Let’s Talk About Design

3 Well-Designed Sites

Why Refinery29?

One of the reasons I find the UX of this site so strong is that content is organized into categories that resonate with me. Within each category are also sub-categories to help cull down the content even further. Beyond just the information architecture, the site is aesthetically enjoyable with branded illustrations to go along with many of the article titles. Rather than use just stock photos, which many of their competitors do, their illustrations are all within a similar look/feel, which allow viewers to gain a strong affinity for this site while many other similar sites are stuck in a sea of sameness. Ultimately, this site is both functional and enjoyable.

Why National Geographic?

National Geographic does a great job across all of their branded platforms (website, app, magazine etc.) to deliver interesting content in an engaging way. Specifically for their website, it is easy to navigate if there is something specific you are looking for or if you just want to explore. There is a clear distinction of articles, videos and featured content that is made clear to the viewer with signifiers. The overall design is modern, mobile-friendly and easy to follow.

Why Greetabl?

The experience on the Greetabl website to create customized gifts that can be shipped directly to the recipient is simple and enjoyable. There are just enough options of the box design and present that the consumer feels like they are creating something unique, but not so many options that they are overwhelmed. All of the images of the box designs and items that go inside the box are shot on the same background and laid out in a grid pattern that is easy to scroll and choose from. The prices and CTA buttons are also easy to find with a clear tally of the total price in the upper right hand corner. Beyond just the great user experience on the website, the follow-up e-mails are well designed and informative without being overbearing with too high a frequency.

3 Poorly Designed Sites

Why NBA?

While all of the content appears to be relevant to their audience, because the design is not seamless, it comes off as cluttered. Throughout the page, the images are all at different sizes and there are some modules that break from the mold and have a different look/feel and type of content. While it makes sense that upcoming game times are a featured area since that is probably one of the main reasons people visit the site, because of how it is displayed, it does not look cohesive with the rest of the page. Overall, I feel the UX could be improved so that it is easier to find content and a more enjoyable experience.

Why Yahoo?

While the content on the homepage is not difficult to navigate, the overall look/feel and experience feels outdated and not modern, especially compared with some of their competitors. In addition, amongst their news posts are many sponsored ads which are distracting and take away from the authenticity of the page. In addition, once you click further to read articles, there is no breadcrumb trail so it is difficult to find your way back to the main page. There are many sites one can get their news from and it would help Yahoo to differentiate if they improve their user experience.

Why Macy’s?

The Macy’s website is a great example of there being too many navigation options to choose from. There are so many categories one can choose from in the top navigation as well as in the main image. In addition, Macy’s has so many different promotions taking place at any one time that the majority of their website is taken up by these sales and the pages become cluttered and difficult to find what you are looking for. This overwhelming amount of choices is also reflected in their stores. While you probably would be able to find what you are looking for given all the options, it can be so busy and cluttered, that you may not even want to do the search. They could improve both their stores and digital platforms by streamlining their content, prioritizing which sales to highlight and making it easier to navigate for what you are looking for.