User Research, UX Design


Zillow Wheeler is a version of Zillow (a leading real estate website to look for houses) optimized for the needs of people who use wheelchairs to get around.

This was built as a part of “Hack Housing” – Seattle’s largest open data hackathon held. Our team was awarded the third prize among 30 teams with more than 200 developers and designers. The event has been covered at Geekwire, Zillow News, HCDE News and across Twitter and Facebook.


Tools Used: Axure Rp, Photoshop, Bootstrap

Team Size: 5


Market Research


We started by doing research to understand the current pain points of people in wheelchairs and the resources available to them for finding houses. We read through housing and disability acts, ADA compliance’s and other rules and regulations to understand the issues better and brainstorm based on our findings.



Next, we created out persona Sara – a 45 year old female service worker who needs an easy system that helps her in finding her desired home.



Card Sort


This was followed by card sort to build a design and come up with the filters needed for people looking for accessible housing.

Card Sort


Paper Prototyping


After having narrowed down on 19 set of features, we began to sketch out our ideas. We started with rough sketches and basic prototypes.

High Fidelity Prototype


We iterated over the paper prototypes to finally come up with the high fidelity one made in PowerPoint.



Logo Design


We combined the Zillow Logo and the vision of our website and turned it into Zillow Wheeler. We wanted to integrate the  current Zillow logo with our logo so we kept the choice of colors same as in the current Zillow logo. However, we used the Gestalt principle and used colors to show clusters which matched each other. For e.g; the color green was used for the title Wheeler and also for image of the person in wheelchair showing connection between the two.

Zillow has an outline of a home in their logo and it went well with our theme. We created a person on wheelchair to depict people with ambulatory disability and placed it in the Zillow home- representing that we find homes for people with disability.

The outline of the house is also an upward arrow showing upward progression representing how our app will increase choices of housing for people with ambulatory disability.




Front-End and Back-End Development


We then started building the web interface for Zillow Wheeler. We pulled data using the King County Accessible Housing API and from Socrata Data API to get the list of houses marked accessible. Then we created 19 different features ranging from Ramped Entry, Wide Doorways to Grab Bars, Roll-in Showers and Accessible Laundry and Parking Space. The user can now prioritize their own accessibility needs for housing. The front-end development was done using HTML5/CSS and the back-end in JavaScript.

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