OpenLink is a MNC that creates risk management products for the energy and financial services sectors. As expected from a corporate website, the navigation is consistent and layout quite structured.
I was greeted with a nice, colorful and friendly website upon first visiting it. If I were a potential customer, the homepage would definitely give me a sense of trust. The search box on the top right was intuitive to use but seemed to be sit a bit too high up for me (I thought it should be aligned with the logo). The language option below the search box was good. I was glad when people bother to make their site multi-lingual – kudos for that.
Then I saw the word “Decision Support Software For Transaction Lifecycle Management“.. sounded too bombastic for me (non-technical people). These words might ring a bell if they are targeting at the right people. I could see that the four columns immediately underneath the header banner, implying the four main categories of the website even though I didn’t understand the jargons. The four categories were “Financial Institutions and Capital Markets”, “Corporations and Non-Financial Institutions”, “Agricultural Products, CPG, Food and Beverage, and Manufacturing” and lastly “Energy, Commodities, Extraction and Production Industries”. The category names were a lot to digest. How about an icon for each and simplify the title?
I thought the category colours blend in very well with the headers and background. I was not sure of the changing graphics in between each column though as they appeared to be part of some rotational news. Perhaps the graphics should be part of the news box and the whole box clickable.
The footer looked weird with the name of the three companies (dbcSmartSoftware, IRM, SolArc). The listing of the companies created some extra empty spaces in the footer. A mouseover drop down for the three companies sounded like a better deal for me.
While navigating to the “companies” page, I noticed that the links to the four main categories have moved to the top. That was an excellent place for primary navigation. Unfortunately, it was not consistent throughout the site. The left menu on all the other pages was functional but lack of creativity. Some nice mouseover effects or icons would be cool.
I could see that the content for each page was professionally written. Kudos again! However in the “about us” page, I noticed some links were linking to files in the local machines. For example, “Financial institutions and capital markets” was linked to file:///Macintosh HD/… Hopefully, the webmaster can correct that asap. I would also like to see more graphics in replace of text. The Software News Archive section desperately needed more graphics.
www.olf.com is a professionally designed and trusted corporate website. I hope that the webmaster can inject more icons/graphics in the site and perhaps try some creative layout. I also hope to see more engagement with the community. The Montreal OpenLink User Conference 2012 is a good place to create some buzz.