Mobiles.co.uk was the UK’s first retail mobile phone website in 1995 and is now the largest web-only mobile phones store in the UK, processing thousands of orders every month.
This website instantly comes across as professional and looks the way an e-store should. The logo is simple, yet unique and the logo colours (purple and black) are carried throughout the website (with some orange, pink, red, cyan and violet used for brands and grey used for title bars). With lots of text, images and attention to small detail (such as the graphic bullet points) the design looks very busy yet very capable. I thought customers might get confused or lost, however, upon closer inspection the headings like “Latest Mobile Phones” and “Our Best Network Deals” have helped to make the featured items in the main section much easier to negotiate. The design looks “loud” and “in your face” but the site is actually well organised and the busyness seems to appeal to lots of mobile phone users, who enjoy new gadgets and exciting communication. With stiff competition, this site needs to be “loud” and the design has served this purpose well.
Using a traditional three column layout, Mobiles.co.uk has the usual elements in the correct places, for example, a left navigational menu, left menu search button and basket on the right etc. The items in the left and right columns look familiar but not boring – an effort has been made to improve on these standard elements, by using graphics, headings, brands and lists to good effect. I especially liked the layout of the testimonials in the top right.
There is a complex maze of navigation on Mobiles.co.uk, however the efficient menus and organised groups of information make it far easier for the customer to navigate. Links appear to work well. The main left navigational menu has handy bolded main categories, plain text subcategories and arrows indicating lists of links. The arrows are subtle (in grey) and helpful which is good as sometimes the arrows stand out too much and impair navigational scanning. However, when clicking on pages from the left menu, there is no indication in the left menu of where the customer currently is, and in such a large sea of data, the customer probably would like to know where they are in order to know where they could look next. Underneath the main bar at the top is an arrowed destination in plain purple text but it is a bit subtle and I didn’t notice it until after I had surfed for awhile.
The Nokia N95 looked particularly nice due to layout and being able to incorporate the full specs in a subtle, tasteful and efficient manner. The advertising on this page was very helpful as it had items related to the carrier with special offers, instructions, features and deals. Since the customer would be looking at different carriers, the advertising is the most useful I have seen on a website and sets an excellent standard in successful placement of advertisments on websites. I highly recommend other businesses take a look at this style of ad placement.
Another interesting page is the Mobile Phone Deals. With the branding colours for each carrier and the specially designed bullets and headings, this page looks very exciting. The flashing black banner adds to this and overall the impression is of excitement and “can’t wait to buy”. The gradient in the heading text is a neat idea, adding a bit of shine and swish and while the page is busy, I’m sure the customer will love looking at it. “Choose from any of our amazing free gifts” is at the bottom of the page, which was a bit of an odd spot for it. However, having just bought my carrier contract, I sure would like to check out those free gifts!
Mobiles.co.uk is a fantastic e-store which has built on the traditional template to make it exciting, colourful, efficient and relevant to its web audience. I am convinced that it will attract and hold a lot of customers easily (and the deals are good too). Well done on an e-store others will envy!
fig 1. Detailed bullets & gradiated headings
fig 2. Making the standard elements stand out
fig 3. Free gifts at bottom of page & advertising
fig 4. Testimonial in top right
fig 5. Colour co-ordinated carriers
fig 6. Professional logo