In this day and age one hears user experience (UX), user interface (UI), designers specializing in UI, mobile UI and so many terms, especially involving "user." What about the user's perspective? What is it that we like about web sites. What makes us click and what makes us stay on a site?
From this writer's perspective, the site, theworkplacedepot.co.uk is worth the click. Obviously, there are even more people who think the same thing, since The Work Place Depot also won awards for the following:
- Online Retail Awards Winner 2013 for "very best online shopping experience."
- Big Wheel Workplace Challenge Winner 2013 demonstrating their green initiative and community involvement.
- Green Apple Award Winner 2012 for environmental conscientiousness.
Even without an analysis of what works for the user or the consumer, reading the awards page makes one want to become a part of this company, with their thoughtful attitude toward the environment and the community. How much more, the consideration of becoming a consumer?
Back to the user experience aspect, from an average person looking at the site, without all the fancy training, what is it that appeals to the consumer?
This particular site secures the navigation bar to the top of any view of the site. This makes it convenient to find the navigation bar and easy to click on the category or page that is desired. This is similar to the "freeze row" effect in Excel, so that the viewer does not have to keep scrolling up and down the page. In the case of theworkplacedepot.co.uk, they also implement the same friendly navigation at the bottom of the page. Visit their site to get a better feel for how this navigation system works.
The layout for the content of this site has to be exceptional in order for the ecommerce site to be successful. If the layout is confusing, the site will look chaotic because of the volume of content on the site. In this case, they use a grid-like design that boxes in the content so that it is visually structured and yet beautified enough to be appealing (i.e. the rounded, shadowed edges). It creates the structure without the boredom. The key thing is it keeps the mind from getting confused and directs the eyes to the different sections.
This site has nice structured footers, in keeping with the structured layout of their site. They provide "just enough" to find the desired item. Examples include the About section, social media, etc. It is not so much information that one gets lost. For those who want to see everything that is available to see, there is a Sitemap link. In doing so, the site is kept free from "too much information" with these clean footers.
Who doesn't like a smiling face? Whether this is an employee, a vendor, an actor, or a stock image, this picture gives you the impression of a friendly environment when shopping on this site. That is very effective -- especially when it is not over-done.
Right at the top of the site is a search box, ready to search for whatever item is desired. To the left of that search box is the toll-free phone number for the UK. In most cases, the visitor to the site is looking for something and possibly only that something and so they want to get down to business. This site understands that need and rather than expecting the visitor to understand how the site is laid out, on their first visit, they provide a search box right at the top, for the visitor's convenience.
Check out the site and see what tips can be gleaned and added to the toolbox of recommendations for the user experience. It is also an opportunity to play user experience expert or user interface designer.
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Deborah Anderson loves Los Angeles and keeping up with the news. During her time as chief technology officer in the financial industry, she ensured that the safety, security, and peace of mind were covered with the wealth management firms and their high net worth clients. You can keep up with her technology and financial tweets @TechAuditCom and keep up with the Los Angeles love @LuvLosAngeles. Connect with her directly on Google+.