DogTuff.com Design Issues | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 22, 2019

Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

My parents have a newish puppy, and when I visited recently, became acutely aware that the toughest toys ever are necessary for even a 12-pound Boston Terrier. More interest in finding toys that will take longer for him to destroy led me to DogTuff.com.

I have some thoughts based on the screenshot above.

  • Logo
    • I find it a bit hard to read and wish it was bigger. I do understand that with the other choices made in the header that there is not much room to increase logo size.
  • Header Offers
    • I absolutely understand the reasoning behind putting information about free shipping and a discount in the header so that it appears on each page, but there is a LOT of information here, and it might be too much for someone to stop and read instead of skipping to the shopping part.
  • Need Help/Phone Number
    • If the phone number is in white font over a black background, why have the messaging above it in grey? It seems like a weird time to suddenly be subtle.
  • ‘Top Picks” and “Hot” Flags
    • Something else I think is crowding the situation and isn’t necessary. I think that if a customer has made it to a website called DogTuff.com, they probably have an idea of why they are visiting. There is already so much happening in this header, I think the labels could be sacrificed and the customers will still be able to navigate without issue.
  • Show (number) Dropdown
    • How is there not an option to show all?! If not show all, there should be a review of the average number of items per category to determine the best options for how many items to view per page. I can attest from years of experience in e-commerce to knowing that many people prefer an option to view all results.

Here’s another screenshot to discuss another dropdown:

  • “Sort By” Dropdown
    • What does “position” mean here? There is absolutely no indication, and it is the default option on this main page for “chew toys.”
    • I am also not sure that Product Name and Color are best used as sorting tools in a dropdown, I would rather see a filter on the left side to choose a color or a product type.
    • Price is an obvious choice here, but I would like to see options for “Price Low to High” or “Price High to Low” instead of relying on the small arrow to the right for the customer to control that function.

That’s all I have on this for now. I love this website – toys that take your dog longer than 30 minutes to eviscerate are good! I am, however, generally always interested in creating the most value in terms of customer experience with the least possible amount of clutter on the screen.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or tweet me!

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My Sports Podcasting Debut

by Jamie Sanford on March 12, 2019

My love for Formula 1 has never waned, and I’ve recently made my podcasting debut, talking about the new season of Formula 1 on the Sports Landing podcast. In the episode dated 2/25/19, Phil and I talk about the new cars, driver changes, and the excitement of getting into Formula 1 as a sport.

Click here to listen to Sports Landing on iTunes  |  Click here to listen to Sports Landing on Spotify

 

Thanks to Phil for having me on the show!

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Check out all of my Product Picks here. If you want to see all of the products I’ve reviewed (not just the ones I like), click here for Reviews.

I’ve talked about makeup plenty of times on this blog before, but it was only this week when I pulled out a trusty product that I realized that I hadn’t written about it.

This is the Make Up For Ever Camouflage Cream Palette.

If you’ve been here before, you won’t be surprised to know that I have the lightest option, palette #1.

Here’s the info on this palette:

This multi-use cream palette is ideal for color correcting discoloration, concealing dark under-eye circles and spot imperfections, or, just use it to highlight and sculpt your features.Camouflage cream provides full coverage with an easy to blend, lightweight and creamy texture. Each palette contains 5 shade combinations with an assortment of color correctors and concealers. This creamy formula is buildable so you can layer multiple shades to customize your make up result. Available in 5 shade harmonies to target every skin tone, choose your perfect palette for a flawless, even complexion.

I wish I remembered which YouTuber or article introduced me to this palette. It had to have been at least 5 years ago, and it immediately shot to holy grail status.

I am lucky enough to not have to deal with blemishes that often, but when I do, this palette is my go-to for concealing.

Mostly I tap on a tiny bit of the green first, to offset the redness, and then I take one of the darker skin tones and tap that over the top. (I almost exclusively use my middle or ring finger to apply this product.) This product is quite thick and a light hand is needed, or you will quickly overdo it. I then follow up with my regular application of liquid foundation with a beautyblender, I am careful to not wipe away the concealer when I am applying foundation. I simply dab and blend the foundation with the patented bouncing of the beautyblender.

I set as usual with the Coty Airspun, and sometimes take a smaller detail brush and apply a bit of extra setting powder over the problem areas and let it bake for a while before brushing away the excess.

I would note that I’ve never used this product like a traditional concealer. I have learned from the gurus that using an undereye concealer to cover blemishes is almost always a bad idea, because you are generally adding light to your undereye area and you don’t want to brighten an area with a blemish! The colors in this palette are nowhere near as light as my foundation, but it works because I’m able to cover it. Essentially, what this product does is to help cancel out whatever issue you are having. The camouflage name is fitting.

I have also tapped the green over my cheek redness in the past, but I did not have a great experience with how my foundation looked over this product having been used on a much larger area of my face. I think spot concealing is where the Make Up For Ever Camouflage Cream Palette really shines.

