New search function to improve user experience.

AFS Team·2 July 2021·3 min read
New search function to improve user experience.

AFS has released a new core search functionality which will allow students to search by geo-location and view those results on a map, as well as through a more traditional list view.

Pushing the boundaries of search

As AFS continues to attract more users and properties, additions to the existing search function were the most requested feature at our recent student focus groups. The new search is based on Elasticsearch, which enables us to deliver results back to our users within milliseconds.

The main benefits will be to enable a more accurate and user-friendly search, including by

  • City
  • Street name
  • Postcode
  • Student area
  • University building
  • Landmark

With the number of properties listed on AFS continuing to increase, this will be of particular benefit in larger towns and cities, enabling students to quickly find an exact match for their requirements. It is likely to result in even more enquiries for our partners, as they are more precisely matched with relevant tenants, regardless of the volume of property listings in a particular area.

View on map

Search results will be also be displayed on a map as well as in a list view. This feature was also introduced following student feedback, allowing users who prefer this option to view properties and their proximity to relevant amenities and areas of interest.

Continuous improvement

This latest release is just one of the many on our journey of continuous improvement. Since 2018 we have consistently launched new features to further improve our website and service. It is one of main reasons AFS has benefited from a dramatic increase in the website traffic (40%) and enquiries (17%) in 2021.

Throughout this process we have been customer led, using data and real-world insight to prioritise areas for improvement. If you would like to take the opportunity to give us some feedback on AFS and help shape our strategy, you can do so here.