Design a new product on Meta (Facebook) to Find Apartments
Facebook PM Interview: Product Design - Design a new product on Meta (Facebook) to Find Apartments
The primary responsibility of a product manager is to lead the vision, design, and development of a product. When a business decides to create a product, it is based on the recognition of a genuine customer need, one for which the customer is willing to pay. The product manager plays a crucial role in recognizing customer needs and steering the design and development of products that effectively address those needs.
This product design interview question assesses your comprehension of the process involved in transitioning from customer needs to product development. This process entails clearly defining the customer's identity and understanding what they aim to achieve. It also involves outlining various use case scenarios where the customer engages in activities related to the product, and subsequently, prioritizing the features to be developed.
What is the interviewer looking for?
The interviewer is gauging your performance based on the following:
Can you offer insightful observations about the customer and their requirements?
Are you capable of presenting a variety of use case scenarios that cover different aspects?
Is your response well-organized and coherent, or does it deviate from the main topic?
Do your solutions delve beyond superficial suggestions, offering in-depth descriptions?
Can you introduce unique ideas that set you apart from other candidates?
Does your demeanor convey confidence and credibility? Would your guidance be compelling to engineers and product professionals?
How to answer Product Design Questions?
Here is a step-by-step guide/framework, you should follow while answering product design interview questions:
Ask clarifying Questions to narrow the scope. (Q)
Define the Goal you want to achieve. (G)
List the User Segments and choose one segment to focus on. (U)
List and prioritize the Pain Points. (P)
List out your Solutions. (S)
Evaluate the solutions and prioritize them. (E)
Walk through the MVP & Define the Success Metrics (M)
Summarize your answer (S)
State which solution you would recommend.
Recap what the solution does and why it is beneficial.
Explain why you prefer this solution.
(PQ-GUP-SEMS) -> Mnemonic to help you remember the steps & their order.
Step 1. Ask Clarifying questions
Here are some clarifying questions,
Q1: What is the primary objective or goal of introducing a new product for Facebook to find apartments?
Is it to increase user acquisition, enhance user engagement, retention or drive sales revenue?
A1: It’s up to you to decide.
Q2: Is the focus on renting or selling apartments, or should the product cater to both scenarios?
A2: For the scope of this question, you can consider only renting.
Q3: Should the new product be integrated into the existing Facebook platform, or are we considering a standalone product?
A3: For the scope of this question, you can consider it to be integrated into the existing Facebook platform. Later we can think of having a separate platform.
Q4: Is there a specific target audience or region for the initial launch of this product?
A4: It’s up to you to decide.
Q5: Are there any existing features on Facebook related to real estate, and how does the new product complement or differentiate from them?
A5: Assume No.
Q6: Is the primary user interaction expected to be through a mobile app, or should it be accessible across various platforms?
A6: First launch can be in mobile app followed by all platforms.
Q7: Are there any specific business metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) that Facebook is aiming to achieve with this product?
A7: It’s up to you to decide.
Q8: What level of integration or collaboration with external real estate platforms or agencies is envisioned?
A8: It’s up to you to decide.
Q9: Are there legal or privacy considerations that should be taken into account in the design process?
A9: It’s up to you to decide and might depend on the types of features you are building.
Q10: Is there a particular timeframe for the development and launch of this product?
A10: Yes, there are time constrains.
Step 2: Define the Goal
The primary goal for Facebook in introducing a new product for finding apartments is to enhance user engagement and foster community-building by helping individuals discover homes that align with their preferences and lifestyle. By leveraging Facebook's extensive user data and social connections, the aim is to simplify the apartment search process, making it more personalized and community-oriented.
Increase average session duration and frequency of usage by providing a seamless and enjoyable apartment-search experience. Engaged users are more likely to explore the platform extensively, leading to higher retention rates and increased opportunities for monetization through advertising.
Attract and onboard a significant number of new users, particularly recent graduates and individuals relocating to new cities, by offering a user-friendly and personalized apartment discovery process. A robust user acquisition strategy will contribute to the growth of the user base and enhance the platform's reach, laying the foundation for sustained engagement and revenue generation.
Alignment with Facebook's Mission: The proposed goal aligns with Facebook's broader mission of giving people the power to build community and bringing the world closer together. By facilitating the search for apartments and creating communities based on shared living spaces, Facebook aims to strengthen social bonds and enhance the overall user experience.
Long-Term Vision: The long-term vision includes establishing the new product as a go-to platform for apartment search, setting the foundation for future expansion into related areas within the real estate market. Success will be measured not only by user engagement but also by the positive impact on communities and the seamless integration of the apartment-finding feature into the overall Facebook experience.
Step 3: User Segments:
At this step, list down the different user groups that are part of the ecosystem of the problem you’re solving for.
User groups should be distinct from each other and have unique characteristics. Here are some of the major user segments:
New City Dwellers (e.g., College Students):
Characteristics: Individuals moving to a new city for education or work, unfamiliar with the local real estate landscape.
Needs: Easy access to affordable housing, information on safe neighborhoods, opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals.
Changing Jobs or City (e.g., Mid-Aged Professionals):
Characteristics: Mid-aged professionals relocating for career opportunities, seeking convenient and comfortable living spaces.
Needs: Quick access to housing options, proximity to workplaces, information on local amenities and services.
Investment Seekers (e.g., Older Individuals):
Characteristics: Older individuals looking for real estate investments or retirement homes.
Needs: Insights into stable and appreciating property values, information on low-maintenance living, and proximity to healthcare facilities.
People Wanting to Rent Out (e.g., Property Owners):
Characteristics: Property owners interested in renting out their apartments.
Needs: Efficient listing tools, reliable tenant-matching services, and a straightforward rental process.
Focused Segment: For the initial phase, the primary focus will be on the New City Dwellers segment, specifically targeting College Students.
College students represent a demographic that is very high in number and frequently relocates to pursue higher education.
They face unique challenges, including limited knowledge about the new city, tight budgets, and a desire to connect with peers.
Addressing the needs of this segment aligns with Facebook's mission of community building, as students often seek shared living spaces and opportunities to make new friends.
Targeting this segment ensures a strategic entry point, allowing for the refinement of the platform based on their specific requirements before expanding to other user segments.
Step 4: Pain Points
Following are some of the Pain Points for College Students Seeking Apartments for Rent,