Imagine are one of Hertfordshire’s most successful, award winning estate agents. During the last recession, they expanded their operation whilst most other agents were contracting under the difficult circumstances. During this period I was helping them build on their success by building and maintaining their digital presence.
We originally worked on making Imagine one of the first Estate Agents to have a dedicated mobile digital presence, and they were eager for us to build on that success and make their main online presence a custom built, responsive offering for their site visitors.
Prior to commencing any work on the website, we used heatmap tracking software coupled with Google analytics data to see which areas of the website were visited by users and what they were using to navigate around. We found out some interesting things which allowed us to have a better plan as to how to implement the responsive design. It also showed us what wasn't being used, allowing us to streamline some parts of the website. We focused very heavily on user-flow to ensure that users got to the vital areas to achieve their goals and align them with the business goals, namely, find a property and request a viewing, register to join the Imagine mailing list and/or book a valuation of their current property.
Whilst carrying out competitor research for this redesign, we noticed some interesting trends in Estate Agency. Firstly, there seemed to be a trend of placing as much information and as many calls to action on to the homepage as is possible. We worked from the premise that this isn't a good thing.
Whilst we understood that our client wished to keep as much of their old content as possible, it was also important that visitors were allowed the space to breathe and focus on the task in hand. User testing confirmed this to be true with users managing to follow a very focused path to achieve their goals.
We used Mockflow for our wireframes and also for some of the planning for responsive container elements to aid with the build.
When we were sure that the product was ready to test, we used a hi-fidelity prototype to test with potential users and recorded their feedback. It was largely positive and several of the testers remarked how it felt like an app when testing the site on their phone.
It was then a case of completing a build, with a few minor amendments and then we went live.
Our client client has seen and increase in the number of sessions, a decrease in their bounce rate, an increased number of enquiries and an increase in the number of pages viewed by each site visitor. They are very happy with the work we completed for them.