Top Rental Apps: Analyzing the User Experience

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Comparing UI Design of the top 5 Rental Apps

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Zillow’s Map This map is right in the middle as far as functionality goes. It doesn’t show the price over each apartment in it’s most “zoomed out” If you zoom closer, you’ll begin to see
 “Zestimates” - custom price estimates beware, they’re not always accurate. What I don’t love about this map is a few things: it doesn’t show which listings are new and which are old. It also doesn’t have options for crime stats like the Trulia map. Standard, the available apartments change as you continue to zoom in.

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Zillow’s Navigation Filters are also middle of the road. This app doesn’t have specific filters like “pets available”, like Radpad does. It does have many types of inventory, so there are filters for the different types. For example, this is the only app with a “recently sold” filter. Something to be said is that rental inventory on zillow is a little bit light, as they seem to focus on buyers primarily.

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Points of Delight LOVE the draw function. This is a great function, and it makes it easier to find something than simply zooming in. Pictures are large and clear. Unlike some of the other apps, the pictures are very easy to see even in the “list” view. Useful Save feature Zillow makes it easy to save properties you’re interested in.

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Trulia’s Map This map has great filters. Like the other maps, it’s standard to zoom to limit the number of houses. My absolute favorite thing about this map is that there are filters such as “crime” (left), affordability, and schools. There’s also a great draw function in this map as well. Map can also be switched between drawing (artist representation) and satellite images. This feature isn’t a must-have but it’s nice. Love the option to switch to a list-view as well although this seems pretty standard.

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Trulia’s Navigation Hamburger menu to access the options I can honestly say that for many users it’s more useful to have navigation on deck instead of tied to a hamburger menu, however there are so many features in this app I’m not sure how a designer would fit all of them into a simple nav system. In terms of actual search, it is a bit annoying that you can’t search many different features like in Zillow. There is a “pets” filter but no search.

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Uh-oh! Pictures don’t zoom right. In the property view, many of the pictures zoom too low to actually see the apartment.

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Radpad’s Navigation Interestingly, Radpad doesn’t start with a map. Radpad starts in “list view” - with the option to go to a map on the top nav. On one hand, I love that it’s picture-centric. On the other hand, we know why everyone starts with a map - location is arguably the most important real estate quality.

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Points of Delight Social features are interesting. This app seems a bit friendlier b/c of social features & easy contact info Focus on visits Easily available directions and street view make it simple to see the apartment

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Points of Sadness :( Being prompted to upgrade as a first time user. Why would a user buy your premium product when they haven’t used the free product? Forced sign in isn’t appealing Yikes. Nothing drives away a user like forced sign in when they haven’t yet validated the product

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Zumper’s Map This is a great map - let me tell you why. First off, users can see which listings are new those are the magenta listings. This is a very useful feature in a hot market. Secondly, pricing is more visible even when you’re not very zoomed in on the map. Another excellent thing is the “alerts” feature. Love this - great if you want to keep up with new listings. Also, the app isn’t annoying about you signing up for alerts - there’s no pressure.

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Points of Delight New listings feature is fun. Definitely useful for hot markets. Icons to represent features This makes it easy to scan the critical features of the home

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Apartment List Automatically in list view after search screen. When you first go into apartment list, you’re directed to a screen where you get to search locations - if you’re not familiar with an area, this isn’t as useful. You are then shown results in a “list view” format. What’s not very compelling about this is that you’re sometimes shown irrelevant results for example, here I am shown Larkspur Courts, when I have searched San Francisco. Larkspur isn’t that close to san francisco so that’s confusing to the user.

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Apartment List Combined navigation with map and hamburger menu. I can honestly tell you that I’m not a big fan of the hamburger menu here - because I know that users commonly find this a confusing way to navigate an app. This map is standard, same as all the other maps, but I don’t see the draw function. What’s nice is that there are robust features in the app once you click the hamburger menu.

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Apartment List Hamburger menu has many filters. I do like the utility of being able to find new listings in this menu. Pictures are large and contact information is prominent. Good contact information that helps buyers easily contact the landlord.

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