Looking for ideas and inspiration for your next home remodel? The goal for this project was to update the Zillow Digs iPhone and iPad app to be more aligned with recent changes on the website. We aimed to design an experience that drove users straight to the content that they want.
Experience it live
In our first round of designs, we knew we wanted the app experience to be consistent with our updated website experience. However, we quickly realized that just because it’s on the website doesn’t mean it’s going to directly translate to the app.
In the initial designs, I explored various ways to display applied filters in the Filter layer and search results on the iPhone app and Filter groups in the iPad app.
In these initial designs, we realized that dynamic filter groups weren’t going to work on the mobile app like it did on the website. It would be more confusing on the app when you can’t see the updated search results. In the next round, we kept the filter groups static to simplify the experience.
As any app designer knows, you won't know how an interaction feels until you’ve prototyped it out. Working with developer Liviu Patrasco, we refined our navigation and filter interactions as we were designing and developing together.
For example, we had to lay out the Filter and Sort menus differently on the tablet app to take advantage of the larger screen size of tablets. On tablet, when you tap on the Add Filter button on the search results page, it automatically opens the Filters layer on the page. When the user selects a filter from the Filters layer, we had to update the animation of the loaded search results because the layer and the results displayed at the same time on tablet, which was different from the mobile app. Liviu and I collaborated together on refining those interactions as we were developing, testing, and iterating.
In the end, we were able to get the Digs App updates out the door. We received positive reviews on the App Store, with users stating that they liked the prominence of the room styles as filters.
From this project, I learned the importance of play in app design. Interactions, transitions, and animations are important elements in creating an emotional and delightful experience when a user is using your app. The only way you can experience it too is by iteratively playing and iterating on the interactions as you develop.