To improve the user experience, FD Solutions first remediated known functional issues relating to searching and performance, and the website's lack of responsiveness when accessed on a mobile device. Royal LePage was also eager to introduce features such as geolocation to display customized content based on user location, provide more detailed pricing for the property listings, improve search capabilities, and enhance Search Engine Optimization to drive traffic and page views.
FD developed a website solution that focused on high performance, accessibility, content parity (the same content and functionality on all platforms), and a device-agnostic and responsive design that allowed for a rich intuitive experience on any desktop or mobile device. These elements, together with FD's best practices for developing software solutions, allowed for easier and more cost-effective site maintenance and the ability to efficiently implement changes or new website features.
Migrating to a modern platform, FD selected ASP.NET 4 MVC and the Web API framework, as well as HTML5 to deliver the improved user experience Royal LePage needed. HTML5 Geolocation was also used as the first part of a two-tiered geolocation strategy. For browsers that did not support HTML5 Geolocation, the user's IP address was used against a geo-IP database. Using either method, the website then tailored its content based on the user's location, providing customized property, agent and office information that is relevant to the user. Geolocation and integration with Google Maps produced a personalized view of clustered property listings, agents, and offices to aid users in easily finding their desired information. FD also implemented changes to the search functionality to allow for a more intuitive search, including the ability to search for agents by partial names and nicknames.
To increase usability for Royal LePage agents, FD constructed a more robust solution for the management of the agents' "Properties Wanted" listings. This feature provided a new interface that enables them to add, edit, delete and archive property-listing information. Furthermore, FD implemented a mini-CMS to allow Royal LePage administration to easily and quickly manage website press release and testimonial content.
A flexible fluid site was architected based on the Responsive Web Design best practices adopted at FD, in order to support the full range of desktop and mobile devices. The responsive design, along with an enhanced look and feel, including improvements to pop-ups and page layouts, has significantly improved the user experience.