WebRef Update: Featured Article: Eat a Web Site for Breakfast | 2 | WebReference

WebRef Update: Featured Article: Eat a Web Site for Breakfast | 2

Eat a Web Site for Breakfast

Moving on the down the road...

Want to spend every cent you made on tech stocks over the winter? Want one-of-a-kind antiques? Rubbing our hands together, we anxiously search for the best place to eat. Search engines give us something we note: www.oneofakindantiques.com. Oh Joy! We click and go to a diner on the expressway. This site might work for the company's previous clients - those who already know the proprietors and who trust their products and services. But we're going to take a look at why our first instinct might be to turn the car around and find another "unique" eatery.

Hitting one in the face with giant Comic Sans typeface is not a strategy I would recommend to a client who is selling "one of a kind" anything. Some quick fixes: Take the photo and blur the edges to add focus to the charming storefront. Add an elegant script for the branding. Make sure the branding has the capability to be reduced and used repeatedly throughout the site, along with the photo. Another point I would make to my client is the simple dichotomy of implying that they have one-of-a-kind antiques, yet they list everything one might find in an estate sale on the home page. Focus on one item or one genre of antique and make that a monthly feature for the site.

Colors that denote a sense of elegance would perhaps be more appetizing. I've lived in CT. I understand the history and patriotism buried deep in the hearts of New England residents. But red, white and blue might remind me that I need to pay my taxes or donate to a worthy cause rather than drop my money on a Queen Anne needlepoint bench. Taking a clue from the photo and the massive inventory, we might stay with the white background for viewing simplicity. The color of that great door in the window of the shop could be used as an accent point on the branding and for links. Since the body and the catalog are mostly listings, stick with a simple Arial typeface and keep it black. Visited link colors could be a deep green that would bounce from the green tree in the photo.

Surprisingly, the photos in the pop-up catalog window download quickly and the clues for where to go for more antiques are appropriate. What we may have, overall, is a simple misunderstanding of the proprietor's image of their business. Until the chefs know where they're cooking, they may lose some great clientele.

Spread your style like caviar on toast...

...and take it all the way to the edges. Let's take one more foray and dine on the new image of online movie promotions. Blair Witch broke the mold of movie billboards on the Web. This was a tantalizing treat in design, and another one of those marketing marvels. But did the chefs do all they could? I think not.

The chefs might have added a free UBB to get customer participation on site instead of having the buzz off site. Add some interactive twitches (or witches) that wouldn't have broken their small budget. Get the stars to come on board to do a scheduled chat. Schedule a contest. Conduct a poll. Go to the table and see if your viewers want more or if they're thrilled with their meal.