saved over 350 calls and emails to TurnKey account managers. Customer satisfaction is up an average of 9% versus other case origins. And cases created on the customer support app are now resolved in 32% less time—an incredible improvement and surely one of the reasons for the surge in satisfaction for those that use the tool.

I led the experience design team to build a client support app that delivered compelling ROI.

ClientTurnKey Vacation RentalsYear2018My workResearch, interviews, wireframes, high-fidelity mock-ups, design quality assurance

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