The project was developed for a leading real estate digital platform in France. The company brings together more than a dozen agents from different regions. Users can filter the properties by region, price, property type, and other important metrics. France4u has been in the real estate industry for 20 years but there was never room for evaluating user experience and design research. The original platform was developed intuitively and usability hasn’t been thought of originally.
My research applied to products in online real estate marketplaces with a main focus on middle prices properties. However France4U platform lists luxury housing as well, and the new UX and UI had to appeal to both target audiences. I analysed the top ranking real estate agency websites specifically in France. It let me plan new design changes and branding updates that were needed for France4U to stand out.
Each customer request can be individually adapted to their needs, and preferences when buying real estate. So it is important to get as much information from the user to create a better tailored offer for them.
Buying housing online can be confusing and I had an opportunity to improve user experience and make sure that user can understand right away advantages of a certain house listing, and most important details of each.
The feedback that we received from users of the older platform was that it was hard to find needed listings because all pages looked too overcrowded, with no hierarchy and page structure. In particular, detailed single housing pages had so much information that it was hard to easily understand it and make a purchase decision.
The platform’s base coding language was selected already and the goal was to implement a new design without breaking original technologies it was build on. The design had to be made from several blocks that can be mixed and matched by their team. In-house team of France4u is able to modify the pages themselves and create new ones thanks to such custom solution.
Another challenge was to make sure that UX and visual design can be attractive to non tech savvy users. The main real estate buyers are in suburban and countryside areas of the regions. The platform has high focus on such regions.
For the rebrand it was important to represent France business values and to stay true to who they are. I referenced original company logo in the new branding, but gave it a more modern feel. Both branding and platform design were developed in minimalist style. This style highlights premium housing that France4u showcases and the quality services the company provides for their customers.
The main goal for platform redesign and UX update was to make it functional, easy to use and modify, while still keeping trendy UI. I focused on updating the user experience and making it easier to browse houses listings, as well as articles with information about different regions in France.
A solid design system was developed and implemented in all business areas, ranging from marketing, branding to UI/UX. This major design update can be used in the long run by France4u and their internal team & agents.