Remote focus groups were conducted to ascertain consumer pain-points of existing property portals for buyers and sellers at different stages of their property search. The idea was to generate enough qualitative and quantitive insights to highlight issues that we know currently exists on today's portals, and to ultimately innovate and create personalised user experiences for the user. Heat maps of the existing platform was another method to gain useful quantitive insights to monitor user behaviour. Through this data we were able to easily identify features that would immensely help serious property buyers and sellers and different stages of their journey. Each of these features would entail a full discovery, ideation, prototyping, user testing and ultimately delivering to OnTheMarket consumers.
Insights collated showed users clearly have desired preferences for when searching for properties and are often overwhelmed with the sheer amount of options presented. Moving into ideation for the core property search journey from the homepage, a number of concepts were explored from capturing as much property criteria upfront, presenting dynamic data on the locations they are searching in relation to the business products, showing social proof widgets such as quantity of properties sold in the area... to a simple location-only search entry point. Testing these concepts, despite innovating with dynamic data a simple location search entry was the preferred route saving the filters/dynamic information to be served at property results stage.
Lo-fidelity to high-fidelity prototypes were created of the end to end property search user journey. Bringing in different icons in the type ahead for the type of location (schools, stations etc) is just one example of creating a clear and concise user experience to identify the types of locations users can search within. This would become important as new product features (Travel Time Search, Street Search) are released. When the user lands on the property results page, along with the core filters bar which was reworked to allow for popular filters visible by default, we introduced dynamic information cards (Only With Us, Ask The Agent, Reserved Buyers List). These are all unique products to OnTheMarket and it was important for these to be easily accessible and discoverable. Interacting with these would combine the products into a single interactive carousel to give users more options when searching for properties.
Wish List is a new feature for OnTheMarket to allow consumers to list out criteria they want in their next home (Garage, open plan living space, swimming pool...). From deal-breakers to nice-to-haves, listing out up to 10 features during their property search, property results would sort accordingly clearly displaying those items on each property card. We know from user research users quickly scan property cards and bite-sized pieces of information. Making features feel more personable and relatable to what users are looking for enforces OnTheMarket's premise of delivering best in class experiences for serious property buyers.