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Chic Logo, Barbie Functional E-Store

Sat, Jun 2, 2007

Shopping | Author:

www.barbiegirlsstudio.com

Introduction

The Barbie Girl Studio website is a Vintage Charm Bracelet Store that sells handmade bracelet and uniquely jewelry, medicine necklaces and earrings. With a great logo and some thought put into the website design, rx only some small changes are needed to make this a memorable e-store experience.

Form

The home page of The Barbie Girl Studio uses a standard three column e-store layout with the shopping basket placed in the left column. A Search box and Login details are in the top right, and which is a good place to put them. The logo is very cute, with a suitable mix of chic imagery and a girly font that give the right impression for the store. The colours used are complementary to the logo, in pinks, blacks and greys and the overall design is acceptable but the only outstanding part is the logo.

Ways to improve the design to make it more unique would include:

*** Making the blue text and blue links another, more complementary colour to the logo and colour scheme, such as garnet or deep purple.

*** Putting the products on a white background when photographing, so that the bracelet colours stand out more and also making sure all the product image background colours consistent.

*** Adding to the theme of the logo with similar looking graphics and advertisements.Adding subtle textured wallpapers or more colouring to the page (eg, a complementary but subtle colour like light pink, grey or pale blue in the left and right columns and/or at the top).

*** Keeping the fonts and colours consistent with the rest of the site in the detailed Product Information pages.

The bottom of the page has a nice gradiated pink colour bar matching the top with “About Us”, “Privacy Policy” and the useful “Contact Us” links. The colour bars look really nice the way they are, but by adding a bit of lace or some extra depth (ie a silhouetted image) to the bars, this would assist the uniqueness of the website.

I didn’t see ANY advertising on the site apart from the “Featured Product” which was a huge plus, but I felt an excitingly designed ad in the theme of the logo would only assist the website design if the owners wanted to promote a particular product apart from the featured one.

Function

With clear, easy to follow links that work, it’s impossible to get lost in this e-store and the product summaries (images and descriptions) are refreshingly packed close together to take advantage of “web estate” on the page. Customers are able to see a lot more products but they can still refer to the “Featured Product” and “Popular Products” listed in the right column if needed. This layout really appealed to me and I found it better to surf than if featured products took up a lot of extra space on the page. I had some reservations about the spelling and punctuation in the main links – “Earings” should be “Earrings” and “Tarot card” should be “Tarot Card”. Loading times are average, due to the multitude of graphics and code than inevitably goes into an e-store. Coding is php for the e-commerce and html for page design which works well together. The shopping cart appears functional and easy to use.

The Product Information pages are especially helpful as they have large pics of the products so the fine beads and charms can be seen – well done to the web designer who thought people might like to have a closer look at the items to buy. The “Information” box on the left menu was also helpful, displaying how many products, how many categories and the currency used for each section. However, this box didn’t update as I expect it should, so some tinkering may be needed to get it working properly.

Conclusion
The Barbie Girl Studio logo is what makes the website look interesting and eye-catching and this theme needs to continue more throughout the website to hold the customer’s attention (as well as the actual products of course). While functional and user-friendly, a few changes and some more creativity could make this e-store much more glamourous and would attract more repeat customers.

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fig 1. The Chic & Glamourous Logo

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fig 2. Interesting Products List

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fig 3. Featured Product Box

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fig 4. Products need consistent backgrounds

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