Tag Archives: Design

Design + development case study: Largo Furniture

OldNew-Site

A smarter website drives big gains

Get a free four-page .pdf of the Largo case study:


 

Over the last few years, Largo Furniture has seen rapid growth in their product offerings and customer base. They soon found that they had outgrown their website, and reached out to Whereoware for a website makeover.

The new site, www.largofurniture.com, focuses on user experience to make products easier to locate, research, and purchase. By paying attention to users’ navigation and search habits, and creating multiple reporting capabilities for retailers and reps, Whereoware produced a site that was both attractive and efficient.

The updates paid off. Over the first year after the site’s revamp, Largo saw huge gains.

Want to learn more about how Whereoware took the Largo site from hard-to-navigate to hard-to-resist? Download the free 4-page case study to see our tactics for yourself and discover the amazing results!

Web tip: 4 tips to spruce up your home page

Web-WOWhomeFirst impressions are everything, and this holds true for your website as well.  It’s absolutely crucial that you not only establish a solid home page design right out of the gate, but also ensure that it is functional and follows best practices.  Your home page sets the tone for your entire website – make sure it’s a good one!

There’s a difference between your website being attractive and effective. Highlighting a search bar or making contact information readily available might seem to detract from the beauty of the site, but these features are crucial if you want your website to ‘work’ for your visitors.

Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean your site needs to be ugly! Far from it, in fact; some of the most functional and popular sites are also beautiful to look at. However, each of these sites balances form with function. Let’s take a look at MECLABS’ rules for landing page design. Continue reading

Web tip: our 5 favorite e-commerce websites

rochelleThis week, we have a guest post from Whereoware’s Creative Lead + Front End Developer, Rochelle Pennington. Rochelle has been a web designer and front end developer for 5+ years, and has helped the Whereoware team design and develop more than 50 websites for our clients.  Over the years, she’s picked up a few tricks of the trade, and she knows how to spot a good design when she sees it. Here, Rochelle provides a round-up of some of her favorite e-commerce websites:

Barneys1. Barneys New York (http://www.barneys.com)

Barneys.com features a beautiful, bold product detail page design that online shoppers don’t normally get to see. Tall product images are no longer off-limits; Barneys flaunts its large photography, and includes highly relevant upsell content around the main product.

Hiding non-essential content
, like the product description and specs, removes clutter and allows consumers to focus on the important stuff (like pictures and the “buy” button!). They keep the important information up above the fold, making it super easy to purchase.

2. United Pixelworkers
(http://www.unitedpixelworkers.com)

I love the UnitedPixelworkers.com website because it proves that an e-commerce site can be light-weight and responsive. Since it is content-light and contains only necessary product information, the site is able to load quickly, minimizing wait time for customers. In addition, the site’s advanced design allows for it to be responsive to customers’ own devices.

Rather than directing mobile or tablet visitors to a mobile site, the United Pixelworkers site is designed in such a way that the same exact website can adapt to all different screen sizes. The site’s layout is not dependent on the device, but rather on screen size, with all page content able to shift to fit in smaller screens. In terms of information, the website provides only what is actually necessary – cost, shipping, in-stock status, a description, and an image. This is true on both the mobile and desktop sites. This kind of minimalism makes it easy for customers to navigate, find what they want, and ultimately purchase.

UPworkers

United Pixelworkers also does something that we don’t see much of on other e-commerce sites: product availability (in-stock, out of stock, running low) is graphically represented, with a nifty bar for each product variation. The bar is shaded to represent the remaining inventory; if a product is out of stock, the words “out of stock” appear in the bar rather than shading.This achieves two ends: giving this kind of information to the customer early in their shopping experience sets expectations, and decreases the feeling of frustration they’d potentially get after adding an out-of-stock product to the cart. In addition, seeing a very limited amount left in stock may be the final impetus a customer needs to make a purchase. Pretty clever!

JCrew3. J.Crew
(http://www.jcrew.com)

I find myself shopping on J.Crew’s website…a lot. Besides having great products, one of the reasons I’m so loyal to them is because they make it easy for me to spend my money – not so great on my wallet, but awesome for them!

J.Crew offers PayPal as an alternate secure payment option, which is fantastic for customers who are wary about giving away credit card information. In addition to being secure, it’s also fast and convenient because customers aren’t asked to enter their billing information again and again.

Another thing J.Crew does well is to provide a clean website design (minimizing distractions) and well-organized products. Viewing all products within a parent category would normally return an endless sea of content, but J.Crew does a great job visually breaking up product thumbnails into their respective subcategories.

4. Sugarpova
(http://www.sugarpova.com)

Sugarpova.com is the youngest site on my list, but it’s quickly become one of my favorites. Sugarpova’s product detail pages have many things in common with Barneys’, so you can probably guess that I’m a big fan. Just as with Barneys, simple page layouts, large imagery, and minimal copy let products shine.

Sugarpova

The minimalistic design is carried over to the shopping cart and checkout pages, featuring an easy one-page checkout process that keeps a running tab of all information the customer has entered in the right-hand column. This website just makes online shopping a breeze.

WestElm5. West Elm
(http://www.westelm.com)

West Elm is another one of my favorite retailers. If you step inside of one of their brick & mortar stores, you’ll find yourself in an insanely detailed showroom, and it’s not hard to imagine a few (or all!) of their products inside your home.

