Empowering homeowners to sell with confidence on Zillow

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Zillow is the leading real-estate and rentals marketplace for consumers in America. The company aims to empower people through data and insights to help them find a home they love.

As the lead designer on Seller Tools, I re-designed several experiences targeted towards homeowners and home sellers, such as this one.


Context

Zillow wants to be known as a place where you can sell your home

While Zillow is traditionally known for home shopping and rentals, Zillow started buying and selling homes in 2018 through Zillow Offers.

As part of a re-brand in 2019, the company wanted to emphasize its products and services for home sellers as a way to widen the top of the funnel for Zillow Offers and keep sellers engaged.

The team wanted to make a prominent entry point for the seller experience on Zillow on the home page, however it was unclear where it should point to.

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Discovery

Resources for home sellers are scattered and disorganized

Homeowners who are thinking about selling go to online resources such as Zillow to help them strategize their sale. Zillow has plenty of selling resources, but due to poor organization and scattered entry points, not many homeowners discover or are aware of them.

When someone lands on the Zillow home page and clicks “Sell”, it leads to a dead end.

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While this may be a dead-end, there are actually plenty of resources available for sellers scattered throughout the site.

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Sellers also oftentimes land on Zillow by typing in their home address in a search engine and clicking on a link. The home details page doesn’t have much info for homeowners, and unlocking the Owner View tab is a frustrating experience.

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Design

How might we help sellers choose among selling options with more confidence and less effort?

To help frame the user goals of this project, I chose an Experience Outcome (above) from a framework created by the research team. The design was scoped to using existing tools and resources on Zillow.

Next, I created a rough concept to share with stakeholders to make sure we were on the same page about hierarchy and content before diving into detailed wireframes.

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A key research insight was that home sellers often don’t think they have selling options beyond working with an agent. It was important to communicate that there are options, and that Zillow Offers could be the best experience for them—if it was available where they live.

As the design iterations progressed, we moved away from the model of “this page should give people a preview of all the content we have on Zillow” towards the model of “this page should have the bare minimum content to help people decide where they want to go next”. That helped streamline the page design and make it less redundant with other pages.


Fit and finish

Aligning with the new brand

The last piece was to coordinate with the marketing and brand stakeholders and other designers working on experiences for the same launch date.

And making sure that the page looked great and maintained the content hierarchy across different responsive screen widths.

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Reflection

The devil is in the details

Looking back on this project, it seems like such a simple design. However, it still took whole teams of people scrutinizing every word, coordinating the padding around each element, and drawing the right illustrations in order to pull this off.

While making adjustments to various modules on the page, we had to keep in mind that we were representing entire sections of the business with one square on a page.

The project succeeded in increasing awareness of Zillow Offers, with an increase in lead volume by 11%.

Looking forward, there are still many juicy UX challenges to dig into that were out of scope:

  • How might we… give sellers the best experience and advice when Zillow Offers is not available in their market?

  • How might we… help sellers understand the pros and cons for each selling option?

Frances Tung