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Shop Wright Promo Email | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 19, 2021

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I am definitely a bit of a Frank Lloyd Wright-ophile. I have visited a few of his most famous buildings, most recently having made the journey to Spring Green, Wisconsin, to see Taliesin, his personal home for many years. (Unrelated to this specific post—Frank had a bit of a scandalous existence, but also went through some unimaginable horrors. I really enjoyed the Ken Burns documentary about him, which clocks in at around two and a half hours.)

My interest in Frank Lloyd Wright has led to me being signed up for many different relevant mailing lists. One of them is the Frank Lloyd Wright e-commerce destination ShopWright.org.

I received an email from them recently and opened it to see what items were featured. Let’s get into it.

I have issues with a few things here.

  • I don’t like the names of the plates here. I would like to see the size name at the front, and then an actual measurement so that I can get a better idea of scale here in the email.
    • Small Ginkgo Leaves Plate, 4.25″
    • Large Ginkgo Leaves Plates, 8.75″
  • There is a lack of grammatical consistency, particularly with punctuation marks. There are variable amounts of spacing around dashes and an oddly-placed period after “origami chair.” Here’s how I would re-write these:
    • Barista 12-Hour Tree of Life Travel Mug
    • Limited-Edition Taliesin West Origami Chair
    • Ginkgo Leaves Napkin Rings, Set of 4

Right off the bat here, you can see a promo for “all face masks are 12.99” with a floating image of a mask, but it is behind the image of the mailbox? It’s possible that this is just an error with this email in Gmail, but something there is awry. Clicking the image of the mailbox takes you to the face mask page. Something isn’t right.

The mailbox is very lovely but I would prefer to see the “back in stock” messaging on the image instead of in the text. Additionally, the text is a different font and size than the other product names, and the mailbox listing doesn’t have a “buy now” button, which is inconsistent.

I also have similar issues with the product naming here. Here are my suggestions for these:

  • Beachy House Locking Steel Mailbox
  • Deluxe Patinated Copper and White Birdhouse
  • Floral Bird Feeder in Slate Blue
    • Although I struggle with the inclusion of the color here since a click through lets you see that this bird feeder is only available in that one color. (UPDATE: shopping later on this site led me to discover other color options, but they aren’t grouped onto one product page! That is something to be fixed as well.)

Finally, I discovered another issue here that bothered me – the images for these items don’t link to the item! I clicked the bird feeder and got this:

I am kind of obsessed with this feeder, but if I click the image, I want to go to the page where I can buy the item.

Let’s continue.

I have similar issues here with the product naming, so let’s get those fixes out of the way.

  • Pagoda Lantern Sandstone Outdoor Sculpture
  • Healing Gong Wind Chime
  • Midway Gardens Sandstone Sprite with Scepter, 64″
    • This last one is a bit long but since the Midway Gardens was such an important project for FLW, it seems appropriate to mention it in the name. Another version may also want to include the word “reproduction” in the product name in this email, but I’m leaving it out for the time being since it is clearly indicated on the product page this information links to.

The link to shop all outdoor accessories is a smart choice, given that the subject line of this email refers to spring and it is prime time to buy outdoor decor.

I make it down to the footer message about what my purchases support, and I see it as a missed opportunity for links. I see below that I can link directly to flwright.org, but a direct link to the “education and preservation programs” that I would be supporting might really engage me to want to justify buying more things.

All in all, this email did do the basic job of showing me some things that I might want to purchase to get my home into the spring spirit. The issues I ran across are easily fixable.

This post is about the email, so I won’t go further than that for now, but I also definitely noticed some issues within the actual shopwright.org e-commerce shop as well, but that is for another day.

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Home Depot Shipping Issues | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on March 10, 2021

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Today’s post was not one I expected to write, because I have some basic expectations for large retailers in 2021, and I am sort of stunned when they miss the mark in such a strange way.

We’ve had a lot of snowfall this year, and it’s become very difficult to find salt to de-ice the sidewalks and driveway. My husband ordered some on HomeDepot.com as we couldn’t find any in stores.

We received only part of his order (and that’s probably a whole other post, because the other half of the order is still missing), and I took his order information to try and track the other half.

This is problematic in a few ways.

  • The first bit of this order arrived on February 18
  • There is no indication on this page (including the area outside of this screenshot) that the order is shipping in separate parts

In the meantime, I have higher hopes for that link to track my package, so I click it, expecting an embedded page on HomeDepot.com with tracking details. Instead…

You have to be kidding me. A quick Google indicates that HomeDepot.com is generating over $100 million in sales every year, and they don’t have a direct link for me to track my shipment?!?

At least they have a copy function so I don’t have to highlight the number.

I proceed to copy the number and click the Track Package button.

I am sent to the UPS homepage, which does NOT feature an easy-to-use box where I can simply paste the tracking number.

I had to click “track a package,” and then was taken to a world map to pick my area of service before I was able to paste the tracking number.

When I did so, I was failed again.

The tracking number is invalid.

This is brutal. The whole experience was clunky and has entirely too many steps, and I take all of those steps and end up with a failed tracking number.

It’s very simple. You visit your order page, and if there’s a tracking number, you click it and it takes you to a pop-up or a new window/tab with details on your shipment. Not 14 steps between seeing the number and seeing the tracking information.

I would like to also note that at no point did my husband receive a shipping confirmation email from HomeDepot.com. It is definitely possible that this went into spam (although he received his order confirmation email), but it is potentially another issue. Is HomeDepot.com not set up to send emails for partial shipments? If so, they need to fix it immediately.

The second half of the shipment showed up weeks later, and again, no shipping email was sent when it was on its way. I hope that HomeDepot.com can get it together and improve the order tracking experience for their customers.

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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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I’ve become more acquainted with Wayfair since purchasing a house last year. Recently, I was drawn in by an email promising me deep discounts on area rugs.

It worked and within minutes, my husband and I had chosen a rug for the living room and I started the checkout process.

It wasn’t long before I got to entering my payment information. You’ll understand my surprise at seeing this choice of font in the space for me to choose the expiration dates for my credit card.

What is even happening. Every other font on their website is clear and easy to read. Why isn’t the font shown elsewhere in this screenshot also in these dropdown menus?

I was shocked by this and immediately took this screenshot.

Then I got my confirmation email…

It is unreadable. I work in e-commerce for a store that isn’t even close to being as big as Wayfair, and I find myself feeling lots of sympathy for what HAS to be a mistake. It is a mistake, right?

I don’t know if it is possible that my browser is using this font as a replacement for another one, I almost hope so, but still, this is massively frustrating.

I’ll be sure to send a tweet to Wayfair about this – and hope that someone else has already noticed this issue.

UPDATE – They might have had someone else already report this issue, as my shipping email looked much better! I hope this means that they got the news that the other font was a mess.

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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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