Reflection Point: Design Patterns & Flows on Zillow.com
“Zillow is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help.”
Purchasing a home is a big decision. It’s only logical to want a comfortable experience in which you feel in complete control while searching for your dream home. I occasionally browse the internet looking at real estate sites in hopes to find a potential winner of my own. I’ve found that Zillow provides the best experience for my browsing habits based on the design and flow of the site.
Here is the typical flow of my experience on the site.
- I quickly punch in “zillow.com”
- Sign in (connect with Facebook)
- Search my city
- Set some search filters or use saved search preferences from a past search
- Save a few listings
- Visit my page of saved homes
- Settle on a listing I want to learn more about
- Enter my contact info to hear from an agent
Zillow has created a logical user flow in which I feel like I am funneled down to the appropriate content at the appropriate point in the process. I am able to avoid listings that don’t interest me and zero in on the details that are most meaningful to me.
Zillow is able to cue these flows and interactions with well executed design patterns. The massive amounts of real estate information on the site are easily navigated with a few common patterns that most every user is experienced with.
When you are planning to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a purchase, you are going to be EXTREMELY particular. For that reason, Zillow’s search filters are one of the most important features on the site. They take a common approach to designing filters for listing type, price, number of bedroom, home type, and more.
As I filter through results, I’m able to view some card style listings showing snippets of content about individual properties. A basic photo and a few lines of information help me decide whether or not the listing is worth digging into.
Individual listings contain large amounts of information regarding the property’s amenities, expenses, history, and more. Zilllow uses an accordion design to make all of this information more digestible. I’m able to show, hide and breakdown content as it suits me needs.
Each listing contains some utility options to further control your experience. While I typically just use the save feature, there are also options the share, hide, print the listing and more.
Once I feel interested in taking the next step with a property, there is a common contact form available to get in touch with an agent. I’m able to easily enter my name, phone number, email address, and a short message in the input fields. I click the call to action so that the representing agent will contact me with more details.