I’m looking for a new pair of glasses because my eye sight is sadly going downhill again. I stare at the computer screen for too long and work too hard 🙂 😦 So I launched www.eyeglasses.com, and selected the first one among “shop complete glasses”, “shop frame only” and “shop lenses only”. Here came a page with a super long list of factors to select. The following (Pic. 1) is a zoom-out version of the page clearly indicating how long the list is, with all the whitespace on the right. What’s worse, all the factors are listed on the left as a single click, and the user cannot choose multiple factors. It’s not dynamic, just as indicated in the second screen shot (Pic. 2). All the choices are in a plain list. All the numbers are listed, this is why it’s taking so much space. The number should be designed as a bounded input field with up-and-down arrows. Moreover, parallel with “shape”,”rim”,”material”, “gender”, “brand”, “price”, “color”, “eye size”, “country of origin”, etc, there is one labelled “category”. “Category” is too much of a generic word. All the previous can be categories. This doesn’t indicate clear hierarchy It should be renamed more specifically as “glass type” or something in a more specific nature.
This website does have an advanced search function, but it also has problems. It has two separated parts which serve the same purpose. They explain “B Measurement” in the individual glass frame page, but not here in the search. This is very inconvenient for the users, since they would most likely land on this search page first, and then the individual glass frame page. Also, after I configured the advanced search, it took me to the results, I couldn’t further filter the results using the tool bar on the left. I had to go through the long result list one by one. When I went back to Advanced Search, all my previous configurations were gone, and I had to re-do it again.
I think it is the bread-and-butter for online shopping websites to have good navigation features to allow users to find the products they like. The shopping site can be failing if the users cannot easily locate and browse what they want. Intelligent recommender system can also further help the users to get to the products they like. Amazon and eBay are doing a much better job in this regard. Admittedly, they are bigger and richer companies, but every big and rich company started from somewhere.