Kiawah Island • UX & Project Lead •



Kiawah is a resort and residential community. For this project, we focused not just on selling real estate, but on creating rich content and interactions.


  • Project vision and team lead
  • Coordinating visual design, programming and production teams
  • Information architecture
  • Client relations
  • Usability testing
  • Interaction design

Everyone Wants a Piece

The primary real estate page features information on agents, neighborhoods, news and of course homes for sale.

real estate

Rich Interactions

As we evaluated other real estate sites, we noticed that we did a lot of "pogo-sticking." We created a rich internet app that combined amfphp, javascript and Flash into a single highly usable interface that allowed seamless transitions from list to detail screens.


Calls to Action

We created multiple ways for the user to interact with the agency once they had found the home of their dreams. Mark it as a favorite? Email it as a postcard? Download floor plans? We tried to get the potential buyer as close to the property as we could.

listing detail


We included little "Easter eggs" of interactivity in the site that encourage the user to discover new areas of content. One was using the mouse wheel to cycle through island facts (lower left). Another was a mini photo gallery that provided a gateway to the main photo gallery.


Making the Sale

Agents are how properties move on Kiawah. It was an important requirement that agents have their own "home" on the website that they could customize, we made this a feature of the CMS.


Things to Do

It was important to highlight the various items of recreation on the island or other activities. While golf is an obvious draw, we created an island "directory" of activities that included everything from fishing to churches.



Behind the Scenes


Early in the process I facilitated a meeting with stakeholders and members of our team to discuss activities for users of the site.


CMS Planning
The site required the creation of a custom CMS. I created this early hub and spoke diagram outlining major areas of the backend functionality.


Real Estate Flow
A sequence of thumbnails representing the overall real-estate flow.


Populating the database
One of our major challenges was getting the information out of the existing database at Kiawah and synchronizing it with a web-based one. This diagram described the export process.


Property Detail
A mid-process wireframe of a property detail. The idea of sliding pictures was later scrapped because the page was getting too busy.


Listing Mechanics
This diagram outlines the various programming considerations in creating the property browsing experience.


Map Wireframe
A wireframe of the map/results page indicating how properties could be highlighted and how the map could be manipulated.


Usability Testing
Once we had completed clickable wireframes, I created and conducted usability tests with owners, agents, and prospective buyers.