My role: Product design manager
Team: 1 product designer, 2 researchers, 1 PM, 1 engineering lead
Duration: 6 months
From previous research we knew that 86% of people shopping for homes on Zillow were shopping with a partner. We had shipped an MVP to enable co-shopping a couple years ago, but it was not a complete feature and didn’t do much to improve the quality of the experience for our users. We knew we wanted to try again.
Our research team launched a usability study of the existing feature and discovered several mid to high severity usability issues with the current experience. The entry point and value prop were not clear, and the feature did not allow partners to share any context about why they liked or disliked a particular home. Taking the findings from the study we mapped the current experience to the customer journey of shopping with a partner.

Customer journey of shopping with a partner

As we began the design process it became clear scope was going to be one of the challenging aspects of this project. We had many feature ideas but needed to focus our limited development resources to try and ship something that would move the experience forward.
Working with a content strategist we simplified the value props, reduced the amount of low value emails we were sending, and reduced the friction of adding a shopping partner. To increase the value of connecting accounts we explored ways for the users to share more context about a home more quickly and easily inside the app.

Updated email designs

Our solution was to better integrate with the way users were already sharing homes by giving them an easy place to add tags to share what they liked with their partner. We also redesigned the saved homes section of the app to better display user generated tags to make shared content more visible and actionable.

The updated design had some features cut due to resource constraints but initial user metrics were encouraging. There was a large increase to tag usage due to increased visibility and a reduction in email unsubscribes. We were happy with the initial results and have a solid roadmap of features that we feel can make this even more valuable for our users.
Further user testing is currently underway to more fully evaluate the solution with home shopping partners.

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