A new version of the People Like Us platform is released today, concluding two months of work designed to bring you a whole new search experience.
Feedback about PLU searching in the past has often been that it's great to have so many different filters, but it's become too complex and cluttered.
Did you know that People Like Us has 148 different filters?
And yet most searches are for the same things, over and over.
Favourites, Premium homes, dates of availability, high response rates.
All of these things were there but they were buried under a hundred other filters!
The other main criticism was that filters were not integrated in to the main page.
If you searched for something and then wanted to refine the search, you had to go off and do the search again. 😥
Not any more!
Read below to see all the new features released today!
The biggest change in this release integrates filters into the main page, allowing you to refine your search as much as you like without ever moving away from the page.
Start with Premium homes, refine to add homes that can fit your family, high response rates, maybe something close to a beach. You can do all of this by adding filters one at a time or removing them as you like.
We have new instant buttons for our three most common searches: favourites, Premium homes and dates of availability.
These will combine with any other filter and update your search instantly. No need to refresh or do them in any particular order. Date searches are clearly displayed in the search bar.
More of what you need up front, less of what you don't!
We may have 148 filters but most people start their searches with the main ones. I've kept stats on what people mostly use and made them clearly available.
All of the others are still there, just click on the "More filters" button.
PLU has grown a lot.
While I've always loved seeing 4000+ pins on the map when I open it, it's come time to admit that was a bit crowded! 😂
Our new map will show you an uncluttered 50 homes at a time, the same that appears on a search page. Much easier to see and interact with. As you page through, the homes will update.
We have new pins to show you homes that are Premium (green), Trial (grey) and favourites (PLU-blue dot in the middle of either). If you're on a desktop and using a mouse, the home you hover over will be highlighted in red.
All the mapping code has been rewritten to provide a more natural experience while you search, pan and zoom.
Pin location is still randomised to 1km around your location for privacy.
We have beautiful new profile cards to display on the map which scale down to mobile size automatically.
These are just like the ones you see in the main display now, and adapt in size for mobile displays.
Look what's missing from the Search bar!
No more pesky Search button.
Because it's no longer needed!
Remember how you used to search but the map wouldn't change until you pressed the button? All fixed. Select from the list and the map updates automatically.
Do it after you've added a filter and change where you want to go, but use the same filters!
Reverse search is all completely new (again! 😂).
Regular readers will note that the last big update to reverse search was only around 6 months ago. It was better than before but it still left a few quirks that I wasn't happy with.
The detail will take a whole separate blog post but the biggest change is exact and inexact matching.
It's best to think of an example. If you're searching for Brittany in France, an exact match will include:
An exact reverse search won't include someone who specified France as we couldn't be sure that those members were happy to go to Brittany. If you click "Inexact match allowed" though, it will also include these homes.
Desired Destinations are new and improved to fit in with the new Reverse Search.
While we have a new interface, most of the changes are under the hood with Desired Destinations, setting them up to work properly with our new reverse search.
I've spent weeks working on speed improvements and you should see around a 40% improvement in response times.
Did you know that 70% of the usage of the People Like Us website is done on a mobile device?
This new release has been designed mobile first to make sure that the screen and searches are optimised for mobile.
You'll notice a bigger map, better layout and more intuitive interaction but there are little tweaks throughout to make the mobile experience better.
I've made numerous little improvements throughout to update the presentation of the site and make it more modern.
Most are quite small e.g. adaptive card images that fit your primary photo better, rounded corners, shadows, new background colour, tweaks to text sizes, but just a continual improvement to make the site as nice to use as it can be.
I hope you find these new changes useful. As always, if you have questions or feedback or see something that needs to be fixed, send me a note via our Support system. Happy exchanging! ❤️