ImmobilienScout24 is Germany’s largest real estate portal with more than 12 million active visitors each month.
ImmobilienScout24 is Germany's largest real estate portal, offering services to help people find the right property to rent or buy.
I led design practices for cross-discipline teams to embed a customer-centred approach to product development. We sought feedback and insights from property searchers on a weekly basis through focus groups, interviews, usability testing, customer service feedback and app store reviews.
The mobile team was comprised of multiple initiative teams, each tasked with driving a specific business goal (core stability, growth & customer satisfaction). The design specialists worked across these teams within a continuous development cycle, releasing new ideas to market every two weeks and using A/B testing and analytics to understand impact on user behaviour and business metrics.
KICK-STARTING A USER CENTRED DESIGN APPROACH
We started week one guerrilla testing at a local train station and hosting a focus group with ImmobilientScout24 customers currently on the search for a property. Topic-based discussion, personal interviews and usability testing allowed us to surface key challenges and product opportunities.
Summarising these insights as a customer journey map allowed us to share our findings and drive the product development roadmap.
PRODUCT IDEATION & RAPID PROTOTYPING WORKSHOPS
After identifying the primary issues facing property searchers I facilitated a series of ideation, concept sketching and rapid prototyping workshops to explore product ideas with cross-functional team members that could be put to the test with consumers.
CONTINUOUS RESEARCH & USABILITY TESTING
The research never stopped on this project. We conducted in-house interviews and usability testing sessions in a lab setting every week. We were constantly testing paper and interactive prototypes as well as native app concepts to learn more about customer behaviour and further direct our product strategy.
The design process at ImmobilienScout24 was continuous. We gathered learnings from property searchers on a weekly basis to optimising designs and create the best possible experience.
THE SEARCH EXPERIENCE
During the discovery phase, we found that property searchers had trouble with filtering to find the right properties.
Location entry was confusing, it wasn't clear if rental prices were including bills, there was no option find properties accepting pets and they were missing vital information about local amenities.
We redesigned the experience to optimise location entry, clearly state warm (inc. bills) or cold (ex. bills) rent, allow searchers to find pet-friendly apartments and to show property results on a map showing local parks, schools and public transport.
It was clear throughout the discovery phase that user needs varied greatly for location entry, from those wanting to search within a very specific location, within a few city districts and those searching across larger, more rural locations.
To meet the needs for these use cases, we redesigned location entry to include specific address entry, district search, a draw-your-own search and a wider map-based area search.
Similarly to location entry, the needs of searchers varied when it came to viewing property results. Some preferred to browse a map, some preferred a list, others had a better experience with both!
We designed an experience that defaulted to a split view with the option to scroll up to view a list or tap the map to select specific properties, whilst giving easy access to search filters above.
Another frustration was the inability to hide or report properties that searchers simply weren't interested in or suspected as fraudulent so we added the ability to hide report suspicious listings too.
04 PRODUCT DELIVERY
DESIGN SYSTEM & STYLE GUIDE
We built cross-platform design system to aid efficiency and consistency across the organisation. Every design was created for Android and iOS catering for all screen sizes and resolutions.
TAKING A CONFIDENCE-LED APPROACH
Usability testing allowed us to learn and iterate on product concepts. When we were confident with the approach, we defined the product roll-out plan with the team. Each concept was broken down into release phases with the focus of getting the product into the hands of consumers as quickly as possible to further test our hypotheses.
We worked closely with the software engineers to implement the best possible experience, working together to refine the intricacies of interaction and animation.
The redesign of the search experience saw app store ratings, user engagement and conversion rates increase significantly.
4.3 star Play Store rating
4.6 star iTunes App Store rating
19% growth in monthly active users
35% growth in monthly sessions per user
Great App! The search update has made house-hunting so much easier!
Shyam Kumar Jha
Best app in Germany for house hunt. multiple options with very nice owners to connect with. Totally loved it. Thanks team.
Solid & reliable app, has been a great help for finding a flat in Berlin