Australian Botanical Art is an ecommerce web site that was developed in partnership with artist (and relation) Maurice Hayler in 2012. With nothing but search engine optimisation, the site was selling consistently three months after the launch date.
The site originally offered a range of 35 individual prints, six diptych sets, and three triptych sets. Each of these were available in three different standard frame sizes (5″ × 7″, 8″ × 10″, and A4). Ordering was simply a matter of choosing the prints of interest, and the size required. The price changed in real-time depending on the size chosen.
Shortly thereafter we introduced the option of buying the same prints pre-matted and on acid-free backing ready to frame, in two standard frame sizes (5″ × 7″ with 8″ × 10″ mat and backing, and A4 with 12″ × 16″ mat and backing) and one non-standard size (8″ × 10″ with 12″ × 14″ mat and backing).
Suddenly ordering became more ‘messy’, as the customer not only had to choose a size, but whether to purchase with or without a mat and backing, and with the price changing in real-time on-screen depending on the choices.
The Problem to Solve:
The site continues to rank well to this day, but was becoming harder to navigate and less easy to use with an increased product range and purchasing options. The site would become harder again to navigate with the introduction of another five diptychs and the planned introduction of another two sizes with mat options.
It was vital that the site become more streamlined before these new items were added.
The site had always been organised by print, with size and mat listed as options. A Banksia print, for example, would display with a choice of three size options and whether supplied as a flat sheet or with a mat and backing. That was six possible combinations, for one item, on one page!
So I considered breaking the site into two, with a ‘Flat Prints’ section and a ‘Prints with Mat’ section. This left size as the only option to choose from when on a product page, and was an attempt to return to how the site was originally. But this still didn’t feel right. A customer, on seeing the home page, still had to decide which section to explore first, and would have to go back and change the order completely if they changed their mind. They may not even know those options existed should they land on a different page via a search engine result.
Then I realised that each print (and diptych and triptych) could be its own section! I knew straight away that that was the approach to take.
The solution was simple, but implementing it took three weeks of solid work — not in one block but spread over several months to fit around existing clients’ projects of higher priority. (This was our own site and thus took second-fiddle.)
This effort was well-worth it! The home page now lists an image of each print, diptych and triptych on one easy to scroll through page. A customer can now click on a flower of interest, without first having to decide if they want a flat print or one with mat and backing. Once they have selected a flower, they are immediately presented with some botanical information about that flower, followed by images of all size and mat options in one spot. All sizes and prices are visible from the outset, without having to select an option for these to update in real time. There is also a link to a size guide page for more information should it be needed.
The site is far more appealing and intuitive to navigate. The five new diptychs were added seamlessly, and everything is now in place for when we are ready to add the two new sizes.
Please get in touch if you’d like your own ecommerce site assessed. We won’t offer fluff on whatever the latest trends and fads in web design are, but offer sound advice on the far more practical aspects of user experience .