WestElm2West Elm stores achieve this by showing you their products in their natural environment (i.e., your living room and bedroom). They do the same thing online, too.On their website, they offer up alternate product images* almost anywhere they can, including on the home page, category landing pages, in the quick view, and even on thumbnail rollovers. Being able to view product in context can make purchasing online less intimidating, so why not allow customers to do so at every opportunity?

While eye candy encourages customers to stick around, providing faceted search filters will help them make easier buying decisions. Faceted search is when the user performs a simple search using a keyword or two, then narrows down their search results by selecting the appropriate checkboxes or drop downs (sorting by price points, color, material, etc).

*Side note: including high-quality, professionally directed photography is an absolute must. Your website may be the only opportunity you have to make a good impression on potential (and returning) customers, so I highly recommend investing in exceptional silhouetted and/or environmental photography.

There are many factors I didn’t get to list that make a successful e-commerce website, but I’ll save those for next time!

What is your favorite e-commerce website?  Why?

Web tip: optimizing landing pages part II

A few weeks ago, we optimized page headlines using insights gleaned from MarketingSherpa’s B2B Summit 2012 (for a refresher, see Web tip: easy changes to optimize your landing pages – part I). Now, it’s time to take it one step further. Let’s jump straight into the next bits of content: the top few inches of your page.Just like the preview frame of an email, the uppermost part of a page is the first thing your visitors will see, and often the only thing that will convince them to stay. Optimizing this part properly could mean the difference between a conversion and a bounce.

Top content

ContactUs-2Inv3

In addition to making things visually interesting, this area also needs to provide directions to users, answering where, what, why, and how questions about site navigation. Sound confusing? It shouldn’t be, if you follow MarketingSherpa’s checklist. Let’s take a look at how they’ve broken it down, and apply these recommendations to the Whereoware Contact Us page:
Continue reading.

Marketing automation tip: Responsys lookbook

BrooksBrothers-longBack in August, Responsys Inc published their 2012 Look Book, highlighting their favorite email creative from the past year. The choices were excellent, including thought-provoking fundraising emails (Royal National Institute of Blind People), entertainment emails populated with dynamic content (Sky), personalized + event-triggered e-commerce emails (Pizza Express), and many more.

We found ourselves particularly drawn to one of the emails, which had actually made the rounds here at Whereoware back when it was originally sent to subscribers in April 2012. The email came from Brooks Brothers and was part of an effort to promote a new line of polo shirts. While the topic in and of itself might have been take-or-leave-it, Brooks Brothers went above and beyond with a creative concept which teased readers with the idea of a $2000 polo shirt that in fact turned out to be a little something more.

In this blog post, we’re breaking down the Brooks Brothers email, figuring out what works, what could be improved, and why it merited inclusion in the Responsys 2012 Look Book.

About the email: subject line

The subject line for this email was just one ‘word’: “$2,000.00?” The brevity of this subject offered no suggestion as to what the content of the email might be, placing a rather large burden on the body (text and image) to get the message across.

Continue reading.

Web tip: 3 ways to turn a website error page into an asset

Site visitors come across dead pages all of the time, either by following a broken link or typing in the wrong address. The situation, while not ideal, is common enough. What really matters is what you do with it once it occurs. Should you leave your visitors hanging with a one-size-fits-all error message? Absolutely not! How you choose to handle lost customers maybe the perfect time for you to shine. What are error messages? Continue reading.

Web tip: make your website easier to navigate

People navigate the web in different ways. Some may be accustomed to typing out the full URL of a desired site, while others may navigate entirely via Google at this point. Similarly, on websites, some people may be more comfortable using drop-down menus; others may scan sidebars for clues as to where their desired products are located. Still others are drawn automatically to the search bar, no matter where it’s located.

Customers are going to come to your website in many different mindsets, from many different angles, and it’s important that you’re ready to direct them regardless. One way to do this is to ensure you have multiple access points to important areas of your website.

What does this mean?

Continue reading.

Marketing automation tip: using symbols in subject lines

With the large numbers of companies employing email marketing campaigns nowadays, it’s become more and more difficult to make your message stand out to customers. Having them visually jump out is a good start. We’ve talked about innovative designs such as side-scrolling emails, but that kind of ingenuity is only effective once customers open your email. What if you could catch their attention beforehand?

Picture this

One interesting way brands are choosing to do this is by using small pictures in subject lines themselves – not images, but rather symbols, representing a word or emotion. So, when you write “you make me :)” to a friend, you may unconsciously be writing like a marketer!

ProFlowers is one company has been doing this a lot recently. With subject lines that range from ‘making mom feel like a star,’ to pictorial representations of hearts, suns, and flowers, this brand seems to be banking on the rarity of these symbols to make their recent emails pop.

Continue reading.

Marketing automation tip: side-scrolling emails

What is a side-scrolling email? As the name might imply, this format is a horizontally designed email that requires the user to scroll sideways to view more content as opposed to scrolling down.

side-scrolling-emailsimage source: 4.10.11 Saks Fifth Avenue screenshots at stylecampaign.com

Why we like them

Want to jazz your email up a bit? A side-scrolling email is the perfect way to do that. Many people have never seen it before, compelling them to look because of the novelty factor (at least the first time you try the design). This means that your email will stand out in the inbox.

Continue reading.