www.vector-finder.com is a website that allows users to download free vector graphics from one central location. The standard header looked cool and the front page seemed to be quite busy. Users would need to scroll down a bit to see the flashy graphics in the main content area though.
Home Page and Navigation
I was not sure the need to emphasis “GPL License, CC 3.0 License…etc” on every header on the site. The word “free” might be good enough? The flowers looked really cool but the navigation was confusing as the navigation menus were sandwiched by the big search and google ads in between. To add to the confusion, there was another google search box at the top right. I also found the “Search vector” menu a bit confusing when it was just above the search box. Perhaps the author should consider pre-populating the search box with the word “vector” and get rid of the “search vector” link. If the user feels like searching for free vectors, they can just click on the search button immediately. The google search was confusing, getting rid of it is a good idea.
There were also some repetition of the links in the menus, ie Free Vector. Shouldn’t “free vector” be the same as search vector? Perhaps some menus were there for seo reasons but they definitely affected usability.
The ads at the side seemed to complement the look and feel of the website well but the search and headers needed some extra thoughts. I thought the footer looked good as well until I saw the “smashing magazine” graphic. Does this website belong to smashing magazine?
The Detail Page
When I clicked on one of the Free vector items, I was brought to the detail page of the vector art where I could download the file in zip format.
I really liked the big red button as I could not miss it. Clicking on the preview image invoked a bigger popup which was cool as well. Looking further down were the shutterstock and graphicdriver thumbnails separated again by google ads. I wasn’t sure if those thumbnails worked for me as people would have stopped looking once they downloaded what they want.
Clicking on the “Free Icons” link redirected me to Free Icons. Interestingly, this site looked like the sister site of vector-finder.com, possibly using the same cms system. Instead of putting the sister site link prominently on the top menu, it might be a better idea to put it in the footer. The “about” link was also misleading. The same content seemed to have been ported over from freeiconsweb.com without modification.
vector-finder.com might have been duplicated from freeiconsweb.com but the author needed to put in more effort to make it unique. That might include going through the about us page and changing the layout and css.
Perhaps the top menu could go and be replaced the the secondary menu from the homepage.