What Price, Beauty?

Well look at that! The Redfin design team made our site red! This morning we launched a site completely redesigned to be more spacious and lively.

Redfin Website Redesign

Last December, we re-designed the Redfin property pages so pictures are 35% bigger, and pages load 31% faster. That effort got into the guts of the page, organizing details about each property into blocks and tables for easy scanning. The challenge there was the sheer volume of information we have about each property: as a broker, we have far more complete, local data about every home for sale than any other major site. But the property page’s color palette and style remained the same, so how the site felt didn’t change much.

Now across the whole site, the header is red, not blue. The background is white. We took out a bunch of lines, shadows and tints so you can focus on what you came to Redfin to see: all the pretty houses. We hope this conveys what we like best about Redfin as a company: the simplicity of our mission to change the real estate game in consumers’ favor, the brightness of the people here, the love we have for what we do.

This wasn’t easy. As Andrew Fischler, one of the lead designers on this project, writes in our developers’ blog about the effort:

What’s harder, cooking a great meal from scratch, or taking a bunch of leftovers and making a meal that tastes better than the original?

For all the frameworks software developers use to separate form from function, complete redesigns are less common now than they were a decade ago because of the sheer size and complexity of most websites, the proliferation of mobile devices that also have to be updated, the emphasis on frequently releasing smaller updates, and the metrics-driven approach for assessing the benefit of every update.

We decided on a site redesign all the same because we have to worry about a metric that’s impossible to measure: whether your days and nights on Redfin give you reason to trust that this company can represent you in the purchase or sale of a home. Despite ample, indisputable evidence of our rapid growth, we constantly hear that how people choose real estate agents won’t change because it’s an emotional process.

We agree that it’s emotional; we just happen to  think the experience of using a website or an iPhone application can be emotional too, especially when it’s as beautiful as Redfin now is. Many thanks to Andrew Fischler, Andy Taylor, Robert Law, Wei-Ting Lu, Iga Zyzanska, Eric Gideon, and the other designers, developers and test engineers — did I mention that changing every page on the site results in a sprawling, seething bug farm? — for your vision, perspicacity and hell-for-leather drive. When I walked out of the office over the last few months and still saw your lights burning, I knew this had become, like so many projects at Redfin, a labor of love.

Discussion

  • http://twitter.com/phsoffer Philip Soffer

    I love your use of the comma in the headline! It’s that attention to detail that drives the whole experience.

  • David Zakian

    The red on the website is terrible, i’m already stressed out looking to find a house, now my blood pressure is truly through the roof. Can you go back to how it was, i think it was a light blue that was very relaxing.

    • sharon

      Votes for the light blue back. Gosh great comment!

  • Danielle R.

    The comment below is right on, I was just thinking the same thing, if it’s not broke don’t fix it!

  • Rachel B.

    Change it back to how it was before, please! What were you thinking?

  • Mike Doheny

    Was this change ever reviewed with users? This reminds me of the Facebook changes. The designers are desperate to keep their jobs so they make pointless design changes.

  • R.S.

    Please go back to the original design. The new colors are ugly and distracting. Orange buttons?!

    • Cassandra and Wil

      Agree. We are in real estate and we know to tone down everything. Not many clients like red and goodness red and orange do not go together! It must be the new young workers who did this. No one mature would have done this. Redfin you were a big hit before. Change it back.

  • http://fwlocal.com/ Greg Fischer

    Solid. This was a much needed design upgrade to the site. Nice work

  • Samantha

    Dislike sorry….cannot check from work anymore with the huge bold red banner. Too red, too bright…takes away from the house info we need below. Sorry for the change. Samantha

  • Belle

    I agree with the guy/gal below. It wasn’t broken, so why did you fix it and break it? The red is stressful as stated below (very good)….no peace with a BRIGHT RED, and the house info is sooooooooooo tiny. Gosh folks why did you do that? Please have one of the Redfin exec’s see this and get someone over 30 to put it back to the way it was. You had a GREAT site.

    • http://ceejayoz.com/ ceejayoz

      Well done with the ageism.

  • Michael

    Sorry the design weeks later I cannot get used to, so I’m over at Zillow and MLSListings that is toned down. The red design like the guy/gal way below who said it looked like a pizza site is the most accurate. The red banner is the only thing your eyes are drawn to. It is truly a very bad idea. Losing many of us. Redfin WHY did you do that? You are selling houses not your red banner.

  • Michelle

    I agree below. I cannot stand the new design. It is too bold and annoying. So sorry as Redfin was a great site. Now it looks like pure self promotion. Too bad

  • Soshan

    Agree below that the new site is not working. The red banner is out of place for a real estate site. Sorry they changed it. I use it less now as cannot stand to see it that bold.

  • Hal

    Must be posted by Redfin team. Obviously Redfin is happy with it, so who cares if the rest of us are not. The “new design” only adds a huge red banner making it look like a cheap site that takes away and makes all the rest too light to see. It overshadows all the white and is not working. It is hard on 20/20 eyes. My real- estate assistants cannot stand it, so we are now using the MLS one. Sorry for the change. Glad you all are happy.

  • Kal

    Sorry….horrible redesign. Agree with the ones below who said what are you thinking and that it looks like a pizza website. The classy flag with the hint of red is replaced by this overbearing RED banner that overshadows the entire site. I’m off to Zillow and Truilia. Same info, and tolerable on the eyes. Redfin too bad. Your site was great.