Goals and Inspiration
Debo is a consumer electronics retailer eCommerce website for the Romanian market, and has an offer of over 10.000 products in its catalog. Launched in the August 2009, with a user friendly professional design, it has quickly grown to be an important player on the market.
With its wide range of products and an exclusively online presence, the goal was to build a store that does more than simply lists a catalog of products, something that offers its buyers an optimal online experience. Our inspiration was that unlike the online retail stores, manufacturers like Sony, Samsung or Apple are able to showcase their products online in an extremely attractive manner by presenting them in the smallest detail with carefully worded texts, plenty of large images. This is what sells a product!
So our challenge was to take this way of presenting a product and implement it in a retail environment for any brand or type of product.
Buyer centered design
The Category Tree
In order to allow for the content to take up the maximum possible space, we've moved the category tree into the top menu with a rollover effect, therefor being able to use the layout in both a two column layout as well as in a single column layout. The category tree is divided into six main categories and their subcategories are directly shown with the possibility of expanding and collapsing them.
This helped us focus the user's attention looking to select a category of products, so that he doesn't have to scroll down the page and therefor allowing him to quickly scan for the category he's looking for regardless of his browsing pattern.
The Homepage and The Product Listing
The goal of the homepage is to present the buyers with the current special offers, as well as to hint to the range of products the store has to offer them. We used larger image thumbnails for the product display to give visual feedback to the users without making the text information stand out too much.
After choosing a category, the buyer is still presented with the task to choose a product out of hundreds of available models. In order to narrow his search, the buyer can use the advanced layered navigation which filters the products almost instantaneously through Ajax calls. The same Ajax calls allow for quick pagination and adding of products to cart without any page reload.
The Product Details
This is the area we wanted stand out the most. The philosphy was to bring the product to the user, to focus on the features and capabilities of each product and to present them in a simple yet attractive form.
The ideea was to keep the potential buyer in the store, providing all the necessary information. This way the buyer wouldn't have to leave the store to find more details on a product he plans to buy. The whole website was designed with the product focus in mind, keeping all the distractions at a minimum. We've also kept the product page free of any calls to action that would drive the buyer away from the page, even the related products focuses on selling complementary products rather than alternatives to the presented product.
We managed to design and develop a website by keeping a simple yet challenging goal: to focus on the actual needs of a customer, to make the website product oriented, to provide all the necessary features and actions in such a way that the user experience with the store would be as pleasant and productive as possible. And after lots of hours of design, marketing, UI and most importantly after repeated usability testing sessions we managed to create something beautiful and practical at the same time. We managed to combine functionality with aestethics without sacrificing usability or design.