Roost.com, recent Inman Innovator Award recipient, has redesigned its real estate search results pages.
The biggest change is the search criteria, which were previously available on the left and right sides of the listing results and are now all above the fold. They are now, according to company PR, “completely hide-able” too.
Once expanded, the criteria panels slide from left to right. It reminds me somewhat of the Xbox 360’s dashboard tabbed interface which features 5 “blades” that also slide in and out.
The goal, I’m guessing, is to get people right to the meat of the search, the results, quickly and not clutter it up with too much extraneous information. Also notable is the map results now take advantage of Google’s new terrain image data and the map pins dynamically update as you view the listings.
Overall, it’s a pleasant experience. But it strikes me that it may still be a bit much for the average real estate consumer. The bigger issue here is that as more and more filters get added to Real Estate 2.0 search tools; neighborhood boundaries, school districts, keyword searches, I’m finding myself a little overwhelmed with options.
Ultimately the challenge for any of these sites, lies in creating a user experience that is both rich with data and pleasant, intuitive and easy to use.
Companies like Redfin, Estately, Trulia and Roost are all creating innovative new ways to present the massive amounts of data that is available to online searchers. But, in many cases, the rush to add even more features (fsbos, foreclosures, mls/broker listings, local context) to search results isjust adding more noise.
I applaud Roost’s attempt to ‘hide’ some of this features but personally I’m still waiting for someone to bring Google-like (or even Cuil-like) simplicity to real estate search results.