REALTOR.COM IOS APP

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Overview

Realtor.com once was a leader in Real Estate search but became stagnant, and companies like Zillow and Redfin took over the market.  After the News Corp acquisition, there was a lot of people who join the team and was an exciting time for the company. 

My Role

As the senior designer assigned to the iOS properties (iPhone, iWatch and Apple TV) I was responsible for pushing user-centered decisions, designing solutions, pitching, and ensuring quality. This was a highly collaborative role between product, engineering, marketing, and design. 

 

Design Process

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Step one:  Collect information from all the teams and immerse my self in data, what all our competitors were doing, and reviews from our previous app. 
Step two: Prioritize and a developed a plan of attack with product management, engineering.
Step three: Explore solutions to problems. 
Step four: Test solutions through online testing or in the lab using a prototype. 
Step five: Pitch plan of attack and solutions to stakeholders at our twice-weekly cross-functional meetings. 
Step six: Define and assemble designs for seamless handoff. 
Final step: QA and define improvements for future iterations based on user feedback, A/B testing and design roadmap. 

 

Goals

  1. Remove the home screen
  2. Map based home search experience
  3. Introduce rentals
  4. Increase revenue
  5. Begin to target a younger user-base
  6. Modernize dated visual design
  7. Build a strong foundation for the future

The Challenge

We had a companion app on the app store which was delivering impressive KPI’s. When I started, there were some assumptions that the Express app would improve the business. It was decided to ship Express as a replacement for the core app because of time constraints ignoring what our existing users and studies were telling us. 

 

Who else has solved these or similar problems?

I preformed my own Competitive evaluations on how competitors and the smaller disrupters approached search, filtering, onboarding, map interactions and much more.  

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A framework to house the features our users loved

The Express app launched you into a map with pins showing the homes around your current location — That's about all it did.  I needed to work out a way to introduce rentals, saved searches, notifications, advanced filters, and much more overtop of what was essentially just a map — challenge accepted.

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Improved discoverability of re-engagement features

Introduced recent searches and saved searches into the search experience.

 
 
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Power through filtering

One of the primary differentiators for realtor.com over the years was the number of listings and the quantity of accurate data. I sorted the filters by importance, put the price, beds, bath and home size on the initial view and then divided the remaining filters between, home features, lot features, and community feature.

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Significantly Increased the number of search results viewed per session

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Increased the number of homes per session

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Perception of speed

The transition from a blurred map background into the map experience which displayed homes for sale around the user's current location. This approach allowed us to put the realtor.com brand front and center while we fetched the listings. This minimal transition improved the perception of speed and also helped set expectations for our users who were not accustomed to a map-based search experience.

 
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Result

The c-sat score went from 20 to above 85 in 2 1/2 months. 
2x Home views/visit
Millions of dollars saved

Sometimes it's the simple things that get the most significant results — We all know that listening to our users, creating a collaborative team environment, and shipping minimally viable solutions frequently is the path to great products. This approach was responsible for a meeting our goals and recovered a few million dollars in the process. 

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