5 Star Flooring Supplies in UK

Introduction

As the url implies, flooringsupplies.co.uk supplies different types of flooring materials in UK. They are established for a long time and have had many big clients over the years. Their website looks professional, secure and very usable.

Form & Function

Upon landing on the home page, I was greeted with a slideshow of all the flooring offers. Navigation was straight forward and standard – top and left. The categories in the top menu was easily understood as well. I was naturally drawn towards the flooring offers and green flooring tabs as they were highlighted. Spacing, layout and fonts were also very consistent. The colors used throughout the website was consistent with the logo colours. It looked like the site was using a commercial CMS. Even then, the designers and developers must have put in a lot of effort to create the graphics and making the site usable with ajax.

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fig 1. Diagrams and instructions are clear.

I liked the fact that they assume that their potential customers were complete idiots to flooring. There was a lot of information on every page explaining what each product was all about. The amount of text seemed to be just right – not too long winded. As a newbie to flooring, I wanted to know more and stumbled upon the glossary page! (I have to give them credit for this one). The FAQ page was also fantastically documented. The diagrams were clear and I thought even internet newbies would not be confused (fig 1).

The contact us page looked great with the google map. Anyone could reach them via any means… skype, google talk, email, MSN…etc. Again, how many websites support instant messaging? Check out the journey times – this is what I call customer service.

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fig 2. “Click image to enlarge” doesn’t seem to enlarge the image.

One thing I did not like is the pop up image on the product page (see fig 2). Clicking on “click image to enlarge” did not enlarge the image… The “enlarged image” seemed to be the same size as the displayed image. I would actually prefer the displayed image to be smaller and clicking on the magnifying glass would enlarge it. In fact, I found navigating the site really slow even with my broadband (might not be the case in UK).

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fig 3. Cool ajax updates the total cost.

It was easy to add items to cart. Entering the total area of the floor updated the total cost straight away. The fitting instructions were clear as well. Thanks to ajax at work again!

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fig 4. The checkout is also very user friendly.

Again, I liked the checkout process. In the first step, the customer enters the user details and delivery date. I could actually specify the exact date of delivery! The mouseover tip was helpful as well. The whole checkout process did not look cluttered and was straight forward. The only improvement I can suggest is to make the field checks ajax as well. That way, customers don’t need to have their browser refreshed to see the errors.

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fig 5. The identity of the website seems to be wrong?

The identity of the website was suspicious. I could not recall “Keswick Flooring Ltd” being mentioned anywhere in the website, not even in the about us or contact us page. Perhaps it was an old trading name?

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fig 6. I get occasional javascript errors in my IE.

Firefox seemed to be fine but my IE 8 sometimes showed some annoying javascript error… no biggy because it didn’t affect my browsing experience. I would be interested to know why if I were the developer.

Conclusion

flooringsupplies.co.uk is a trusted website that should have very good online presence in UK. Every page looks cool but in exchange, the heavy graphics and javascript can slow things down – not a problem with fast internet connection though. The company has great attention to details – every single graphic and word seems to have been well thought of. I believe the way they treat their website will be the way they treat their customers.

In terms of layout and design, flooringsupplies.co.uk does look like any modern day ecommerce website out there – There was not enough buzz going on and I didn’t go “wow” after spending 5 mins on the site. However, when I tried putting myself in the shoes of someone wanting to fix my floor, I did find the website extremely user friendly and helpful. I could already feel the 5 star service even before buying anything from them.


Sitecritic.net award

* We would like to congratulate flooringsupplies for putting in so much effort to create a website that truly communicates with the customer.

Fine Diamond and Gemstone Jewelry

Introduction

povada.com is an ecommerce site that sells prestigious jewelries online. The site is professionally designed with strong appealing graphics. The website looks secure and I am sure that users will have no issues buying jewelries from them.

Form

The first 5 mins navigating the site gave me an impression that the site is out to impress. Diamonds, pendants, bracelets… they seemed to shine throughout every pages. All the graphics seemed to be professionally re-touched before. Thumbs up to the web designer and the photographer! Navigation was easy and I had no problems finding my way around the site. The english was perfect (better than mine). I like to see more pictures on the about us page though.

“Ask anyone who has shopped with Povada.com and they will tell you: Its an amazing visual shopping experience backed up by instant customer service!”

This is a strong statement. Perhaps provide some testimonials?

The only problem I had was that many jpegs were very big. Unless the user is using very high screen resolution, the big flower in the homepage (934 x 638 pixels) would fill up the whole screen. I had to scroll most of the time on every page.

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fig 1. You see big gaps very often.

Every page is very spacious, sometimes too spacious for my liking… In fig 1, you see the big gap between the content and the footer. Perhaps this might work as a print but for the web, I have to scroll down to see the footer, ie a few more seconds to know more about the site. Most importantly, users have to be comfortable with the site. As a person who shops online all the time, I tend to go for speed and functionality.

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fig 2. Text seems abit cramped.

Surprisingly, I feel that the text need more breathing space and this can be achieved easily using CSS. They all seemed abit cluttered on my IE. Other than that, the layout, font sizes and spacing is very consistent across all the pages.

 

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fig 3. Bracelet information covers the other bracelet on the right.

In the product pages (such as gemstone rings or gemstone bracelets for example), mouseover one bracelet gives you additional information on the bracelet. This is all good… However, the popup information actually covers the other bracelet on the right entirely. Perhaps a smaller popup or bigger popup upon mouse click might be a better idea. I actually feel that the mouseover information is a bit overwhelming because I have yet shown interest on the bracelet. If the bracelet images are smaller, perhaps we can have more bracelets in a page and less clicking or scrolling for the potential customers.

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fig 4. Nice video of a ring.

I really like the videos of the jewelries. It shows that the company is willing to put in extra effort to give more information to the customers. To me, this is a major plus point because it is something that other jewelry website doesn’t have.

I also like to say that I will feel secure shopping on this site (and I am sure others will too). People will have more confidence when they see the live chat and contact number on every page. There are also verisign and mcafee secure logos on the footer!

Conclusion

Overall, povada.com is an above average secure ecommerce website that should make sales. The graphics are appealing and customers should have the words “elegance” and “prestige” in their mind when navigating the site. If this is the objective, then yes, the owner has achieved it 100% percent. Congratulations.

On the other hand, I feel that the graphics are a bit overwhelming and it affects the functionality of the site, ie I like faster browsing speed and see more items on one page. I also feel that there needs to be more “human” factor in the site to make it more friendly. This can easily be achieved by using human graphics and customer feedbacks.