At $42, this is the most money I’ve ever spent on concealer. However, for when I need it, there is no substitute for it’s incredible coverage and staying power.

Tweet at me with your favorite concealer!

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Loves & Recommendations #3

by Jamie Sanford on February 5, 2019


In an extension of my Product Picks, I wanted to share a regular post about things that I’m enjoying and recommending. Welcome to Loves & Recommendations #3!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.

To see all of my product picks, click here.


Fresh Sugar Lip Caramel Hydrating Balm. I received this in the Sephora Play Box, and I might have to buy one, because it is such a lovely treat of a product. It smells like delicious caramel, and moisturizes without feeling too slippery or too sticky on my lips.


Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Kiss Cupacu Lip Butter. Another lip product, I know, but another great one. I got this in a Sol de Janeiro gift set, and it feels great on my lips and also smells divine. If you like other Sol de Janeiro products, you will love this too, because this is like Bum Bum Cream for your lips.


Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. If you have to face unfortunate hand wash in your daily life, this is an incredible product to keep on you. I use a tiny bit and it moisturizes without being overly greasy. It does have the classic Kiehl’s scent, but somehow it is not as strong as it is in the other cream products from Kiehl’s.

The Erin Condren yearly planner. I am on my second year of using this planner. I was previously a Filofax user, but I struggled with the size being too small, and after watching some YouTube videos, I bought an Erin Condren planner last year. I had never been so consistent in using a planner, so I ordered one for 2019 as well!

Things I track in my planner include:

  • holidays
  • birthdays
  • vacations
  • blog content – I use the monthly view to see when I’m posting content and what kinds of content I’m creating.
  • doctor appointments
  • what I wear – this is new for 2019, as I try and identify the items in my closet that I actually wear.
  • other – I realized at the beginning of using this planner that it would also be an interesting artifact of each year, and so I make notes of anything that I did on a certain day that was notable.

This lighted makeup mirror from Amazon was one of the best purchases I made in 2018. You can charge it with a USB cord, it folds flat for travel, and for anyone like me who uses a lighted makeup mirror at home, it is the best $25 bucks you will spend! My makeup was always weird when I was traveling and it was definitely because I didn’t have the same view. The only downside to this is that it doesn’t have a magnified side, but I got over that quickly. You can adjust the brightness, and it shuts off automatically after 30 minutes. If you struggle with the mirrors when you aren’t at home, definitely pick this up.

That’s all for this round!

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CoverGirl Foundation Color Issues | Product Review

by Jamie Sanford on January 29, 2019

Check out all of my Product Picks here. If you want to see all of the products I’ve reviewed (not just the ones I like), click here for Reviews.

I’m adding this to the product review category, but it could easily be in the Brand Experience category.

I’ve been a fan of the CoverGirl 3-in-1 Foundation for years. I have repeatedly tried more high-end foundations to see if there is a better option, but I haven’t found one yet that I enjoy as much as the CoverGirl 3-in-1.

I recently decided to try another drugstore foundation after RawBeautyKristi raved about the CoverGirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir foundation. She looks great, so obviously I need to try it out.

So I quickly head to Amazon, find that they have it in Ivory, and purchase it right away. A few days later, my new foundation arrived and I tried it during my next makeup application.

My first impressions were great. The application and coverage were nice, and I liked the outcome. I find myself not always wanting 100% coverage these days, and this let my skin show through a bit, which was well-received. I then wore it again mixed with the Fenty Pro Filt’r Foundation, as I still struggle with the Fenty foundation being a bit dry on my skin. Everything was fine, or so I thought.

Cut to a regular day at the office, but a day in which I’m wearing a v-neck top. It turns out that the major downside of using a lighted mirror to apply my makeup is that I don’t get a wider look at myself before I leave my house in the morning. It turns out that this Vitalist Healthy Elixir foundation, in the color Ivory, is not anything close to the Ivory shade I have been using for years, made by the same company! Having not done a side-by-side test, I had no idea.

These are both Ivory. How disappointing. I am surprised that a company as large as CoverGirl would not keep consistency in the colors of their skin products. Especially when you are naming them! These products do have numbers that aren’t the same, but the format of the numbers is very different, so I’m not sure that seeing the different numbers but the same shade name would have made me think twice.

Once I noticed the error, I went back online to look further into the issue, and found a LOT of product reviews mentioning the same issues that I had, that the Ivory shade was not light enough, and that there is not a lighter option in this particular product. So it’s not just an issue for me, but many customers who wanted it to work, and like me, seem to really enjoy the product itself.

Ultimately, I do think that companies that manufacture makeup should commit to matching shades to their names, across all products. I’ll take responsibility for not attempting to find out some more about this product before buying it, but it still seems ridiculous.

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