It’s a Red, Red, Red, Red World

Viewing the World Through Red-Colored Glasses

If you’re a frequent visitor to our site, you may have noticed something different about the page today. After years of living with a blue color scheme we affectionately called “cadaver blue”, we’ve finally gone and put the “red” into Redfin. The new look is just the latest — and most visible — example of our efforts to strengthen and evolve our brand. For example: remember that tree in our logo? Yeah, me neither.

Red brand vs. Our Old Blue

A Look Into the Kitchen

Redesigning an existing site can be very complex. Even pulling off a relatively small-scope change such as updating our blog theme can be so daunting that many companies and their designers decide to start from scratch. Why? Because when you’re updating an existing site, the hard work tends to be less in the design process and more in the updating for an ancient code base or normalizing different ways an element — like a button — can be put together.

To put it another way, which do you think is easier: cooking a great meal from scratch, or taking a bunch of leftovers and making a meal that tastes better than the original?

Back when the internet was younger and the technology was simpler, there were more complete redesigns done, but as the net has matured and the number of people relying on sites has grown, “redesign” has given way to “refine” and “iterate”. That means more incremental changes — page by page, or section by section. That’s the approach we took.

But It’s Not Just a Fresh Coat of Paint

When we started the effort to update our web site’s visual branding, we took a long, hard look at the common elements that make up our site – the “widgets”, if you will. We’re in the midst of unifying and updating them on our site, though it’s a long term project, and our refreshed home details page was just the beginning.

Redfin was built by many hands over many years, using different programming languages, styles, and coding practices. Eventually we’re going to unwind all this and have everyone using the same set of widgets, but in the meantime, we’re using the power of CSS to bring some visual similarity to the elements that have the same purpose — page navigation, buttons, tooltips, dialogs, etc. One of our goals is to simplify the elements you interact with, just like we want to simplify real estate.

What makes Red Brand tick

It may be a lot of small changes, but in this case, small changes make a big impact. Just by removing the blue backgrounds we reduced the “boxiness” — the heavy framing of some elements — by an astounding 70%! Okay, so maybe that’s a made-up metric, but it still illustrates the dramatic effect we were able to achieve. One small change that gives the site a night-and-day kind of difference.

Express Yourself

We’re also starting to express Redfin’s personality with our new color palette — bright, vibrant, engaging, alive. That’s how we want people to see Redfin, because that’s just what we are as a company. Compare that to cold & confined — two words we heard about our old theme — and you feel the disconnect in who we are and how we presented ourselves to the world. Now our outsides have started to match our insides.

These changes have been a long time in coming, and by no means are we done yet. In the past year, we’ve doubled the size of our design team between our Seattle and San Francisco, which means these changes are going to be coming fast and furious as we work on improving the look of other elements and sections of the site, which you’ll be seeing in the coming weeks and months.

So a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this a reality over the past few months. This was a labor of love, and I was proud to have played a part in its creation. And to our dear customers, we hope you will enjoy our face lift. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

That said, we’re thrilled to finally be putting our fresh, new face forward.

Discussion

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  • C

    Bring back the blue. Sorry….. The darker site background let images of homes “pop”. The red with the orange button at the top is not attractive and the white background is cleaner, but not as easy to look at. Not easy feedback to hear, I know….

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  • D

    The original color is better…

  • Joey Altruda

    Tell me, talented “designers”: how does ORANGE with RED on a website not look like SHIT? You honestly think this is an improvement? Looks like the redesign was built by committee with an end game result for people to click on stuff…to hell with aesthetic synthesis.

    Are you selling PIZZAS here? When people are shopping for a HOUSE, they want to feel comfortable and confident. They want to be shepherded and guided by a professional, not a delivery boy with extra toppings.

    • Mike

      Truth!!

  • Cassandra

    TOTALLY agree. My colleagues in the office and I cannot stand the red color. Why did they do this? It is so bold and overshadows the house info. Besides only 1/2 the people or less like red, whereas all can deal with neutral colors. Agree with the guy below that says it looks like a pizza site! Why Redfin did you do this? Sigh….please hear us and go back to what you had that was great.

  • Ben

    Sorry I’ll have to agree with all the comments here. The red just doesn’t work. Sure it’s Redfin colors, but it’s way too aggressive for the theme… And since I’m at it, I liked the previous theme better (before you started spreading things around the page), the v2 is just okay, I use other sites a lot more since the change. But this color theme ? Seems to me you are trying to hard to devaluate your brand1

  • SKF

    Ugh. I’ve been using Redfin to chart the SD market for over 3 years now – the new design hurts my eyes. Dislike! All it will take now is for another company (google? priceline?) to aggregate the MLS info on a google map and I’m gone, Redfin.

    The first thought that came to mind when visiting what is apparently a site redesign was that Redfin didn’t load properly on my internet connection, so I refreshed and reloaded the page twice. The font in the “search listings” orange box looks pixelated and old-school dot-matrix-like. But really, I hate how the red hurts my eyes and completely dislike the grey color for the photo flip arrows under photo thumbnails – I can’t tell if I’ve clicked on it or it’s not loading properly; grey on the internet means “I’ve clicked this” or “this isn’t here, but should be” for a link.

    Sorry, this UI sucks. Did you UX this before changing? Or is this a pure marketing decision for identity? I’m guessing this was driven by the latter.

  • Mike

    Oh my… this is a horrific update. Please guys, don’t tell me you actually paid someone to do this. Bring back the old UI and double his salary.

  • Hominid X

    It looks good. It’s also a universal principle that you call ignore people who say “pop” about a design.

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