Screenshot from Foxtons.co.uk
Image a property website that didn’t show photos. Inconceivable isn’t it. Being able to get a good look at a property is a fundamentally important user task that property websites must support well.
The Foxtons website is very impressive, particularly in its use of photography.
The photos are huge and allow the user to get a clear idea what the property looks like. More importantly they allow the user to imagine living there.
Foxtons realise the importance of great photos in shifting properties. They realise that people love to browse property websites to dream about the lifestyles they could lead.
The photos are critical for users as they help us to determine value for money and whether we want to view a property. These primary user tasks are supported almost entirely by the photographs.
User experience designers understand what these primary tasks are and also understand the commercial objectives of the site owner, yet we do little to influence the photos that are shown. Weird isn’t it!