Free Website Tips
Recent Twitter Posts
An Olathe, Kansas Home Buying Expedition
I have recently spent a little too much of my free time looking around different home buying websites. After many hours spent on such sites, I find myself having an ever increasing pain at how poor some of the sites are, so this is me sharing my pain with you!
First, some statistics. According to Google, about 4,400 people a month search for the phrase "Olathe homes" and about 1,900 people a month search for "Olathe homes for sale". That is a ton of searches. For the purposes of this analysis, I am going to be looking at the top 10 sites when searching for "Olathe homes for sale" on Google and looking at the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly parts of each.
The Good: clean design, simple main navigation, clear presentation of home info
The Bad: overwhelming option selection section, lots of wasted space on list pages, bad default sort selection
The Ugly: way too many ads cluttering the design and overwhelming information blocks on home pages
The Good: great design, simple navigation, good information presentation
The Bad: search filtering system is not intuitive and is difficult to use
The Ugly: house info pages are a little too long, no map view on list pages
The Good: great design, simple naviation, great search filters
The Bad: house info pages are too long
The Ugly: design is very plain
The Good: great map, great search filters, great information presentation
The Bad: cannot switch to list view instead of map
The Ugly: slow to load because of map
|5||Yahoo Real Estate|
The Good: simple design, clean controls
The Bad: not enough search options
The Ugly: cluttered header, map is very useless
|6||Jason Brown Premier Realty Group|
The Good: clean header
The Bad: way too many navigation items and way too much continuous text
The Ugly: site look is outdated, no graphical appeal, difficult to find info
The Good: clear navigation, simple search filters, great house info pages
The Bad: list pages are very bland
The Ugly: map looks horrible
|8||AOL Real Estate|
The Good: good search filters, simple design
The Bad: design is very plain, not enough details
The Ugly: broken search filter
The Good: good information
The Bad: difficult to navigate, primary features hidden
The Ugly: just links to other sites, horrible graphical design
The Good: clear navigation, simple design
The Bad: design is very bland, way too much text
The Ugly: website looks very old, flashing text, poor graphical design
- trulia and Zillow do the best job of present very complex information in an attractive and easy to use format, but even they have room to improve on their design.
- Websites must continue to update their designs and features to keep up with the latest trends online. If they don't, they will end up being left behind like Jason Brown Realty, HomeGain, and Realty Executives have been.
- When you have tons of options/information, you should try to determine what elements are critical to the user's experience, and all other information should be hidden in collapsable sections (like trulia, Zillow, and others do).
- When dealing with complex sets of information, people will pick the website that has the best usability. Simplicity wins (just ask Apple)!
- Websites that make money on ads must be very careful that their ads do not detract from the users' experience on their site. Ideally, their adds will actually improve the experience. Zillow does the best job of this.
Has your website been surpassed by your competitors? Do you have a complicated user experience that you are trying to simplify? Contact us and we'll help you out.