Realtor.org released a new home page design this morning.
And unless you are a fan of circa 1990 web design, the change is long overdue.
Here is what it looked like yesterday:
Thoughts on the redesign
My initial thought was, “What’s up with the still ugly left side navigation?” Todd Carpenter, the NAR’s Social Media Manger, told me that since this is not a site redesign, only a refresh of the home page, the menu is necessary for navigation deeper into the site. Makes sense.
Todd also pointed out these highlights:
- A wider design that allows more content to be placed above the fold.
- A more prominent Search. The improvements to the search function are ongoing.
- Hot topic quick links just below the search for the most often viewed pages.
- An “In case you missed it” near the footer that allows visitors to see more timely content surfaced on the home page.
While the home page is still very busy, it is far easier to see important information. There is a TON of material on realtor.org, so any design is likely to be “busy”. Visually the design is much more appealing (though really, anything would have been an improvement). I like the easy access to various RSS feeds, and the boxes for “Membership Benefits”, “Community Programs”, and “Professional Development” that can be opened right on the home page help keep even more content within easy reach.
I do think the large spot with the realtor.com add could be put to far better use. That same add is already in the header and to be blunt, I don’t really need the NAR to pimp r.com’s services to me. Yes, my intense dislike for r.com biases my opinion on this aspect of the design. (Update: on a page refresh, an HP add replaced the r.com ad. Still, that space could be put to better use IMO).
Overall, I think it’s a vast improvement.
The NAR wants to hear your thoughts. They have a short survey (12 questions) and you can leave comments here on GEB as well. I assure you, someone from NAR will be reading them.