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Web Site Designs for the Real Estate Market by ET Productions

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 Screen capture of www.loganamerican.com real estate developer's site
 Affordable Homes, LLC-I
This real estate developer specializes in building upscale but affordable golf communities in Hampton Roads Virginia, and in Raleigh and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. They had an outdated site built by a former employee using Microsoft FrontPage. Their goals for the redesign were to give the site a modern, appealing look, make it easy for users to find where their dozen or so projects were located in their two-state region, and simplify updates so their staff could maintain the site as old projects are finished and new ones begun.
      Affordable Homes wanted the site to visually convey their niche--developing golf communities with beautiful, upscale but reasonably priced homes. They also wanted it to be glaringly obvious to users how to access info on project locations.
 What We Did
We decided to use a grid-based icon style design with chartjunk overtones to add an architectural air to the look of the site. Main navigation is through a simple set of file tabs at the top of the page. The selected tab is always in the forefront, letting the user know exactly where they are in the site and where else they can go.
      Instead of photographs, we used architectural elevations and a floor plan to illustrate typical homes and add to the engineering look of the site.
      To emphasize the service area of the builder and lead users into exploring current projects, a prominent part of the home page is an image-map graphic of the two-state region with clickable spots where developments are currently underway.
      We visually established the golf link with an image of a woman in mid swing. A homeowner puttering in his garden served to suggest the peace and enjoyment of home ownership. Visit the site and see.
      To simplify site updates, we built the site with a back-end database and PHP templates. To add or change content, the owner simply signs on to a password protected admin section and fills in blanks in a form. When they submit the form, the changes are made.
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