Domain owns AllHomes, a real estate product with a loyal customer base that hadn’t seen a website change in over eight years. Needless to say, in usability testing customers weren’t that receptive to big changes. Working as a close-knit remote team, we delivered a three-step rollout plan that improved the two main user tasks: searching to buy and browsing to see what’s happening in your suburb.
Heatmaps and feedback forms showed that this gradual approach worked, as users cut their task time from six minutes to three.
I was across Android, iOS and responsive web.
AllHomes had to cater to two audiences that had an almost 50/50 split. The most frequent customer base was tyre-kickers, people who were bored at work and wanted to see what was coming up in their area. The secondary customer was someone who was looking to rent or buy in the immediate future.
We needed a homepage that placed equal emphasis on both experiences without being overwhelming.
I created ideal user journeys and broke them down into three responsive iterations.
For each stage, I ran usability tests in cafes and offices in Canberra, where most of the customer base lived. I also monitored feedback, tracked metrics and ran design critiques.
The design had to be absolutely delightful in order to ease customers into the new experiences, so the visual designer and I created some beautiful but not intrusive interactions, like 3D house walkthroughs in VR, smarter image loading and shortcuts to AllHomes’ most used features.
During product validation, I found that the real estate agent profiles could be cumbersome to update, so we created automatically updated dynamic content to reduce the overload on the agent.
Instead of customers baulking at a sudden change, they adapted to the simplified user flows. Customers ended up spending less time on the site but were able to complete their tasks faster.