Block homepage improvements

Feb112008

Looking through the visitor stats for the site, we realized that a lot of people were missing the map links on the block homepages (what you get when you search for your address or browse to a neighborhood, zip code, etc.). We got a few e-mails about that, and we had been worried about that very problem before launch, but the actual evidence was overwhelming: the map links might as well have been invisible.

About a week ago, we made some changes to the block homepages that we hoped would help. We moved the navigation with the map links from the right to the left and gave it a more prominent design. We also made some other improvements along the way — we made the links to subscribe to RSS and e-mail updates more visible, and added icons to the category navigation on the left to reinforce their connection with the main content.

A lot of these kinds of design improvements are hard to measure. They might feel better, but it’s sometimes hard to tell if they really improved the site experience in any practical way. It’s too early to tell for sure, but it’s been about a week since we made the change to the map links and it looks like traffic to the map pages is increasing relative to the overall growth of the site.

But sometimes numbers don’t tell the whole story. We want to hear what you think. Check out your block homepage (or your neighborhood, or zip code, whatever works for you) and let us know if you think the new design is an improvement. If you don’t remember what it looked like before, let us know how we can make it even better. As always there’s a feedback form on the bottom of every page, or feel free to send an e-mail to feedback at everyblock dot com.

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