E-commerce websites have to be user-friendly

I was surprised to read Vitamin Blue’s comments (DW 2 June) suggesting e-ventures do not survive because of a lack of creativity on Web branding strategy.

In my view, it is entirely the opposite case: design input is often at the forefront throughout a project, with little expertise in the usability and the back end programming of the site.

I don’t think boo.com failed because of a lack of branding. It developed a good identity and nice visuals, not to mention a large-scale advertising campaign.

However, the working and technical elements let the site down. How could it possibly have been a success, when a consumer visiting the site was confronted with a sometimes tedious and flash-reliant experience?

We as designers need to re-think our strategies when designing for e-commerce. I agree the branding must be tackled in a different way to a traditional identity, but the most important thing which I think designers forget is the information and the need for an intuitive user experience.

We need to allow the user to buy a product with the least possible effort. Designers need to stop treating e-commerce sites the same as “information only” sites. However, the perfect balance can be struck, which will lead to better e-commerce.

George Ioannou

Graphic designer

Snow Valley

george.ioannou@snowvalley.com

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