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Main page types
The entrance show recent catalogue updates, the types of jewellery available.
The visitor can also immediately add one of the featured items to their basket.
The catalogue lists all shop items (about 50-100) by default. There are three views of the catalogue depending on how much item detail the visitor wants to see.
There are also slightly different views of the item summaries in the list: whether an item is available, sold, on sale or in one's basket.
The default price and basket view is in pounds sterling, with VAT included and delivery within the UK.
The visitor can change these settings to presets or individually.
Every item is associated with one or more terms from a controlled taxonomy. The taxonomy is hierarchical. The terms are listed at the side of each item page, the left-hand part becoming the sub-heading. For example, Colour/green and Colour/green/olive.
This list of attributes serves as a) an overview of the item and b) a way of exploring the catalogue, by individual attributes or by similarity.
The hover text for each attribute link is in the form "See the 9 shop items indexed with Colour/green/olive".
The attribute list is also available on the catalogue page as a select list.
The attribute lists on the catalogue and item pages are used regularly by visitors.
When a single term is searched for, the current filter is displayed on the catalogue list.
The attribute list on each item pages ends with a button link to [find similar designs]. This uses an algorithm to find a certain percentage match, for example to find a bracelet or earrings to go with a necklace.
When a similar item is searched for, the catalogue page shows a thumbnail and name of the item that prompted the search.
Whenever an item is shown by name or by photo, always give the visitor the opportunity to buy it, there and then, without making them have to click through to another page.
@ the shop entrance
In the catalogue
On the item page
In the basket view
Since the remove [x] button requires a mouse action, the quantity option is also a mouse action rather than a text input field.
The green add/remove message will display on the same page that the add/remove buttons are on.
The blue confirmation message is displayed on the item page.
The summary is shown top-right of the page header. When the shopping basket is empty, the summary is shown 'dimmed'.
When there are items in the basket, the summary gives the number of items, the item price total, delivery price and the order total.
This form lists all the index terms (attributes) in use in the current catalogue. The number of times the term is used is shown as a link. The link filters the catalogue for items with that attribute.
Or the user can tick a number of checkboxes to search for items that match all the attributes.
The first stage of checkout asks for delivery information because this determines the order total. The checkout page includes a basket summary and delivery prices if the delivery country is unknown.
Paola developed a custom RSS feed created of catalogue updates. Each item shows the name, photo, attribute (index terms) and a link to [find similar designs].
Most of Paola's jewellery customers aren't technical and so she set up a Feedburner RSS-to-mail subscription which she invites buyers to subscribe to.
Many of her shop sales are directly via an item link within the mailed update and are completed within a minute.
Paola receives a lot of positive feedback for her jewellery from her customers; she had nowhere to share these. She set-up a WordPress blog - Beadback - and a system to generate XML import files with her jewellery catalogue.
Each blog 'post' is a close reproduction of the item detail page from the shop (since it uses the same data source). In addition, each post has a link to the shop as 'find similar designs in my shop'.
The online historical catalogue goes back to 2003. It is useful when people want something made for them - Paola can point to specific designs as suggestions; she also invites people to leave feedback on their purchases by including links to their bought items on Beadback in the thank you mail.
Paola has developed a custom web log for her shop (which is contained within her personal web site). The log groups page views by visit. Each block gives general information about the visitor, including search terms from referring sites, links from other sites (such as her blog), and the visit number.
There is then a line for each page view, showing the h:m:s since the visit started (some people go away for an hour or so and return), the site section's colour (an at-a-glance overview), any buttons or special links clicked (global nav vs. local nav vs. breadcrumbs), the page heading and internal reference.
Views to shop pages show the item thumbnail, price and reference. If the visitor adds something to their basket, the number of items and total price is shown in bold.
The information that Paola has gleaned from the logs about how people get around and use her shop has helped her to tweak labels and navigation elements and then look at the logs to see whether it made a difference.
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