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Some interesting UI data

Mar 18, 2009 Michael Wurzer

As part of our MeTAL initiative, we’ve been collecting some click data from our search results module to see if users are finding particular functions. Some interesting tidbits we’ve found so far:

  • Agents print a lot more than consumers.
  • Routing is more popular from email links and the customer portal than it is for IDX and agents.
  • Arrow keys — Users love to use the arrow keys to switch listings and photos.  Though we love this, too, and use it all the time, we presumed most users wouldn’t discover the feature but, as it turns out, it is a very popular feature, especially on IDX sites.
  • Single listing mode — We have an option called the “single listing mode” that allows the user to see the details of the listing on the left while also seeing the map or photos on the right, and they can swap back and forth by clicking on the picture or the map.

It’s a very cool option (especially in combination with the arrow keys mentioned above) but our data gathering shows too few people figure out how to enable the single listing mode. We believe that most who do discover it find it from the map bubble when the select to see “More Info” but there’s also an option below the left side list to switch between the list and single listing mode.

The icons clearly are too obscure for people to understand or care about them, and we can do better to make the single listing mode more accessible to users.  Once in single listing mode, it’s very nice to be able to switch from listing to listing using the up/down arrows and cruise through the photos using the left/right arrows.  You can get through a ton of listings and photos very quickly without ever touching your mouse.

I’m definitely digging these new metrics we’re gathering.  Next up, we’re going to start tracking the main tabs in search results (list, detail, photos, map, compare) to see which are most popular.