Standard Solution for Realtors is a mobile web resource that provides real estate listings and map searching to home buyers. Through advanced filters, buyers can narrow the results to find a housing selection that matches their preferences. Users can also access basic property information and agency contact details.
When one of our clients requested the implementation of this solution, in a short time the platform could be configured with their housing data and visually adapted to the customer branding. A common graphical user interface framework made the configuration and maintenance a very easy task.
IxD UI 2011-2013
In order to comply with a non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted confidential information in this case study. The content presented is based on information available to the public. The approach explained is my own interpretation of common process frameworks and does not reveal any confidential procedures.
Standard Solution for Realtors for Apple and Android mobile devices.
I defined the interaction of the application together with the project manager. I led the development of the front-end structure and the user interface. Additionally, I had direct contact with the back-end team located in Finland to discuss the integration of our APIs. After the delivery, and based on feedback from the users and our clients, I maintained the platform and implemented continuous improvements.
In April 2010 I was commissioned by Quedro to research new web technologies and the possibility of inclusion in existing company projects. I studied CSS3 support and HTML5 features such as Geolocation, Web Storage and Offline detection. All this was very useful for the implementation of new functionality in web mobile applications. Featured below are two projects that, due to their similarity, I consider background to the project subject of this case study.
In July 2010 Fastighetsbyrån, Sweden’s leading real estate agency, provided us with the visual guidelines and templates to implement a web single-page application for mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad and smartphones with Android system.
Fastighetsbyrån’s Androidweb app.
The challenges of this project were to learn technologies to implement a single-page application and to learn mobile functionality such as screen gestures, device orientation and proper implementation of web elements in small screens.
In November 2010 Huoneistokeskus, Finland’s leading real estate agency with 30 offices and 300 employees, requested our services to implement a project similar to the one developed during the summer.
Kotimobiili™ HD, Huoneistokeskus’s iPad app.
Although the appearance of the platform was virtually identical, we had the opportunity to try new techniques such as free text search integration. Furthermore, a member of the front-end team ported the application to the App Store and the release was a success; in January 2011 the iPad version (Kotimobiili™ HD) reached the top position in the lifestyle category and top 2 in the overall rank for free apps in Finland.
Based on experience acquired, user research, and feedback from our previous projects, in August 2011 we started the development of a new web application, Standard Solution for Realtors. For this project instead of dividing the code for three platforms (iPhone, iPad and phones with Android system), the application was implemented using a shared single code base, allowing the company to save time in the implementation and in its maintenance. A requirement of this project was to implement basic functionality, internationalization support and the possibility of an easy customization so that the application could be delivered to small and medium realtors in a short period of time.
Preliminary sketches of Standard Solution for Realtors.
In collaboration with the project manager, I defined the application interaction. I was responsible of developing the user interface and during the implementation I reacted to the feedback received from the project management, adding or improving functionality according to their demands. We implemented a dynamic stylesheet language (LESS) for a quick adaptation of the corporate colors and requirements of each customer. Testing was part of the task and, in this particular case, it was also necessary to try the mobile page outdoors to verify the correct operation of the geographical location functionality.
The application became so easy and fast to customize that it was even possible to use it as a demonstration of our consulting services and our back-end APIs integration. Once the application was delivered to the first client in October 2011 and based on the feedback received by the customer and users, I took care of periodic improvements. After analyzing statistics, we determined that the platform was useful for the users since four out of ten returned to the page. The mobile web page met the needs and expectations of our clients and was live an average of 4 years.
The main challenges of this project were to develop a modular application for mobile devices that would fit corporate branding, local language and specific content for each client. With this project I learned the importance of designing a scalable product that will fit customer demands.