Only recently I was together with my girlfriend at a Wine Tasting in Munich. The event was organised by Max and Moritz who have already established their own small company called THE WINESTORE. They import wine from South African boutique vineries. When I found out that they wanted to relaunch their site the next day, I offered them to test the site and give my feedback. I split up the design review in three parts since it features quite a few different sites. The first part ist about the homepage and its structure. So here we go:
The first impression – above the fold
The so-called above the fold section is everything you see when loading a website without scrolling. the first thing I noticed and what has nothing to do with the page design is that the URL does not begin with www. The www domain automatically redirects to the www page and in itself there are no disadvantages, but the customer is used to enter www so I would recommend to use the www as standard domain.
Next, I let the first section work on me and asked myself if I could grasp the business as a new customer. Both the logo and the name speak for themselves and quickly suggest a wine shop. However, I lack an important unique selling point or the specialisation of the shop. As already explained in the introduction, THE WINESTORE specializes in South African wines. But at first glance there is no indication of this.
All in all the above the fold section is very well designed and functional. The menu is clear and offers a search function, the call to action button is prominently placed and can quickly forward the customer.
The Structure of the Homepage
The homepage is relatively long and offers many sections: Find your wine, USPs, Best selling products, Best Selections, Testimonials, Our Wineries, Instagram, SEO Text, Social Media Icons, Footer.
There are two floating elements: The club membership crown and a subscribe button.
The subscribe button does not stand out from the page at the moment. This could be fixed with either a drop shadow or a bright color. You don't know what you're signing up for, so I'd rather advertise the goodie here: "5€ discount". The popup window looks nice, but here is a reference to the privacy statement necessary.
Concerning the membership crown, it is really well designed and you know what it's about instantly. Since the page is in German, I would try to write the instructions for the club in German as well.
In general, I would keep floating elements at a minimum.
Find Your Wine
I think the idea of selling suitable wines for certain moments is very good. However, a small description would help to understand the selection of the wines. The hover effect does not 100% fit to the modern overall design and concerning the pictures I would try to match them even better (some have really high saturation, some not).
The USPs would be rather expected under the "Hero picture". Here you could also get more information about the background and uniqueness of the shop: The hand-picked wines from South Africa (replace with safe shopping). The icons differ in line thickness and could be adapted to have a more homogeneous design.
Best Selling Products
Showing the best selling products is always a good idea. Some ideas to simplify the section:
- Write winery below the name of the wine
- get rid of the quick actions
- delete the additional information for the pricing
This section is promoting selections of wines. I would give this section a proper testing since I doubt that many people will buy a whole selection of different wines from one winery. There are three different variants of "product displays" and this might be one too much. It is also combined with quotes from customers but the testimonial section is coming next anyway. Text in a picture should be avoided under all circumstances.
In this section you can see a nice collage of the different wineries. But here you don't know which picture contains a deep link to more information and which one doesn't. Altogether this section could be shortened a bit to not slow down the site with too many pictures. You could list the wineries later like authors at Blog Posts under the products.
Overall the site is very neatly designed. Concerning the usability attention should be payed to which of the many sections, which are partly repeated in content, are really needed. As far as as logic is concerned, it could be made even clearer what THE WINESTORE actually stands for and what the USPs of the shop are. All in all the site is very appealing and I'm looking forward to writing the next part of the design review, it will be all about performance and the shop in detail.