Web Design

Anatomy of a Home Page
October 1, 2002

Here’s an analogy: Home page is to Web site as storefront is to retail and cover is to catalog. In short, it’s the first impression prospects have of your company, and a critical one at that. In fact, a home page has to work even harder than a retail storefront or print cover because it must facilitate transactions further on in the site, says Bridget Fahrland, executive creative director at e-business consultancy Fry Multimedia. “It can’t just be about catching the eye. Something there has to get [customers] to go deeper,” she explains. Though much of home page design depends on each cataloger’s

Case Study: Godiva Sweetens Its Site
September 1, 2002

The fish are the last to discover the sea, so says the Chinese proverb. This analogy may stretch to Godiva, whose staffers had been working so closely with its site they weren’t sure what was needed to make it even better. According to Beth Brown, Godiva’s senior manager of interactive, prior to an October 2001 makeover the company’s interactive group tweaked its site based only on competitive benchmarking and intuition. “Before, I literally had mock-ups [of page designs] and would ask [my staff] what they thought,” she says. This time, Brown sought advice directly from customers with usability testing. Brown and

Products: From Paper to Pixels
September 1, 2002

A customer’s online and print product experiences can be summed up as the difference between two words, according to Bridget Fahrland, executive creative director at e-business consultancy Fry Multimedia. “The Web provides proactive shopping, while a print catalog provides reactive shopping,” she explains. “On a Web site, you’re allowed to play more with what you see.” But make sure to play by the rules; a balance of romantic (read: promotional) copy and helpful product information is key to keeping a user’s interest, and consequently, business. Petra Schindler Carter, director of consulting services at Fry, points out that consumers don’t have to make cognizant decisions

Creative Cut: Ross-Simons
July 1, 2000

Designers and marketers see both limitations and advantages in Web-site creative. The overarching limitation is a lack of control in the appearance of the end product because of differing technologies on consumers’ computers. On the flip side, Web sites can be altered “on the fly,” making them a more dynamic place for testing and learning about customer preferences. Deborah Kania is lead marketer at multichannel optical supplier Lens Express in Deerfield Beach, FL, co-author of “The Web Catalog Cookbook” and “The Internet World Guide to One-To-One Web Marketing,” and author of the upcoming book “Branding.com.” She observes, “Two of the biggest changes

Launching a Maternity Catalog In Print and Online
July 1, 2000

It is happening more often—an interesting reverse trend. New e-commerce companies recognizing the need to create greater awareness are producing print catalogs to help accomplish that task. Flush with Internet success, the exciting reality of creating a Web site and actually attracting visitors from everywhere who browse and buy spurs these companies to create new categories of catalogs. The Naissance maternity catalog is typical of this phenomenon. Naissance began operations two years ago as a retail maternity shop in a prestigious mall in suburban Los Angeles. The Internet site, www.naissancematernity.com, was developed soon afterwards. While the retail shop new business from as

E-catalog: Web Content
June 1, 2000

Reports show that editorial content best achieves Internet customer retention. Making one’s site a resource for information related to your products draws buyers back to your site when they aren’t looking to buy, and provides a sales vehicle when they are buying. Content can do everything from establish brand to build community to tap into the power of suggestive selling. Melissa Davis, director of e-commerce for R.R. Donnelley Direct (RRD), says that editorial is a good place to integrate multiple channels of retailing. RRD has created a whole division devoted to e-commerce, and in addition to providing expertise on moving from print catalogs to