Copyright © 2020 Cheyenne Ismailciuc

The real estate social networking start-up innovates the way agents and consumers interact to buy, rent, and sell properties. The differentiation is in their focus to combine social network elements to the search experience.

Timeline

Role

Tools

January 2019 - March 2019 (3 Months)

UX/UI Designer

Pen & Paper, Illustrator, Adobe XD

Understanding the business needs as well as the customer pain points, I touch on every aspect of the design process to address the problem space.

Background

 

Problem 

"Hey Cheyenne: The majority of our users who reach the main page don't sign up. They interact and navigate into deeper parts of the site but how can we increase our ability to gain user acquisition?"

With an overflow of information, users engage with the landing page and within HOMEiZ' site but do not go through the sign-up process. Only 1 in every 20 people who visit the site sign up, so our goal was to improve acquisition rates.

 

First, I studied the site's current homepage and took note of its extended scroll and content overload. Knowing these design decisions, I've challenged them to their competitors' homepage designs.

Analyzing the top three social network homepages and two renowned real estate portals, I compared their page layouts and studied their objectives to better formulate a successful solution. 

Research

As referenced, the diagrams suggest that a split-screen is an effective element for social network homepages to boldly state their objectives and to direct users to sign up to their platform. Layouts for real estate portals also focus on stating objectives but have more interest in users engaging with property searches.

Understanding the differentiating factors of the two, it provides insight on how to successfully and cohesively utilize both layouts to create a 2-in-1 homepage design for HOMEiZ.

 

After aligning the business objectives, I analyzed the different user groups that would frequently engage on the site.

Personas

Mike, Residential Real Estate Agent

Attributes            Negotiates and arranges real estate transactions,

Loves helping people find their new home

Goal                   Wants an easier way to network with clients

Pain Points         Communication with clients is often scattered

BridgetteHome Buyer (Consumer)

Attributes            Recently moved to Los Angeles and looking to buy a home, 

Works as a certified nurse practitioner

Goal                   Wants to find her dream home for her family

Pain Points        Too busy with work and is unfamiliar with the area

RichardHome Seller (Consumer)

Attributes            Lived in Los Angeles for 35 years,

Looking to downsize home after retiring

Goal                   Wants to sell his home at a reasonable price

Pain Points        Unsure how to put his home up for listing

 

Wireframing

Understanding the elements I could incorporate, I decided to create different, efficient ideations of a 2-in-1 homepage design with a focus on gaining users and providing property search options.

 

To validate our assumptions from our competitive analysis, we conducted two sets of A/B Testings: one, we tested other layouts apart from the split-screen design, and two, we compared several different split-screen layouts. Continuing through the process, we gathered some insights.

A/B Testing

First Round 

Second Round 

01.

02.

03.

User signed ups were higher with the split-screen design, reaching 12% above the search properties design and 4% above the sign-up homepage.

Users were 7x more likely to click through the site from the homepage and leave between the search properties and sign-up focused designs.

Users were ½x more likely to sign-up on the split-screen design that both distinguishes the divide between property search and sign-up journeys while also eliminating any unnecessary background graphics.

 

I then identified the visual constraints to be applied to the layout, adhering to HOMEiZ' specific color schemes and rounded shapes to stay consistent with their trustworthy, transparent identity.

Design

 

Solution

By utilizing the split-screen design, the homepage provides users a simple login journey while showcasing the real estate search experience, which better communicates HOMEiZ' objectives and showcases the impactful offerings of the product.

This project with the HOMEiZ team challenged my collective research and my layout design abilities. I took my time to understand how to create a compelling balance between the real estate search experience and the user login journey while gathering my research from the best sources. Through this experience, I collaborated with the team and learned how to generate a user experience within the scope of the real estate industry. I would have liked to further my research and gain a better understanding as to why these layouts make a significant impact in the social networking and real estate markets. Also, I would have liked to take more time studying the blue colors; being a friendly color used across many platforms, it would be interesting to attribute the color's purpose in my research. As for design, I would have liked to test more layout variations with the team and work out what benefits the design and what is taking away from it. Having a note of that, I personally would have liked to emphasize more simplicity within the design and constrain its needs.

 

Even though I prefer to continue putting effort into this exciting project, I know my employer is exceedingly happy with the work I have produced. Through the collaboration with this team, I've learned how to challenge my design knowledge through the scope of real estate, and we produced a homepage that achieves the message of trust and transparency.

Reflection

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