The Scottish property portal, Property Squirrel was brought to Property Portal Watch’s attention recently, due to its newly executed “facelift.”
The portal is the brain child of Steven Keith. Armed with a Masters degree in Software Engineering, and the desire to make searching for property online as painless as possible, Steven launched the portal in 2012, announcing to the world: “We’re nuts about property, and have plenty of apartments to rent in Edinburgh, flats to rent in Glasgow and homes all over Scotland,” which can explain the initial presence of a little squirrel in its logo.
Property Squirrel’s look and feel was spartan from the start. Designers are often reminded of the saying “less is more,” though in this case, “less” was a bit exaggerated, since its home page lacked images… any images. The only indication that the site was affiliated with the real estate realm was an image of a key with a blue acrylic house attached to it. This photo visually dominated the landing page.
When Property Squirrel decided to redesign its website, they addressed two main goals:
- To offer more visual appeal
- To offer a better browsing experience (on all devices)
Steven Keith, Founder and CEO, Property Squirrel said: “Our old design, whilst practical, lacked the flair required to capture the user’s attention. When redesigning the site, we wanted to present a minimalistic, yet attractive design.”
To do this, they removed any elements from the website that did not aid the user in their goal, of finding a new property to rent, and they placed more emphasis on the photos the letting agents were providing.
“To offer a better browsing experience, we decided to redesign the website to facilitate easier searching on smartphones, and other small devices,” added Keith.
The company took a responsive approach that will adapt the layout to the screen size of the device the user is browsing the website on. The result is that searching for property should be much easier on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. The company hopes that this, should in turn increase the number of enquiries they can generate for their agents.
“Property Squirrel’s goal is to make finding a property as simple as possible, for the tenant, landlord, and agent,” concluded Keith.