Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt


At the recent Apple WWDC keynote they announced a few tweaks to the new watchOS 3. After a year of feedback the focus of these changes is about “glanceability”. By their definition the user had to get the information (usually coming from some sort of notification) of what they needed in about “2 seconds”. And keep in mind this information was being delivered on a display the size of a watch face.

2 seconds.

This made me think of the process we went through when designing the email listing alerts being delivered in Cloud Streams. Here’s what one looks like on a smart phone.

iphone New Streams Alert

Look and feel are important but design is also how it works. So deliverability and having a clear call to action on these types of notifications is also very important.

Now here’s a recent one from Matrix.

iphone Matrix Alert New

Is there a word for something that is the exact opposite as “glanceable”? And trust me, this is pretty on par with most MLS systems out there now. If you are running an MLS or brokerage and think your members/agent deserve better, drop Katie a line. She can help. : )

And it looks like the portals are paying attention to this glanceabilty issue as well. Trulia just recently updated the look and feel of their listing alerts.

iphone New Trulia Alert

Looks a bit familiar to my eyes, but I guess imitation is the best form of flattery. : )

But they did make an interesting design decision. If you were given the choice of having a bigger property photo, or a smaller photo of the property and a map, what would you choose?

For me? I like big property photos and I cannot lie.

Eater UI

I was poking around Eater today, looking at some restaurants in Portland for a trip I’m making next week. I really love the way they executed the UI in regard to location and restaurant.

As you scroll down on the restaurants (on the left) the map moves with you and the icon highlights. And of course if you jump click on any map icon the restaurant information jumps ahead. I’ve seen parts of this executed on other sites, but not this well.

Inspiration is everywhere.

A brand new day

I’m very excited to announce something we have been working on for a long time. Back in October of last year we asked Damien Huze to join our leadership team at W&R Studios as our Chief Design Officer. Design has always been an important focus with our company and Damien, who had helped us launch W&R Studios back in 2008 with our corporate identity, product logos, and the original Cloud CMA UI/UX, seemed to be at a time in his life he wanted to make a change. We, and I think the industry, will be glad he was ready for that change.

Old Cloud CMA Logo
Old Cloud CMA Logo

Damien quickly hired another designer Jesus “Jay” Cardenas whom he had collaborated in the past. First up was to bring a brand new look and feel to our logos. We told them that nothing was sacred, the look, feel, naming conventions, everything was up for grabs.

Branding surveys were sent, pencil was put to paper, stylus pressed to glass, mouse was clicked to desk. Since Damien was the very person that designed the original Cloud CMA logo I was curious what he and his team were going to come up with.

I was not disappointed. But let me let Damien tell the story….

The New Face of Our Brand

Upstream reveals new logo

Upstream Logo

Man, this logo is no joke!

W&R Studios adds Chief Design Officer

Really excited about this!


“HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA (October 29, 2015) – Privately held software company, W&R Studios, announced today that Damien Huze will be joining their leadership team as the Chief Design Officer. Damien has been involved with the company since 2008. He designed W&R Studios’ corporate identity as well as consulted on the UI/UX and identity of their flagship product, Cloud CMA.

Damien grew up in Paris, France. Both his parents were in creative fields. “It wasn’t until much later that I realized the impact of growing up in house where there was always a sketch being drawn, a story being written, a canvas being painted, or an object being fabricated. The trash bin full of concepts gave me awareness of the grind a designer has to go through to do valuable work.” stated Damien. Later, when he was a teenager they moved to Florida.”

Looking forward to introducing Damien to everyone in San Diego.

Flipboard for the web

Great article about how they created Flipboard for the web. It is a bit technical. I love to use Flipboard on my iPad. This quote caught my attention.

60fps on the mobile web

“Early on, after testing numerous prototypes, we decided our web experience should scroll. Our mobile apps are known for their book-like pagination metaphor, something that feels intuitive on a touch screen, but for a variety of reasons, scrolling feels most natural on the web.”

That’s exactly the same conclusion we came up with Cloud Streams. On the web people love scrolling through streams of data (think Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest). And when you think about it most MLS portals display some excel looking spreadsheet you need to click to move on to the next 25 properties.

Also this is why none of those viewer plugins popular with publishers to turn their paper Magazines in to a “digital” version never really took off. The interface was lousy and seemed like a hack job.

People want to scroll.

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