An Experience For Readers And Writers
Not only was CoStar looking to improve the overall experience of the platform for their end-users, they also wanted to make key updates to the technical system they were using. Optimizing the process for internal content publishers and building a solution that could easily scale across multiple web properties.
Our initial research showed that a large part of CoStar’s audience was made up of younger first-time renters. Many of whom were being directed to the websites via search engines. This made it clear that SEO needed to play a major role in the content platform. By becoming the leading source of information and education around the apartment rental process, each website could become a one-stop-shop for learning about and finding a new place to live.
As we moved through the design process, we paid careful attention to the content that would make up these websites. Focusing on the information architecture around the categories, tags, and the ways users would browse each site. During this process, we designed multiple versions of each page template to gather feedback from stakeholders and test assumptions with actual users.
A Reading Experience For Renters On The Move
We also paid careful attention to the mobile experience of each website. Looking at analytics data, and talking with users, it was clear that mobile was the leading way people were accessing the platform. Designing for a mobile-first experience with better readability, faster loads, responsive images, and overall functionality that made the websites easier to use on a mobile device would be a win not just for the users but also for the project’s success.
Due to this, we decided to build the platform using Google AMP technology. We knew the benefits this would offer would be two-fold, providing pages that were lightning-fast to load, and adding an additional SEO boost.
All of this culminated with the launch of the content publishing platform that now powers all three websites each with a unique visual identity, voice, and tone that matched their respective brands. All three leverage the same technology and overall user experience, which has helped to catapult each of the websites’ traffic and the amount of time users spend on them, while further establishing each brand as an authority in their respective niche of the apartment rental market.