I was recently asked to analyse wynsors.com, a shoe site and chain of stores based in the north west of England, and recommend improvements that they could make to their site.
On checking alexa.com and woorank.com I discovered that 55% of their search traffic was generated simply by a search for Wynsors. The traffic pattern also suggested that search funding was simply not present.
Importantly it confirmed that the visitors to the website were more likely to be female.
Look & Feel
I’m not a designer, but there were three key points I needed to make about the layout of the homepage.
- It’s in a black frame. Dark web design can be used to striking effect, but most users prefer light to dark pages. On a retail site you need to be very careful before using dark backgrounds so that you don’t alienate potential clients at the first impression.
- The text size is very small – less than the 12 point that I would consider the minimum for a retail site.
- The welcome message (shown below) is virtually unreadable, and appears to be there solely to boost the text to image ratio – useful for the search rankings.
From a content perspective, there seems to be some confusion about the intended audience. The aspirational image shown in the main banner spot targets young women in the 18-35 age group.
However, it’s placed next to two images of slippers, products usually aimed at a much older audience. The next three rotational banners are all variations on men’s canvass shoes.
This confused messaging is a scattergun approach to the customer, as if Wynsors are hoping that if you throw enough promotional material at a potential customer, some will appeal to them. There’s no attempt to create a story or message for the user. I’m a firm believer in a focused marketing plan – a clear story for the user, and a clear message for the sales team and tools.
In the second part of this blog I’ll explore the user experience.