31 May Site Review: IEWC’s Modern Site Design
We looked at IEWC – which relaunched its site late spring 2017. We looked at the site from a user experience and a design perspective.
- Clean mega menu for products and services dropdown. Well organized product categories, and a View All option. The drop-down also includes links to services.
- The other dropdowns are well-designed and easy to read. Making good use of tabs to manage the large amount of information – informative without being overwhelming
The Registration form is long and includes several optional fields that could be requested at a later time. The length might dissuade users from completing registration.
- Use Shipping Address checkbox hides the billing address- this should be checked by default.
- Fields do not pre-populate (Name fields should prepopulate the Contact Name fields (if these fields are essential).
- Field is two-column. Generally, one-column is a best practice.
Product Category Pages
A horizontal (rather than vertical) filter is being used.
- Pro: visually appealing and some research saying the horizontal filters perform better.
- Con: This design is pushing the actual product listing down the page (below the fold).
Product Detail Page
- The CTA: Add to Quote Cart – is low on the page. Bringing it up higher would make it more visible
- Using tabs for Description and Specifications hides some product information.
- Product data appears to be missing: product images are often not available and product details are limited
- In general, the breadcrumb design makes breadcrumbs very visible but is taking up a lot of space in a prominent part of the screen.
- The “share” icons seem excessive. The icons stand out against the muted colors of the site and are right in the middle of the core product content. I would move these to a less prominent, but accessible position and decrease their size.
- Bookmarking: There is a nice feature to be able to save products to a favorites list. When clicking the bookmark icon, you receive a popup success message, but then there is no visual indication that the product has been bookmarked (the icon itself does not change).
- Giant red bar at bottom of page detail and search results pages with “NOT FINDING WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?” and CONTACT US button is a nice way to plug a possible leak in the user journey.
The Resource section is detailed, useful and very customer-focused. With clear and relevant information, this section is well-executed.
Overall Site Design
Overall, the site has a clean, crisp and accessible design. The minimal approach to content means that it is easy to read and delivers on the message. Overall, a few recommendations:
- Search bar spanning full width is not ideal – not immediately apparent as the eye goes to the middle of the page where you only see a blank box – should be smaller and centered
- Homepage image carousel is fast and distracting.
- The homepage focus is on general articles and news, rather than directing users to products and product-specific content
Overall, the site has a smart, minimal design that makes the site easy to navigate and use. For distributors looking to move in this direction, here are a few takeaways:
- Use of mega-menus help users browse through product categories and available resources
- Expanding and completing product data can help with product browsing, filtering, and search
- Resources guide is well thought through – a good self-service and marketing tool
- Try using the homepage to focus on products and services. The giant rotating banner and prominent marketing content distract from the shopping experience.
Bonus takeaway: the marketing video to launch the site (at the beginning of the post), is lighthearted and fun. We like the message: “yes, we’ve heard you loud and clear. Which is why the new iewc.com was built with you – our customers – in mind. The video introduction of the new site features and functionalities are clearly presented – using a problem/solution approach. It takes a while to get to the meat of the ad (the first minute and a half are set up for the joke), but the substance is there, once you get there.