This is the image I started with: views of the local landscape for visitors researching the region from out of state

My research on the real estate industry, a competitive review, and stakeholder interviews led me to focus on the client’s local knowledge. I recommended views of the local landscape for the landing page. The agent’s specialty was customers relocating from out of state, so I wanted to emphasize that strong sense of place to someone looking at the site from far away.

I knew that most potential real estate customers do some of their own research online before calling an agent–they want to feel secure by having some general knowledge and to know what questions to ask. So a MLS search form and links to area research were also important.

The designer, my client, wanted to have a minimalist landing page focusing on the call to action–contact the agent. This made sense: the agent is personable and has a deep knowledge of the region. We decided we could risk hiding those research tools in a “hamburger” menu so they were easily available, yet not distracting from this critical path. In addition, scrolling down would reveal a map and galleries of various neighborhoods, so this information would be easy to find.

The problem: My research led me to focus this landing page on views of the local landscape. The designer wanted to have a minimalist landing page focusing on the friendliness of the agent and a call to action–contact the agent.

That led to two potential design directions that focused on a different part of the agent’s strengths:

  1. Her local knowledge (landscape with broad vista)
  2. Her personal qualities of friendliness, lack of sales pressure, and easy engagement (people conversing)

Rather than focusing on the usual photos of expensive-looking houses and stock photos of people, I suggested informative photos of the local environment, and the agent talking with her real clients.

For feedback and discussion, I sketched out three visual directions to combine both concepts.

  1. Local landscape showing wide vistas
  2. Warm conversation with the agent
  3. A combination of the two–people conversing within the landscape
This sketch reflected the art direector’s viewpoint of focusing on “friendly.”
These two versions combine friendly conversation with a view of the neighborhoods within the broader landscape. This sketch is a guide for the photographer who would follow our client on her rounds with her customers.

My visual mockup, used to sell my approach to the client and designer

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