Last week we went live with a new real estate web design and development project. The site is for Balearic Villas and showcases their portfolio of holiday rental villas in Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca. We already work with the same client on another project and we were really happy to collaborate with them on this new site.
Project background and definition of roles
The initial project briefing pointed to two clear areas of content responsibility for the site; the property listings (search, results and detail views) and the broader marketing and informational pages.
The client had already contracted the services of a property rentals CRM provider with a package that included the provision of all property pages to be served directly from their system.
We were responsible for the design and build all other areas of the site. And we were also tasked with leading the project in terms of overall UX and UI design. This role involved overseeing the project as a whole, liaising with the CRM provider and guiding them with the visual design implementation of their property system pages.
Site architecture and planning
As part of our initial investigation work, we took a good look at the client’s content and defined clearly where and how we should distribute the content across the site. This gave us three principal areas of content; Location landing pages, Holiday type landing pages and a set of Guides for users interested in travelling to the Balearics.
We also of course considered carefully the SEO implications of our content hierarchy and made provisions for a strong url structure and a reliable content migration from the old site to our new site.
From UX to visual design
We sketched out initial wireframes for each key page type, showing the necessary content modules and indicating how we aim to guide the user through the site. With good client feedback we were able to iterating quickly on these and establish a solid set of page layout models.
We had early-stage conversations with the client to get a feel for the visual direction that they wanted to see. From there we put together visual design guidelines for typography, colour and general site look and feel. This is always a collaborative process and the client’s feedback is vital to making sure that we reach a final product that delivers on the business needs and will meet the user’s expectations.
Making the most of project limitations
With no direct access to any code or design systems used by the project’s third-party CRM provider, we were limited to advising the CRM team of our UX and UI expectations. We shared code and visuals to communicate the direction that we wanted to see on their pages and provided regular feedback on their implementation throughout the project.
While we weren’t able to reach a final implementation that would exactly deliver what we wanted, we were able to see the third-party pages broadly follow our visual guidelines. It will be interesting to see how the project develops and already we plan to investigate how we can use the CRM API to retrieve the property data and then bring it to the front-end using only our own code and templates. That would be nice to do and would bring the site under our full control.
Positive feedback and exciting plans for future development
Initial feedback on the project has been very positive and we’re certainly pleased with our work on this. We have a number of features to look at for the next phase of the project and we’re excited to take these forward with the client.
And of course, if you’re looking for a superb holiday villa to rent in Mallorca, you really should take a look at Balearic Villas!