Monday, October 26, 2015

First Impressions: Graphic Design, Networking, and SEO

If you've been here before, you'll notice that I recently left my basic start-up Blogger template behind for a more customized version.

It's important when designing your blog or webpage to know what you want people's first impression of your page to be. In my current industry (construction supply) we are seriously lacking female representatives, and I think I've been influenced by that a lot. I am proud to be a woman in an industry where a lot of people look down on women. It gives me a chance to change people's perspectives, and to prevent them from being so incredibly ignorant in the future. I also do make-up, and I like to look successful, even on days when I'm not feeling like it so much. Obviously all of these things contributed to my header and colour scheme.

That being said, I also didn't want men's retinas to be burned by there being so much pink on my page, nor did I want to fall into the trap so many people do of having a busy page filled with photographs and clip art. The mixed fonts provide some texture, without being confusing or distracting. It is still straight forward to read and easy to navigate. It still looks professional.

Your web page is your first point-of-sale in e-commerce interactions - What's your sales pitch?

For this post I chose a website basically at random that I've purchased from and sometimes browse so as to observe what they're doing to engage customers, create successful calls to action, and to represent themselves attractively to potential affiliate networks and search engines. Enjoy :)

My experience with this site: 
Purchased from once.

Mission Statement:
"At HUMAN, we believe that every printed object can be a mechanism to declare identity and belonging. We work every day to create compelling clothing, accessories, and home decor for trendsetters and pop culture nerds with a bold sense of humor. Everyone on the HUMAN team has their own unique voice and personality, but we all share in our mission to enable self-expression through exceptional design.
Dress Yourself To Express Yourself"

Summary of User Experience:
No conviluded URLs (URLs are specific and recognizable for each product).
Unique product descriptions.
Topics and selection options are easy to read, find and use.
Search is fast to load and brings up relevant material.
Despite being colourful and featuring patterned and lettered materials, it is not busy or overwhelming. 

Product pages are slow to load and some links appear to use script. 

Engages Customers? engages their customers through content marketing. Their products are trendy and often ironic or humorous. Because they appeal to a niche market, they engage their customers by offering social connection and exclusivity - Their products are a blatant statement about a person's social standing and opinions.  LookHuman features "wants" more so than "needs" and therefore, in my opinion, functions partially off of impulse buying concepts. 1) Spark curiosity. (Front page ad.) 2) Offer something unique - low prices, unusual features. (Discounts, products with in-the-moment trendy sayings and celebrity photos.) 3) Drive excitement. (Unique product descriptions, easily accessible design and colour options allow personalization of products.) 4) Ask for sale. ("Add To Cart.") 

As a consumer, I do wish they listed consumer reviews of product quality, sizing accuracy and customer service. Having reviews available to me would have made my buying decision easier.

Calls To Action?
Calls to Action include slang such as "Treat yo inbox," and common expressions such as "You can even!" Once again, they are appealing to consumers by speaking in a way that is relatable. This is effective with their demographic because it sparks interest more than a generic statement such as "Subscribe here." By matching the language of their content to their products and consumers, they are also creating consistency and therefore confidence in their brand's image.

Affiliate pros and cons:
- Brand and reputation is consistent.
- Products are good quality, sizes are true. (Customer satisfaction to drive brand loyalty and repeat / referral web traffic.)
- Repeat and referral traffic means they are a trusted resource by their visitors, and ads are more likely to be considered by these visitors.
- Niche market allows targeted advertising, and therefore more likelihood of impressions becoming conversions.

Strong Affiliate / Third Party Links Could Be:
Fashion magazines
Home, fashion and family-life bloggers
Conventions, Ie. Science, comics, sci-fi
Companies that appeal to a similar demographic, Ie. Starbucks, Chapters / Indigo
Non-Profit Attractions Ie. Science World
Music Festivals, Ie. Shambhala

E-mail marketing?
I checked, and I already receive e-mails from this site and didn't even realize it, so I'd say their Subject lines need some vamping up if they want me to look at them. That being said, after searching for them, the Subject statements are consistent with their brand language and are attention grabbing, so perhaps I just don't pay enough attention to my e-mail ads. Their e-mails are designed using images and links and very little e-mail text. Generally it seems that the images in the e-mails match the ads and graphics on their web site's Home page. They are well designed but I personally find them a bit much to look at. There is a lot of colour and background image changes throughout considering the smaller browser space of an e-mail. I also find that a lot of their sales and discounts seem to be recycled over and over again using different promotional text, which is simply a pet peeve of mine. Sales stop being exciting and worthwhile when they are always the same - If you have loyal customers, they will notice if you do this. There are special offers and promotions listed in the e-mails I would not have heard about otherwise, which does encourage me to open their e-mails in the future.

Mobile Accessible?
Website home page looks the same on mobile, but I had to click on items up to 4 times before they would load for me. Once the home page re-started when I clicked on a product image rather than loading the new page. Responsiveness and load time did get better the longer I browsed their site. Cart and checkout functions were responsive and easy to use even over mobile. For a mobile site, everything looked really nice and cleanly designed aesthetically.

16 - 30
Income level: $30000 +
Time consumers spend online per day: 3 - 5 hours
Fashion and social media driven
They have well-developed opinions

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