I Don’t Like Globrix Property Portal

Anyone used Globrix before?

Earlier today I was planning on using Globrix to check out the local talent on the market. Unfortunately, my plans quickly came to a halt when I realised Globrix is a pile of unusable crap.

I can’t decide whether the site was designed by a genius or an idiot. My money is on the latter. Either way, I don’t get it.

I’ve never really used Globrix in the past, but I thought i’d give it a spin because it’s gotten a lot of media attention in the past for growth and other positive stuff (all for the wrong reasons, in my opinion).

I think i’ll just stick to the likes of Rightmove from now on, where they’ve obviously spent time and energy on user ability testing for normal humans.

What I disliked about Globrix

  • they’re trying to be too fancy by over using technologies E.g. Ajax
  • there are too many weird search options/buttons and junk everywhere
  • the site breaks when JavaScript is enabled
  • the site is extremely difficult (overcomplicated) to use
  • they messed up two of the most important features on the site- the searching technology and the results pages

Homepage

See those huge words “rent”, “buy” and “know”? They’re actually searching options (which I didn’t even realise). They look like descriptive keywords to me, part of the design, as apposed to functional search buttons. At this point it was clear that all their eggs were placed in the “design” basket, while the userability basket remained empty…

Annoying Globric Homepage

Styling search forms is cool as long as they continue to look like a form…

Search results

The search results pages is the heart of the website, so it should be nothing short of spectacular. It is, indeed, spectacular. Spectacularly terrible.

1) I didn’t understand the pricing navigation shit at the top. I didn’t even bother trying to grasp it because it shouldn’t have been so unorthodox and alien-like in the first place…

Annoying Globrix Price Filter

2) Instead the normal paging function which everyone is used to and loves e.g.

Example of good paging

…they’ve used Ajax to automatically load more properties when you reach the bottom of the results. It’s annoying and i’m sure a lot of the less savvy internet users get weirded out by it…

Annoying Glorbix Paging

Disabling JavaScript

The real fun begins when you disable JavaScript. Everything, simply…breaks…

Broken Globrix Homepage

Broken Glorbix Pricing Filter

Broken Globrix Results

Ironically, everything that breaks when JavaScript is disabled are the things I mentioned I found most annoying about the site. That was pure coincidence.

Conclusion

Globrix is overcomplicated and just plain weird. They spent too much time attaching pointless gagdets, instead of focusing on simplie userability concepts.

To be honest, I could have complained a lot more, but I didn’t want to come across as a complete bastard. But then again, I’m not the only one who struggles with the site…

Globrix Twitter

Oh yeah, by the way, no offense, Globrix. I’m sure you’re making a truck load of money and all that good stuff.

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11 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Fee 29th October, 2009 @ 20:42

Have tried using Globrix on the iphone, the mobile version of the site. But the images dont appear! Good job you can opt out and use there normal site. However that only displays 5 results and theres no next button!
So its pretty rubbish if you want to use the site on the go.

Rightmove is a lot lot better with an actual app (which is also free)!

Fee.

1
Guest Avatar
Dmitry 30th October, 2009 @ 10:38

Try to disable javascript in your preferred browser an go to on GMail e.g. ;) Most of rich internet applications like facebook, twitter or friendfeed will not work without JS. Spirit of the times...

2
Guest Avatar
Sam 5th November, 2009 @ 10:18

Hi, we use Globrix as a spider from our site - it looks up the property listings we have on our site and then transfers them to theirs - make any mroe sense now?

3
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 5th November, 2009 @ 10:24

Hi Sam,
Yeah, they basically scrape your stock. I assumed they did that :)
At least their service is free, that's all I can say.

4
Guest Avatar
Tom 12th November, 2009 @ 09:52

You forgot to mention you work for Rightmove.. :)

5
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th November, 2009 @ 10:26

@Tom
I wish I did, I wish I did. They have some hot employees!

6
Guest Avatar
Usability Sympathist 12th November, 2009 @ 10:37

Nope. He doesn't work for Rightmove. He's just spot on right.

That said, I think he's being unfairly harsh - despite the pacy style and "call a spade a spade" screengrabs (love those), I think underneath he's an advanced web user. (Basis: Anyone who tries turning off javascript is an advanced web user)...

...and for an advanced web user - it's "fine". If you're into the web, it's quite fun to explore broken conventions (eg the massive text font). I bet he actually worked it out in a nano second, and the price sliders, those too right?)

And as for turning off javascript - who the hell turns off javascript? No basic web user turns it off - come on. Yes, the infinite scroll (another convention bites the dust) will spook them a bit, but it isn't THAT hard to work out.

That said - the core of the argument stands rock solid...

Here's the rub... 98% of the web users are NOT ADVANCED users, not looking for fun interfaces, or "AJAX tweaks" for the sake of them.

And the problem goes WAY deeper than the (spot on) bigger points explored in this article. It's throughout the entire system! It's too late to fix, it's completely endemic on virtually every process in the site.

Try putting an average joe bloggs in front of this cool site and watch them completely FAIL within 30 seconds. Goodbye 70% of the audience.

7
Guest Avatar
First time buyer 20th November, 2009 @ 15:40

I think this article will encourage more users to use Globrix :)

8
Guest Avatar
Pete 8th June, 2010 @ 20:32

What drives me mad about the Globrix website is that (for me at any rate) it is constantly tracking the mouse's left to right position, so that the second you click with any button it changes the price range you are searching for. This means if you want to open a house's details in a new window, and you right click for the context menu, it will reset the search's price range, and you have to spend ages trying to get back to where you were.

It is just SO annoying.

9
Guest Avatar
WTF 9th January, 2013 @ 11:36

Are you retarded? Globrix is idiot proof - it seems as if you may be the idiot not the creator of Globrix considering he just sold out to Zoopla.

Instead of moaning try and create something better genius!

10
Guest Avatar
YOU ARE AN IDIOT 5th May, 2013 @ 14:52

Globrix was brilliant.

You are clearly a incompetent and dozy fool.

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