Journey-based content experience for the Australian property market

The property journey — especially for first home buyers — can be complicated. There is a lot of jargon floating around, and many parties like brokers, agents, or banks have to be coordinated. Since May 2019, the realestate.com.au Home Loans website offers a dedicated content experience and guidance for all relevant property journeys.

The new article tiles on realestate.com.au/home-loans

The problem

The realestate.com.au Home Loans website exists since 2017, and content has grown exponentially over time. Most of the users arrive on the site via SEO (and social marketing). The goal for the optimisation project was to keep them longer on the site, by offering them better content at the right time.

My process

Navigation. I analysed all the articles and existing information architecture. Together with product management and the SEO team, I defined the new sub-navigation for the content section.

Page templates. The content already consisted of an entry page, category pages, and article pages. There was no immediate need to create a new hierarchy. Since most users arrive directly on article pages, the user experience for pages higher up on the hierarchy is not that essential. But the entry and category pages had to be highly optimised for Google’s robot.

My main focus for improvements was on the article pages, where other articles are recommended based on the users’ journeys (e.g. more articles targeting investors, if they read an investment article).

Article tiles. The old experience offered a very minimal selection of modules that authors could use. After reviewing the existing articles and inputs from user research, I developed a concept that allowed more variety for presenting links to content, such as tiles for quotes, tips, or calculators.

The solution

The sub-navigation now clearly reflects the main segments realestate.com.aum Home Loans are targeting:

  • First home buyers
  • Next home buyers (or upgraders/downgraders)
  • Investors

In addition to these segments, we established the following topics that can happen at any time during the journeys above. And finally, the Home loan basics section houses all the generic articles about taxes, lingo and background info that can be important for people.

  • Refinancing
  • Selling
  • Home loan basics

With mobile users navigating the site in mind, I developed a concept for in-page navigation that shows the segments on the landing page — without the need for opening the off-canvas / hamburger navigation.

Every article tile shows the article’s category with a specific colour code. The idea behind this concept was to keep the user engaged with relevant content for a longer time. This is supported by the recommendation of similar articles from the same category on the article detail page. No longer does the user have to scroll through a list of unrelated articles — our recommendations are more targeted and stay within the established context.

The three new page templates.

Right now, the article recommendations are hand-made (with a default fall-back of the author hasn’t defined them). In the future, I’d like to hook these recommendations up to Adobe Target, so that the experience becomes fully customised and users get even better recommendations based on their previous history.

All in all, the new design feels more contextual and lighter. This makes the topics more inviting for exploration and discovery by people.

Experience it here: https://www.realestate.com.au/home-loans/guides

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Bjorn Amherd

Bjorn Amherd

Product design lead. In the last 20+ years, I successfully delivered concepts for carsales, REA, Myer, HESTA, Bunnings, Optus, Fisher & Paykel and many more.