Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My new favourite web site

www.customink.com. In particular, I like the "lab", where you can design custom apparel.

I found them through a Google search, and loved them right away. I'm making some custom t-shirts and the site is terrific. Here's why:
  1. Everything you need is right in front of you. Through the clever use of tabs and icons that serve as link buttons, you never need to navigate away from the page - always keeping your t-shirt design right in front of you.
  2. It's clean, but not bland. That's a significant accomplishment.
  3. All the functions are obvious. If you find yourself asking "I wonder if I can...", the answer usually presents itself to you before you finish the thought. Terrific user experience.
  4. You get exactly what you want. Promotional gear, exactly how you want it. And you can order 1 if you want.
  5. They use words that everyday people use in everyday conversation, like "talk to a real person" and "super rush delivery". It's just nice to see a site that doesn't pretend to talk down to you.
  6. Great main navigation: Home | Products | Ideas | Lab. That's it. Simpler is better.
  7. OK, this next one isn't related to the site design at all, but it has to go on the list. Sorry. Their tag line is "You think it. We ink it." Does it get any better than that for the product they have? Genius.

(WEB DESIGN) LESSONS FOR SMALL BUSINESS
  • Simple is good
  • Clean is good
  • Tabs and buttons that keep you on a page as opposed to links that open new pages are great for enhancing the experience. You don't want people to get lost on your site. The "lab" on this site looks (to the user) like one page, yet you can do all kinds of things.
  • Put yourself in the customer's shoes, and imagine they are considering or buying your product in person. What would they want to see and do? Take that, and replicate it on your site to the greatest extent possible.
  • Use words and phrases that people actually use when they talk.
YOUR TURN:

What are you favourite sites from a design / user experience perspective?

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