Jon White Studio

Zillow Product Design


Zillow is the most-visited real estate platform in the United States. It takes thousands of talented professionals to make work, not least their troupe of designers, writers, and researchers collectively called Zillow Experience Design (ZXD), for whom I was a Senior Product Designer from 2019–2021.


Product (UX/UI) design, prototyping, public speaking, presentation design, information architecture, visual design, front-end development, CMS integration.

Product design, if done well, belies its own complexity. The most ambitious project I tackled at Zillow was one that doesn’t look like it at first glance, but yielded a massive recouping of dollars, hours, documen­tation, and communi­cation.

What you’re seeing is the interface for something that used to be done entirely over fragmented Slack DMs and dashed-off text messages. This is the structured flow for the vitally important — and dizzyingly complex — process by which buyer and seller agents negotiate, quickly, on the objections that arise during property inspections.

This process involved creative brainstorming between myself and my project manager; interviews that I personally led with the agents themselves; and contributing my own extensions to Zillow’s Brand System, to allow for new, moving-at-the-speed-of-thought evolutions of our UI components.

My personal expertise in front-end development meant that I could natively prototype new ideas quickly and realistically. Here, I acted as both designer and developer to quickly get into testing a suite of new messaging components for our consumer-facing Home Loans product.

More of my hybrid designer-developer prototyping, this time to visualize a new concept for our Rentals team.

Practical though they aren’t, extra-curricular team-morale projects are my favorite to work on. At some point, someone (this was during the pandemic) raised the clever idea that we should all share our favorite holiday recipes. I jumped in to suggest that this could be its own microsite. With permission secured, I immediately set about designing & building it (see it yourself!).

Goofy morale projects are no excuse to skirt DRY principles. I used Middleman’s handy pseudo-blogging extension to keep things quick, scalable, and flexible.

I have a special place in my heart for Hack Weeks. In this case, I was approached by someone from our Loan Officers team with a great idea — could they have a kind of internal Stack Overflow? It seemed the same questions kept getting asked and answered, via Slack, over and over. We could name it for Larry, our imaginary lender persona. I jumped at the chance, not only designing it, but coding all of its front-end views as well.

I keep it close to the vest that I have a formal background in sequential art. Sometimes, though, the right project comes around where I can flex that muscle. I designed, illustrated, animated, and narrated the context-setting foreword to a C-suite presentation prepared by colleagues of mine.

In 2021, I was tapped to redesign & rebuild the Zillow design org (ZXD)’s recruitment-marketing landing page. The new site would need to not only look better, but also faithfully reflect their present-day morés and geographic distribution. See an archived version of the finished site here.

ZXD is the sum of six teams collectively working together. We hit on the idea of celebrating this through one illustrative employee per team—which I further embellished with color, iconography, motion, and a splash of Zillow’s own textures.

I have a personal conviction that every visitor should feel that they got the best-case-scenario browsing experience. Accordingly, complex layouts—like this one showcasing their remote-work structure—justified conditional tweaks to fluidly fit different viewports.

Joy-provoking drips of animation keep the heavier content (like internal processes or growth curricula) from feeling intimidating.

The microsite ends with short articles that need to be meaningfully read. I stretched the extant design language to take on a marginally more sober, reverent tone.