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Rattlecake

Wed, Sep 2, 2009

Shopping | Author:

www.rattlecake.com

Introduction

Rattlecake Diaper Cakes is a new website selling novelty “cakes” made out of rolled up nappies. It’s a cute gift idea and certainly a whole lot less fattening than a cake which is ideal for new mums – hence the tagline “The ‘Sweet’ Treat You Don’t Eat”.

Form

The main design of the shopfront looks appropriately clean and cute and prominently shows the items for sale. The colours certainly conjure up images of babies and cleanliness, but the design itself is not really unique or particularly eyecatching. As a mother myself, the last thing I want to do is think about how clean baby’s nappies might be (there can’t be many mums out there not using nappies, after all). What I would rather think about is how special I’m going to be made to feel if I or one of my friends purchase this fantastic novelty gift. An idea for the design for this concept might be to design the site like an elegant cake shop with “speciality” cakes offered, using solid and trendy colours and some extra colours for inspiration. There’s enough kiddie fonts, baby colours and dotted backgrounds out there and to be honest, it seems a bit condescending to the parents. Then again, please remember I am a designer myself and may be a bit on the fussy side!

The three column layout of the shopfront, while quite effective is overdone on the web. However, people have come to expect stores to look a certain way and a three column layout means the customer feels comfortable with navigation. There’s a lot of content on the front page and it can be a bit daunting looking at it – it looks like there’s too much information, even though it’s only standard and expected information being presented. I suggest the dotty background isn’t helping (it makes the site look too busy) and the pink and blue colours blend into each other too much – for example, the blue background in the middle column blends into the left menu and it needs to be separated with a different colour – maybe chicken yellow?

Some additional organisation would help remove confusion too. I’m not sure why people would need a search box up the top if they’ve just landed on the site? I’d imagine they’d prefer to browse and look at the product before delving in too far. The credit card images could also be moved down a bit – maybe into the bottom of the “My Account” box?

I do think that the images of the “cakes” are well done with some cutting out and gradients added – they look quite appealing. Some adjustment of levels in Photoshop might help to make the nappies look a bit whiter rather than greyer and this would help improve an impression of cleanliness.

Function

The content of the site is adequate for the purpose and it’s good to see that there’s a proper description for each product, what is in it and measurements. There’s adequate content about the company etc.

Coding is a mix of javascript, CSS, html and added components (such as Ajax). I suspect this is a Joomla site though it’s hard to tell without telltale copyrights in the source code. The navigational links are functional and I think the webmasters tried their best to make sure the site worked well functionally, though they are a bit daggy with design.

Conclusion

Rattlecake Diaper Cakes is a good idea and will certainly appeal as a great gift idea to mums-to-be. They’ve already had some success in business and it looks like a shop on the internet is a logical step to take to improve sales. The website has adequate content and the right idea. Some slight work to the layout and some more work in design will help to push it a bit further and make it stand out more. Best of luck!

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fig 1. Some of the “cakes” look a bit grey

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fig 2. The blue colours runs across two columns

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fig 3. Can we make these elements less obvious?

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