We are bridging the gap between cold real estate information and captivating relevant news within real estate. Agorafy begins to build a whole new "sister" platform to distribute its real estate content.
Current real estate news is not engaging. It’s usually flat, filled with text, and doesn’t do well on click conversions. We wanted to explore these opportunities but not deviate too much from our core business identity. If successful, our content on Agorafy Newsroom would guide our user to Agorafy.com.
Time: We had 4 months until the deadline while maintaining the current platform.
We created the criteria for the minimal viable product. Defining the “must haves” versus “ nice to haves” was a consistent moving target as team members expressed different concerns. There were talks on exploring the social aspect of real estate and building community features such as sharing news and listing information with friends and family. Keeping the deadline in mind, we focused on the heart of the Newsroom; the union of real estate information and media.
We began by analyzing current online entertainment and real estate media platforms such as:
News.Microsoft.com, DigitalTrends.com, CNN.com, Trulia.com, and Zillow.com.
After noting current navigational trends and article listing methods, we concentrated on creating a seamless reading experience. With an on brand aesthetic, we prioritized readability and was able to fit in social sharing with various social media platforms.
The initial versions illustrated page layout, content distribution and navigation methods. Other modules consisted of Newsletter sign-up, Top Ten and Trending widgets, and ad spaces. After approval from various departments, I began designing low-fidelity wireframes to show the engineering department.
These mockups showed updated layout design, optimized social sharing methods, and additional pages designated for certain categories. I then printed those out and further analyzed the layouts. High-fidelity mockups were then designed in Illustrator and Sketch and shown to the content and engineering departments.
The finalized MVP featured a homepage consisting of trending articles with various categories and social media posts pushed through side-page widgets. Few categories are available through the top navigation limiting user confusion. The Newsroom also features various links that route directly back to the main Agorafy site increasing traffic to our core site.