Since we launched Space Planner as part of our website suite, a little over 5 years, we were shocked by the success of our online furniture planning tool. It immediately became one of the most popular features used by home buyers. Since then, more than 500,000 floor plans were furnished by home buyers by consumers spending in average more than 12 minutes furnishing their dream home online. Not only the tool has proven to keep consumers longer on our builders’ websites, it has also increased lead registrations when prospective home buyers saved their configuration.
But those impressive numbers are only a fraction of what they could be. Why? Originally flash-based, this tool required that consumers be on a flash-compatible device. The popularity of tablets has grown to a very important number now: in fact according to our VPS analytics, last year this number was around 13% and today almost 25% of our VPS users are using it from a tablet. This is why, last summer, seeing the important growth of tablet users, Alpha Vision took the decision to start developing the next generation furniture planner in HTML5. In addition to port our Flash application in HTML5, we had no less than the goal of creating the best user experience, intuitive and taking full advantage of multi-touch engagement for tablets.
The Room Planner requirements are based on invaluable feedback from our vast homebuilder clients’ base as well as their Sales Executives and Consumers, collected within the last 4 years. With this vast understanding, we went back to the drawing board with a series of clear requirements to make our Next-Generation Room planner the most engaging Online Experience available, and also the most powerful and cost-effective tool supporting the sales and marketing of new homes.
The technical challenges to develop a tool like this in HTML5 where quite big compared to developing it using Flash development tools and player. Flash is quite a mature technology with lots of powerful development libraries to choose from. Also there is some benefit of having only one company behind a technology, there is less incompatibility. On the opposite side, HTML5 is still an unfinished technology that is still today evolving, plus all HTML5 Web browsers have their own evolution at implementing HTML5 standards. We had to do extensive research and testing to find out development libraries that were suitable for our needs. Most of the libraries we found were not powerful enough to allow us to create the type of functionalities that were required. That’s why we had created our own set of core functions to allow us to create the end user experience we wanted.
For almost 1 year, we had a group of HTML5 developers working on this project and today I can say that I’m pleased with the results.
Take advantage of it today – learn more on alphaplans!