Zillow’s Home Values page had been generating significant SEO and referral traffic for years before I was brought in to redesign it. Though the page ranked high for important search terms, the bounce rate was significant and users were not discovering other content from Zillow as hoped. It also wasn’t clear that the page was providing the educational benefits that it was designed to communicate.
I started by running the existing page through competitive analysis with users to see where it was falling short. Research participants viewed the current version as very powerful but overly complex and users were intimidated by all the options available to them. Our competitors scored higher by presenting information that was less dense and more editorial in nature which led to the perception of better usability.
One key finding from the study was that users were not engaging with the chart controls on the current page because they deemed them too complex. My solution was to break the page into four main sections, each one based around a specific data set and a chart representing the data.
To address the high bounce rate I included merchandising modules that showed a low, mid, and high priced example listing specific to the area being searched. Previous studies had shown users engage with home listings more than any other type of content on Zillow and the relationship to the data seemed like a natural fit.
The new page also introduced several new visualizations that were designed to more simply convey complex information about the state of a regions housing market and a map to help users understand what region the data was related to.
The new page tested significantly better at communicating the state of a regions housing market and the bounce rate went down roughly 15% versus control. Users loved the new section summaries and were much more likely to scroll to explore more versus the old design that required updating controls to view the data.