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Online Floristry

Wed, Oct 17, 2007

Shopping | Author:

www.donbelvedereflowersandgifts.com

Introduction

Don Belvedere Florist serves the Montreal area and are committed to offering only the finest floral arrangements and gifts, thumb backed by friendly and prompt service.

Form

When I first saw the home page of the Don Belvedere Florist website, I was attracted to the large picture of the Orange roses with River Rocks, which is quite a unique looking piece. The bouquets on the right side and flower rectangles in the top banner also emphasise the floristry impression. Colours used are warm brown and golden tones and look really nice, but the logo with the purple flower doesn’t blend into this colour scheme. More purple would need to be worked into the home page to make this colour scheme better. Also, having the logo in a separate square makes the top banner look fragmented. Maybe the Don Belvedere etc text could be placed in white on the brown banner background? And the purple flower could be made into a white outline beside it.

I liked the simple sans serif font used and most times it was used appropriately, but the left menu needs to have less spacing (use shift + enter instead of just enter to pack lines closely together). The words “weekly arrangements” on the left menu didn’t appear indented like the rest of the menu. In the brown banner above the main image, the black text is hard to read maybe a white, orange, yellow or light brown would work better?

The use of multiple columns on different pages has worked well within this website, with, for example, a gallery style on the “View Cart” page and a two-column layout on the “Search” page. The design on these pages looks balanced enough and makes good use of white space to add simplicity to the website. Nicely uncluttered.

Function

Navigation takes place by links on the top banner (always helpful to shoppers), left menu category links, text links at the bottom of the page containing “Privacy Policy” etc and links within the pages. It’s a good idea to keep the bottom-of-the-page links the same font size as the top banner links, so the overall navigational appearance is consistent. Also the [Visit Our Friends] link at the bottom of the page was very hard to read changing the colour would help. I particularly liked the popup window for the “Privacy Policy” it’s a good way for shoppers not to lose sight of their potential purchases! Navigational links appeared functional.

Coding is Active Server Pages containing HTML, CSS and javascript. Maybe more work could be done with the cascading style sheets for menu formatting or banner & bottom-of-page navigational menus to ensure indents, colours and sizes remain consistent throughout the site. Loading time was reasonably fast and the large image loaded up quite well. This beats a lot of other online shopping sites out there!

Conclusion

The Don Belvedere Florist website is a nice looking and easy-to-surf website that just needs a little bit more work with some design elements. The flower displays look quite attractive and I’m sure lots of shoppers will like the faster loading time. The website appears in English (probably due to my browser’s preferences) but also has a French translation option in the top right corner. A pleasant experience.

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fig 1. Logo needs to blend into the banner more

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fig 2. Left navigation menu needs work

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fig 3. Good looking “View Cart” page

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fig 4. Easy-to-follow “Search” page

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