Ken & Co Property Company has been serving the locals of Kuching, Sarawak since 2010. As a result of their reliability in picking the right properties for their audiences, they have been growing so quickly that their first choice of building content in a blog space could not handle their load. A decision had finally been made to make everything more efficient and automated. Kencoproperty.com was previously a blog site, and using the local platform called Mudah.my caused a few problems, especially their weak brand recognition. Moving to a standalone website would be the ideal solution.
I was responsible for the experience strategy and design of the Website platforms. I led the UX work between July 2016 and January 2017, creating all significant deliverables and presenting them to the client. I worked alongside a WordPress Developer who focused on the web development.
Although switching Kencoproperty.com to a personal website appears to better serve their audience, we believe that the most important factor would be the agents’ ability to complete their tasks effectively. After all, website visitors are reading the content they publish.
Very differently, locals always inquire about the land or property’s entire size before moving on to other information. They are more receptive to information when it comes from somebody they already know.
Data indicates that, despite the difficulty of locating the information online, people are willing to drop the call to the office or to an agent to retrieve the data. As part of the persona definition, I was able to speak with a few of the customers.
Some of the major obstacles they faced were the inability to use certain localised terms. Example; in Sarawak, most people measure land and area size in “points” rather than “square feet”.Other then that not all people uses smart phones often even certain young adults so there may be a challenge in educating our users.
A part from that, as a result of having a difficult time completing consistent content inputs, I noticed the current website contained some misleading information too. As a result, our potential prospects are unable to read the correct information instantly.
After analyzing our business goals and the collected data, I suggested that we focus on our major target audience now, which is 80% Sarawakians. We will be prepared for another upgrade if they plan on acquiring properties in other states in the future.
I also looked at other popular platforms to expand my understanding of what makes a good property website. Some takeaways included:
This website was critical in assisting Sarawakians property buyers in obtaining property information at a glance and directing them to the appropriate agent to assist them further.
We believe that our primary goal is to improve local user usability that is safe and accurate.
Spending two days with the agents to go over their day-to-day activities helped us gain a better understanding of the challenges they were encountering. I created a “I want” list for each agent that detailed their personal struggles and the influence work has had on their lives.
Uncertainty over the platform’s content input was a primary source of their problems. Considering the appropriate title for each listing or re-writing the amenities list for each property numerous times are just two examples where they would spend additional time for their management task.
“We’re looking for something that’s easy to use and doesn’t require a second thought. Repetitive tasks can be automated with little effort.”
An on-the-spot interview was conducted at the mall’s booth show unit. We had a 10-15 minute conversation with each person to take notes on the common questions asked by locals. The mannerisms or specific words used during the conversation.
“For us to understand what we’re looking for, we need something simple and straightforward.”
For those who had come into contact with us that day, I later sent out a survey asking for their feedback on the third-party platform that Ken&Co Property had been using.
According to user input, 60% of individuals are unsure about how specific elements should be used. For example, most locals are baffled by the hamburger icon when a website gets responsive because it represents the menu on a smaller screen. They use a computer rather than their phone to access the material.
Based on the research conducted as described above. The diagram below is the process reference we will use for the entire project process.It is never too old to lay out the fundamental expectations for stakeholders and the development team using a simple diagram.
I developed personas and empathy maps based on the groups of people I had met in order to identify a clear visual representation of my users’ needs and expectations. Considering that the target audience for this website will be property asset buyers and real estate agents, It is very clear that the most key parts will be the ability for agents to input the relevant information and for potential buyers to locate the assets they require.
While incorporating secondary research and using our competitors as a reference point, it is a growing trend for real estate websites to enable users to begin their search with a general intent and add specifics as needed. Simplifying the form may seem straightforward and easy to access, but it was a surprising discovery that this was not the case for our local users.
I conducted short research using two different types of forms to evaluate the user experience and the time required to obtain the desired result. This has assisted us in determining which features should be retained, added, and removed.
The solution for defining the form’s final elements would be to use the 5Qs.
After two weeks of launching our product, our KPI increased by 10%. According to user feedback and interviews, the issue may not lie in having too few or too many options, but rather in asking the right questions.
The first version of the form used by real estate agents to create listings was designed in progressive steps. I realized that agents were unable to consistently input the content format, which led to various confusion among our users. Agent’s failure to publish their listings more than three to four times per day was the primary reason for my involvement in this section.
To resolve this issue, I focused on the agent’s behavior toward the create listing form filling experience. Failure frequently occurred among agents who primarily perform their tasks on mobile devices. The screen size has affected their focus on additional steps required to successfully create a listing. This resulted in their having to repeat the steps multiple times.
The implemented design solution was to place the form’s sequence on a single page. Agents are more confident in their ability to complete each form effectively if they are able to fill in each section without having to switch between screens for double-checking. The fact that the page will be very long when scrolled has not caused as much concern as we expected, due to the fact that arranging it according to the scrolling has helped agents concentrate on the core content. The effectiveness of this design solution was demonstrated by the fact that agents have had no trouble gaining access to it since its implementation, and publishing failures have decreased to zero.