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Phones That Sell Themselves

Thu, Sep 13, 2007

Technology | Author:

www.mobileexpress.co.uk

Introduction

Mobile Express is an online mobile phone retailer, “the UK’s No1 specialist direct supplier of cheap mobile phones“. With a flashy website and lots of specials, these phones are sure to sell themselves!

Form

Mobileexpress.co.uk is busy busy busy. There are lots of pics, highlighted specials and the usual navigational menus in a three column layout. These people sure know what they are doing – they have attention-grabbing red, blue and yellow specials using reverse text, one medium sized animation at the top of the page and a white table foreground with a grey background to allow the focus on the products. Some design features are standard ones that either come with templates or are often seen on other retail sites, such as the clipart for the basket, logos etc.

An interesting design idea that I haven’t seen much of is the top right yellow triangle offering “FREE delivery on EVERYTHING!”. I also liked the use of the purple colour further down the page for the free gifts as it held my attention just when I was starting to get bored.

The types of fonts used are very suitable for a retail site and look professional. While there is lots of colour and almost too much to look at, Mobile Express uses colour wisely by sticking to traditional loud colours that are repeated consistently throughout the site. The overall impression is of a trustworthy company with big specials and lots of products on offer.

Function

There are a lot of links on the page which are needed for the audience to find their intended product. Navigation occurs on the left menu for brands, phone categories and networks. These are nicely contained in a blue and white menu that is a subtle effect next to the products. The yellow and white box below it looks like a menu too, but is a list of selling points for the merchant. I originally thought the yellow box linked somewhere as it looks so much like the blue navigational menus, so maybe using square corners instead of rounded ones on this box might make it appear less like a menu.

Some navigation also occurs in the right column, where best selling free mobile phones appear in a list with an image and some reviews. The reviews are a good idea and certainly will assist customers who are deciding which phone to buy. All links appear functional. There are also lots of links down the bottom of the pages for general site navigation (such as About Us etc) and links for selling points (eg, free next day delivery).

I supposed the top menu is the main navigation (Contract Mobile Phones, Pay As You Go, Accessories…etc). Too bad they aren’t really obvious as people are probably drawn to the images in the center and the right column. Make them more prominent?

Coding is ASPX with html, CSS and javascript. Loading time is medium but this is due to the large code containing images and links and is still faster than a lot of other retailers out there.

The Mobile Express blog is a great example of how retailers can make their blog interesting and useful to an audience. With latest product updates, competitions and an informal but professional tone, the blog page is geared towards advertising that looks quite inviting (see image right). I do have to suggest though that since there aren’t many comments, there may be either an issue with leaving comments or no one wants to leave one, so some extra promotion of the blog page might assist, as well as choosing more wacky and wild topics to blog on in between the product updates etc. Perhaps there should be quick links somewhere in the home page that points to the latest mobile news category – this can help people to navigate to important sections of the blog quickly.

Conclusion

Mobile Express offers a wealth of product information and I can see why it’s “the No 1 UK specialist direct supplier of mobile phones”. I would classify the website as a professional retail one that has a lot to offer. The blog was really interesting to see and clicking on the phones guided the viewer to a phone and purchase without getting bogged down in too much unnecessary information. The loading time was a bit slow but still operates faster than a lot of retail sites out there. Very well done with fitting in so much information in such a constructive way! If you are living in UK and are looking for mobile phones, contract mobile phones or even free mobile phones, give www.mobileexpress.co.uk a visit.

www.mobileexpress.co.uk.1
fig 1. The yellow triangle (top right)

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fig 2. The yellow box that looked like a menu

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fig 3. Purple colouring stands out

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fig 4. The good-lloking blog page

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fig 5. Ready to pick and purchase!

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