Yay multi-select and compound widgets!! Realtor.com enhanced a thing

Realtor.com gets what we (my wife and I) are looking for in a home search site. The “Saved Homes” and clear emphasis on the pictures are stellar additions. The redesign was nice. My wife and I have been trolling realtor.com for the past…6ish months. Mostly my wife driving and me watching over her shoulder asking “now why did you click on that?”… then her grumbling a bit.

This time she was delighted by a minor, but helpful, enhancement. Obviously the big redesign was not the end of their new features, which is nice to see. The multi-select for the surrounding towns is a big upgrade from simply choosing a radius and rolling the dice. For certain price ranges just choosing a circle can really create some noise.

What I noticed:

  1. You still have the radius feature. Good if you want it.
  2. I can ignore the radio buttons and just start clicking away at the towns.
  3. The sort is a nice feature. The distance gave us a sense of how far we wanted to scroll before just starting a new search.
  4. The trick with multi-select: where do you display the results? I think Realtor.com made a smart choice. The results are accessible on mouseOver. That was all we needed. The real results are in the main area of the screen anyway.
  5. They could put some indication of how many results are in each town for your query to let you know whether or not it’s even worth clicking, but I only came up with that after thinking about it for a while (which can be a dangerous thing for an interaction designer to do).

So… I dig it. I also dig compound widgets… oh and I also like the tiny arrow-like design element on top of the widget. No doubt what I am going to affect.

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