My assistant director, Duncan Shea, approached me about this research in Spring of 2019 as he was getting ready to launch a new website platform for AppFolio.
The object was to discover our customer's goals with having property pages on their websites and assess if we could improve these pages on the new platform.
I was tasked with interviewing existing website customers to better understand their reasons for having property pages, and then to assess and redesign the page templates on the new platform based on my findings.
31 existing website customers contacted for an interview
8 research calls conducted using script I wrote and worked on with AppFolio's UX research team
Responses assessed and grouped into themes using excel spreadsheet
Devised actionable solutions based on themes
Designed 3 new templated page layouts for website onboarding team to use on new platform
Three full page layouts were designed and saved to the website team's sections on the new platform. The sections allow the team to click which page they want to use and propagate it on their design.
The designs included features specifically referenced in responses to the interview questions. Some features included a map of the property's area, list of amenities, and important property information such as bed/bath count and square footage clearly displayed above the top fold.
Through my interviews, I also learned that the website team and our customers were speaking different languages when it came to communicating about their website design.
Most importantly, our team was referring to these pages as "Featured Properties" which our customers found confusing. More often than not, customers wanted pages created for all of the properties in their portfolio, not just a select few. For this reason, we encouraged the team to adopt "Property Pages" as the term used moving forward.
The website team had also been using "vacancies" to describe the available listings for a property or multiple properties. What I learned was that customers had a negative connotation with the word "vacancy" and preferred to use "availability" or "apply now" for call to action buttons.