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