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Q: site review and feedback please ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: site review and feedback please
Category: Business and Money > eCommerce
Asked by: headsetsdotcom-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 13 May 2002 15:40 PDT
Expires: 20 May 2002 15:40 PDT
Question ID: 16039
Site review. Can I get someone to review our site for useability.  I'm specifically looking for specific
suggestions and reasons why.  We have a bunch of other sites, so if
the reviewer wants to suggest a payment amount for more sites it'd be
great. We're looking to sell more rather than win awards, so if the
reviewer can position their minds to being in "i want to buy one of
these modes".  Feel free to continue through to order page and put
"google researcher" in the name field, and all 1234 etc in the credit
card. Thanks!
Subject: Re: site review and feedback please
Answered By: joey-ga on 13 May 2002 17:07 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
I'm going to start off with a gloss of my general feelings of the site
and some overall suggestions.  Then, I'm going to being my famous
"nitpicking" list of little things in your site I think can easily
change people's attitude in a positive or negative direction.

What is very successful about your site is that it, through product
photography, quickly lets visitors view your product mix.  Although I
did not initially realize that the four products highlighted on the
front page were the extent of the products directly marketed on the
site (as opposed to on

As I'm not sure who your audience is specifically (and to what extent
they've been exposed to conference phones), I wonder if the site's
products may initially confuse those unfamiliar with conference
phones.  The intro tagline you have at the top of the page may be more
successfully rewritten to describe what a "phone conferencer" is and
then how your products are special.  What it lacks now is the
description of a phone conferencer.  Many of us know that it's a
device that sits in the center of a table and lets everyone speak and
be heard.  Those less familiar with the devices may be looking for
keywords like "speakerphone".

As such, I notice that the term "speakerphone" isn't listed anywhere
on your front page, either in actual text or in "meta" tags (viewable
by search engines).  Web surfers looking for "speaker phones" will
thus not find your page unless they specifically search for
"conference phones".

I like the idea of giving quick descriptions of the four products
adjacent to their photos . . . it lets visitors very quickly figure
out which device they need.  I do, though, think that it may be much
more helpful to condense the longer descriptions into very *prominent*
two- or three-word descriptions that can be read quickly and
immediately without forcing the user to delve into the detailed
content.  For instance, the four phones going across could have their
semi-detailed front-page description changed to "elegant handset +
speaker", "home/small office", "best seller", and "premium sound"
(notice that these could be used in lieu of the less exciting
"individual office", "small meeting room", "medium meeting room", and
"large meeting room".)

In fact, because customers likely are looking for a product to suit
their needs (instead of looking for devices by brand/model
specifically), I think the fact that the model name is given the most
prominence may be a mistake.  I'd instead suggest placing those short
few-word descriptions in bold above the phone, reducing the actual
model names to a less-prominent font boldness/size and placing them
below the photos.  If you'd like to save your more detailed front-page
descriptions, you could then additionally place them below the model
name (in an even smaller font size, maybe even "greyed-out" slightly.)

I wonder if the pricing grid on the front page complicates the page
too much.  It was initially a little confusing and overwhelming to me
to see so many prices together.

You may not want to list prices at all on the front page, or if you do
list them, maybe just list your store's price, or maybe just list the
savings on each phone, leaving the other values to the phone detail

Perhaps your product line could be aided by a "comparison chart" in
which you line up your four phones horizontally across the top of a
page with a list of features going down the left of the page, making a
grid of phones vs. features.  You could then use a checkmark to show
which phones have which features, listing the detailed pricing
information (including savings and retail prices, etc.) on this page
as well.

