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A CASE STUDY:

Maple + Main

A woman-owned modern Real Estate agency.

My Role

Lead UX Designer
Lead Web Designer

The Team

1 Designer
1 Copywriter

Tools Used

Figma + Adobe CC
Squarespace

Duration

3 Weeks Branding
4 Weeks Website

My Process

Empathize

I discover the genuine needs and wants of the user through research and interviews. I consider what they say, think, do and feel.

Define

I decide which problems we will focus on by creating user personas, user stories, user journey maps, and problem statements.

Ideate

This is where the fun begins. We take our list of problems and begin to find solutions. We stay open-minded and focus on the user.

Prototype

Creation begins! Using Figma and the Adobe Creative Suite, we start actually building our solutions with pixel-perfect prototypes.

Test

We put our designs in front of stakeholders and users in the real world. Our user testing helps us polish the product to near perfection.

THE CHALLENGE:

Create a brand and website that would set this woman-owned company aside from the endless sea of out-dated real estate companies.

Takeaways from User Research

INSIGHT #1

People love the PNW.

During user interviews, I quickly saw that people viewed their surroundings, the great Pacific Northwest, as their home as much as their house.

I realized we should focus heavily on the beauty and benefits of living in this incredible place. We created a series of videos and pages highlighting the many neighborhoods and cities in the area.

INSIGHT #2

People were bored.

So many users voiced how they hated going to the giant corporation websites and working with realtors interested only in the percentage they would get. They wanted something different, something they felt good about supporting.

I realized we should really highlight the incredible group of sisters who ran Maple + Main. Instead of sending a bunch of boring housing statistics every week, we would speak to the customers as friends and family. We’d talk about everyday topics like home and family.

INSIGHT #3

Templates sucked.

During competitor analysis, we found a very similar template being used on almost every site. It hyper-focused on the homes for sale and really pressured visitors to sign up and “jump on deals.” User interviews revealed most people agreed and found real estate sites obnoxious. 

I realized we would have to design our site to be different. It would be warm and focus on people, not houses. We would record fun videos and write blogs about everyday things that would actually touch people’s lives. Many of our articles are the top organic result on Google despite the fact that they aren’t about Real Estate.

The Results

A beautiful brand and site that existing customers love and the Maple + Main team are actually excited to share with others.

Final Thoughts

I have worked with Maple + Main for years now, and I continue to learn new things. Helping them make sure their brand is well-represented across all aspects of the business has been a unique challenge. At the end of the day, they are a wonderful family to work with and have become an important part of my journey as a designer.

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