Domain launches new website

Domain.com.au recently launched its new website and to be honest, I really cannot see what they have got right! It isn’t that the site is not good, but it by no means an exciting development. The site has added Google Maps, which is interesting, but again it (as with all mapping developments) it is done with little to no thought of its user. For mapping to work it must take up most of the screen – at least from left to right. It is however an improvement on realestate.com.au‘s poor (soon to be shelved I feel) mapping system.

The new domain.com.au site is not too bad, but they really need to think more of agencies and consumers if they are going to make any inroads into realestate.com.au’s portal and business.

The new site’s home page seems to have catered more to advertisers rather than agencies and users. One feels it is going to be a long few years in the residential space for domain.com.au.

The only light will come from commercial, where with the recent acquisition of commercialrealestate.com.au will see them take over realcommercial.com.au as the number one commercial site. That is unless realcommercial actually re-develop the site and make it actually possible to find what you are looking for in a reasonable amount of time.

So Domain.com.au has again left me a little annoyed and wanting to see some actual innovation from a large organisation…..with money to innovate!

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13 Comments

  • Simon Baker
    Posted September 10, 2006 at 11:14 pm 0Likes

    Peter

    On the reference to realcommercial.com.au. We are in the process of merging realcommercial.com.au and propertylook.com.au and relaunching with the the best of both sites as well as a complete rethink of how to approach commercial. The good news is that we have had significant input from the customers – both agents and consumers – and it will be much easier to use and more focused to the true needs of the commercial segment.

  • Peter
    Posted September 11, 2006 at 8:11 am 0Likes

    Good to hear Simon, although as I am in the final stages of developing a whole new system, it does mean that I will probably have to redo the whole commercial part, but as it will be good for the Agents, it is a cost I will not mind bearing.

  • Alan M
    Posted September 11, 2006 at 1:41 pm 0Likes

    I think you may have missed some elements of the mapping, I just had alook and you can view ALL your search results on a single map and get a summary of each one by clicking on it. Quite handy actually.

  • Peter
    Posted September 11, 2006 at 2:07 pm 0Likes

    Alan, I do understand the mapping system quite well as I have been developing my own for quite a few months now. All of the basics are included and that is the easy part, as most of this is provided with the mapping API’s. However having it scaled inside a small window, in my opinion is just dumb.

  • Alan M
    Posted September 11, 2006 at 2:53 pm 0Likes

    You must be looking at a single map for a single property.

    I’m talking about the map that shows the location of all the properties in your search on the one screen, it’s a large map in the middle of the screen.

  • Peter
    Posted September 11, 2006 at 4:12 pm 0Likes

    Hi Alan

    Yes, the small map located between the left hand search menu and right hand advertising menu. This is not a large map unloess your screen is 640 pixels wide, these maps are scalable, as Google Maps is intended, it is a poor effort for users with larger screens and is only scaled to 520 pixel width.

    This is the average screen resolution of users of the internet taken from echoecho.com

    54% 1024×768 54%
    28% 800×600 28%
    10% 1280×1024 10%
    03% 1152×864 03%
    01% 640×480 01%
    <1% 1600x1200

  • Alan M
    Posted September 11, 2006 at 4:16 pm 0Likes

    Small map ?

    I’m running 1024×768 and the map’s huge –

  • Peter
    Posted September 11, 2006 at 4:26 pm 0Likes

    That’s great for you Alan! Imagine if they took my advice and it was a whole 1024 pixels wide. You would not be able to contain your joy!

    Have a great day Alan and thanks for your comments!

  • Alan M
    Posted September 11, 2006 at 4:29 pm 0Likes

    If it was a whole 1024 wide there would be no room for navigation and other useful bits and pieces.

    If you cant see a map that big you’d never be able to read the individual listings anyway.

  • Peter
    Posted September 11, 2006 at 4:40 pm 0Likes

    Alan. To put this chat to bed once and for all this is what would need to be done.

    1. Create a header (or overlay bar) with search items.
    2. Get rid of advertising to the right.
    3. Get rid of stuff on the left.

    1024 pixel width would work nicely but you have to take into account scroll bar which all up accounts for about 14 pixels. So you make it 1009 pixels wide.

    If you cannot see the benefit in this for users then I am at a LOSS TO CONVINCE YOU!

    You will see this done well very shortly and I will post something on this site once it is complete at the end of this month….

    The you can cast your critical eyes on it and let me know how that can improve!

  • Alan M
    Posted September 11, 2006 at 4:51 pm 0Likes

    I’m not trying to convince you of anything just pointing out that a bloody big map in the middle of the screen is not too small for people to read.

    There’s no benefit for users having a bigger map than one that is already big enough.

  • Alan M
    Posted September 12, 2006 at 10:17 am 0Likes

    On the other hand I get emails everyday telling me bigger is better so perhaps you’re right 🙂

  • Corry
    Posted September 27, 2006 at 6:29 pm 0Likes

    How hilarious – they think domain has catered for the advertisor…..have you seen REA’s site lately? The site is heaving with ads, it is seriously a put off.

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