brand experience

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OK, this is a two-fold post, as I take issue with the website, which is my usual, but this time I add in frustration over the actual product design.

The first issue is with the website. I received an Instagram ad for Bird Collective and I went to their site to look at their offerings. I immediately liked the state birding t-shirts, but soon found a big issue.

The top 3 shirts in the screenshot below have a hero image showing the BACK of the shirt! The 3 shirts below have images showing the front.

This is incredibly confusing and inconsistent. A clothing company showing different angles of the same type of product is breaking a cardinal rule of product presentation.

OK, so onto the actual shirts. Why is Bird Collective showing the backs of some shirts and the fronts of others?

Because those cute state-themed shirts have this on the front:


Why.

Why does anyone make a cool shirt and put the cool stuff on the back? Bird people are INTO birds, so I don’t think they would take issue with the reason you would buy this shirt being on the front.

In addition, “New Jersey Birding” is not a group you can join, that isn’t a logo that would make sense. It’s just there.

Also, what is the additional cost of printing on both sides? I imagine it would have been cheaper to produce tees only printed on the front.

This is a huge miss. If anyone reading this knows why this would be done, please comment or tweet me and let me know.

In conclusion, here are my recommendations for Bird Collective.

  • Find a way to sell the state-themed shirts that is more up-front about the fact that the majority of the design is on the back.
    • Create a hero image that indicates that the main design is on the back
  • Rethink the design of the state-themed shirts for future production. Identify why the design was created that way to begin with. The other shirts on the site are not printed on multiple sides so switching the state-themed shirts over for future production runs should be considered.

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Ticketmaster Device Issue | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on February 28, 2020

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I have recently experienced a strange error message when shopping for event tickets with Ticketmaster, and wanted to share my thoughts on how this is presented and how it can be improved.

I was most recently shopping the fan pre-sale for the upcoming New Order/Pet Shop Boys tour, and once I chose a pair of tickets, I tried to move forward and received this message.

I almost don’t know where to start with how useless this is to me as a customer.

  1. there is no explanation of what the actual issue is with the device I am using;
  2. there is nothing here addressing that I waited in a queue in order to purchase tickets, behind over 1000 other people, before I had the opportunity to even buy these tickets, and at no point was I given information on how certain devices might cause my purchase to fail;
  3. when I was buying tickets to a separate event earlier this week,  got this message, clicked “OK” and then tried again and was able to purchase the tickets I wanted.

Anyway, after clicking the go button a bunch of times, trying to somehow to get around this strange error again, I decided to try the purchase via the Ticketmaster app on my phone. Here’s how that went.

Good on them for seeing me in multiple locations I guess? Better to stymie the scalpers and bots I suppose.

I closed the browser tabs on my computer and then clicked “Confirm.”

…and then I was done. I gave up on buying these tickets. I went back the following day and ran into the same issues on the website, and so far, still don’t have tickets to this event.

While the whole experience was problematic, the message about “unable to complete your request on this device” is the one I found the most egregious. Why should one device work and another one not work? Please tell me exactly why my device of choice is problematic, particularly in an environment when purchasing tickets to a popular event requires planning and speed of transaction.

I do think that Ticketmaster has made good efforts to thwart the bots, which is wonderful. However, they clearly have some issues remaining that desperately need to be addressed.

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Colourpop Product Photos | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on September 26, 2019

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I was recently shopping on Colourpop’s website, and was specifically looking at glitter gel, like you do. I got to this product called Trippin on Skies, and had an unfortunate experience with product photos. Let’s get into it.

Here’s my first view of this product page. I’m purposely leaving the bit of box at the bottom of this screenshot. The colors of this product make it a bit difficult to translate, but the photography is good. I found myself immediately wishing to see swatches of this product on actual humans.

I scrolled down a bit and I get to this second image of the product, this time with the box. This is great and I think more companies should show the packaging of items that they sell, but I’m immediately disappointed that there isn’t a swatch image. Many beauty brands have realized that product swatches on a variety of skin tones is the way to go, and with this product, I really wanted to see what it would look like swatched on skin.

I am now to the bottom of the photo area of the product listing, and so I think there are no more photos to see.

Unrelated to the main topic here, but what I would REALLY like to see with products like a glitter gel that probably builds as you apply more are images with one coat, 2 coats, and 3 coats of the product on each skin tone.

Luckily, I scroll down a bit more and see a slider of what may be customer images? Colourpop is using Yotpo to collect reviews and it appears that they are also collecting customer images. Clicking on these images shows me that the images above show the use of the Glitterally Obsessed glitter gels, and the center image shows the actual product that I was reviewing.

This is a huge miss by Colourpop:

  1. There should be some indication in the top images about more images, perhaps “scroll down to see this product in action!” or something similar?
  2. Better yet, find a way to incorporate images of this product from the feed into the actual product image area on the page. Tag the image with the creator’s name or handle. Ask them for permission to use the image in this way – perhaps feature on social channels or in a promotional email as well.
  3. Utilize the standardized layout of showing small versions of the available product images and letting the user use the thumbnails to work their way through the options. This would help to keep everything in a single screen – these screenshots are from a 24-inch monitor and so the way this content is spread out seems a bit unnecessary.

Colourpop has good products, and their business seems quite successful, but there are improvements to be made on these product pages.

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I am a new homeowner, and planning to move into said house comes along with a LOT of shopping. It sounds fun, and mostly is, but I have seen some unfortunate e-commerce shopping experiences. One of them is a quick one that I saw recently on AllModern.com.

Look at this beautiful area rug! I am into it, and I just had some hardwood floors refinished so I need to find a beautiful way to protect them a bit. However, then I clicked “select rug size” and saw this menu:

There are no sizes. There are no sizes on the size menu!

This appears to be an issue on the site in general, because this rug’s page also has the same problem.

I can’t imagine I am the first person to run into this issue! I truly love that rug and would like to purchase it, but I do need to know more about the size options. Luckily, it should be a fairly quick fix for AllModern.com to implement.

*UPDATE*

Within one day of sharing this blog post with AllModern.com on Twitter, they have fixed this issue on their website! I love how responsive they were.

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DogTuff.com Design Issues | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 22, 2019

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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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