If you remove all of the pricing info from the front page and spread
out the tag line at the top of the page (so that it takes up fewer
lines), you could then fit a semi-prominent "see a comparison chart of
all conferencers" link on the front page below the phones, and the
link would still be "above the fold" (meaning people with monitors set
to the common 800x600 resolution would be able to see it without

You could then also link to the comparison chart from each phone's
detail page (saying "compare this conferencer to other models")

I think it's also a little confusing navigating through this site's
relationship to, especially through the shopping cart. 
When I added a phone and an accessory, the link from the shopping cart
to the accessory took me to the interface, not back to
the interface, and I couldn't figure out how to get
back without pressing "BACK" on my browser a few times.

Also, from the shopping cart, the "Continue in the Phone Conferencing
section" button is a broken link.  When I click it, I get a 404 error.

When I clicked "checkout", the page's "shell" (e.g. the outer
navigation, etc.) broke into two parts in the upper left.

In the order system, though it doesn't bother me as an experienced
user, I think that the "this page includes some insecure items" pop-up
notice may worry some inexperienced users.  Internet Explorer shows
this notice when you view a site on an SSL server (e.g. using an
https:// address) but when some of the images on the page, etc. point
to a non-https address.  You may want to put all of your images on the
same server as your secure order form to avoid this warning.  Again,
on the "thank you" page, the shell broke.

It might be nice to also use a "confirmation" page.  After someone's
entered his requests and credit card information, he may want to
confirm what he's entered before he's charged.


Those are some overall thoughts and some major issues to consider. 
Below I've lsited some other little design tweaks to consider:

It's kind of hard to read your site's name in the upper left.  Even
though you use a white glow around the wording, the black-on-dark-grey
part of the name (over the large conferencer) is hard to read.

I think the page header titles (e.g. "Polycom Professional Phone
Conferencers" on the front page) are too close to the navigation at
the top, causing a cramped feeling.  As many designers say "whitespace
is your friend", and I think it could help your site seem simpler by
spreading it out a bit more.

Your front page taglines aren't sentences but they have periods at the
end.  Also, the "drop caps" you use, in my opinion, aren't prominent
enough to warrant the drop cap.  A drop cap is a specially-designed
first character of a paragraph.  For instance, on the front page, you
make the tagline's initial "F" in a bolder, light-blue text.  The
light blue there is a little difficult to read there, so the "F" kind
of disappears, and while it doesn't really add anything to the
usability of the site, I think it also detracts slightly from it

Another whitespace concern: On the sub-pages, the paragraph text and
the product photos are maybe a little too close to the header . . .you
may want to consider increasing the whitespace there a little too.

When you click on a product photo, it transfers the user to a page in
which the large photo takes up the whole screen.  I didn't realize how
to get back until I scrolled down looking for a solution (e.g. the
solution was to click the image to get back.)  It may be helpful to
move those instructions to show above the image instead of below it
(e.g. to be "above the fold").


I think you've got a great start at an effective specialty sub-site
that does a good job of making it easy for users to find and order the
products they need.  With some of these considerations, I believe your
site could step up to the next level to make it even easier and more

Let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like any
clarification.  In my opinion, $25-$35 is a reasonable price for a
site critique about as detailed as this.  A shorter "gloss" of a
critique, though, would maybe merit $15-$20 if you need less detail
than this.

Take care.


Clarification of Answer by joey-ga on 14 May 2002 14:19 PDT
Sure, I'd love to do another.  If you want a review for a site that's
a lot larger than (e.g. "" for instance),
it may be appropriate to up the price a tad, as a site that much
larger would entail a bigger process and more work.

I'm glad I could help and good luck with your sites.  Take care.
headsetsdotcom-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Joey, this is superb. Would you like to do another site for me? I'd
specifcally like to get you to do another one.

Subject: Re: site review and feedback please
From: mvguy-ga on 14 May 2002 08:40 PDT
Great job, Joey.  In my opinion, at $25 to $35, you're underpricing yourself.
Subject: Re: site review and feedback please
From: miker-ga on 17 Jun 2002 20:01 PDT
Hi, i went through the checkout process and went to go back to the
start using the home menu choice and noticed the link is mispelled

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