Structure, Design & Content
The Aerial7 website is user-friendly and simplistic in design, with its muted color
scheme allowing a beautiful display of the colorful product range. It is the keystone to the brand, functioning as both a central hub and storefront. This website is Aerial7’s biggest and most important advert, with all other advertising forms eventually directing consumers towards this site. A customer’s experience on the website is potentially the final, and perhaps the largest, contributing factor towards a sale. Therefore it has to be an effective medium, or else all other areas of advertising are rendered useless.
Imaginovation (A Raleigh Web Design Company) think outside the box.
There are eight recommendations that the Imaginovation Raleigh web design team have generated for improving the effectiveness of the current Aerial7 website:
1. It is suggested that an additional product-type category be created, to go alongside the device-compatible and product-model categories. This category would primarily be for customers who are not familiar with the models and looking for a certain type of headphone (eg. over-ear, in-ear, beanie, etc.). This category list would be most beneficial above the device-compatible category in the side bar. It is also recommended that the iPad, a device of ever-increasing popularity, be added to the device-compatible category.
2. The device-compatible category pages (iPod, iPhone, etc.) all have graphical headers, a feature that should also be implemented on the product-model category pages (Tank, Chopper2 etc.). Rather than simply the model name, these pages would greatly benefit from having a short description of what Aerial7 believes that product category is and a list of some of the differentiating features of that model. A possible image choice would be the selected thumbnail image of that model that is featured on other pages. The use of a graphical header would replace the current all-caps header and potentially solve the problem of the all-caps URL that seems to have been drawn from the header.
3. The product pages provide a detailed description of the product, its features and the technical specifications along with images and links to the shopping cart. It is suggested that these pages be very slightly adjusted to better follow the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) model of marketing. The page should initially attract the attention of the customer (through the image) and then attract their interest and desire (the description). Finally there should be a call to action, a device that encourages the customer to act upon this interest and desire. For these pages this is the Buy Now/Add to Cart buttons, which would benefit from being positioned below, rather than above, the description. Additionally, these call to action buttons should be a greater feature on the page to draw the customers eye, potentially through the use of color. It is also recommended that for increased readability the font size or spacing of the textual content on these pages be increased.
4. The AList Royale photo-shoot landing page is hidden on its product page, and easily missed. A graphic link should be made on the relevant category page and for a period of time on the homepage. This landing page is beautifully designed and should be expanded upon to be a fully fledged landing page with product descriptions and other AList Royale related information and media. It is recommended that additional pages, with unique styling, be created for the other headphone models as well. Landing pages are extremely effective for advertising on search engines, with their usage leading to increased click-through rates and sales.
5. The website’s styling is not fully integrated across all aspects of Aerial7, in particular the Blog and Twitter account. The Blog section is currently completely disconnected in design from the website, essentially making it feel like a different site altogether. The blog needs to be integrated into the main website, with the same header and footer, and perhaps also sidebar too, so as to not confuse visitors. Going to the blog should not feel like you are leaving the site. Less importantly, but still a key factor to the company branding, the Twitter account should also match the website stylistically. Unlike the blog, which needs to follow the same styling, the Twitter account does allow for greater freedom in design to create a similarly themed variation.
6. The Contact page currently only has an email link that opens the customers default mail client. Many individuals do not use a software mail client such as Outlook, instead sending emails though an online client such as Gmail. It is recommended then that a contact form be implemented on this page, enabling customers to contact the company directly from the page itself. This form can offer set subjects for the contact, sending the email to a relevant individual in the company, as well as featuring various questions that can be used to collect customer information for the database.
7. It is recommended that the Product link be renamed to Store and it’s position in the main navigation be switched with the About link, to increase flow to the store. Additionally the shopping checkout provider (Google Checkout) logo should be featured in the footer of the site, to provide the buyer with a sense of security before committing to purchase.
8. Purely on the design front, the rollover navigation on the site is currently comprised of separate graphics that load upon request. The lag in the generation of the rollover image shouldn’t exist and looks unprofessional. This problem can be fixed simply through the use of a single sprite image.