As mentioned above, we prefer simple, elegant design. Think Apple. Also, we would like the site to be built with conversion in mind; conversion being that we want to convert visitors to the site into buying customers.
We have worked with and our fans of SiteTuners.com, who are famous for their Conversion Conventions and the book, “Landing Page Optimization”. Some takeaways of their advice include: (a) no moving images or flash; (b) trust symbols (e.g., Authorize.net) and quotes/testimonials, often in the right-hand gutter; (c) simple and clear messaging; and (d) obvious calls to action. We are also fans of the book, “Don’t Make Me Think; A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability”, by Steve Krug. The takeaway between these two influencers is that we want our site to have a clean and consistent user experience, with obvious calls to action that increase the likelihood of converting visitors to buyers.
One other thing – we don’t mind a little vertical scroll – particularly on pages other than the home page – but we would prefer to strive for no or very little vertical scroll on the home page.
Regarding imagery, assume a budget of $200 or so to buy images from sites like iStockPhoto. Feel free to include images with watermarks in your designs. If you find images that we can use for free from the various free-image sites, even better.
Below is specific direction on the five pages we would like designed for this contest.
Consistent header across all pages, which should include: (a) logo in upper left-hand corner; (b) a phone number (just use 1.555.555.5555 for now); (c) shopping bag (ala LuLu Lemon); (d) login / register button; and (e) FAQ.
Main navigation along the top, just below header, and made clear that it’s a navigation menu – home | shop | ingredients | about us | blog | affiliates | contacts
Body of Home Page – We’d like the 99 designers to freestyle here a little bit. We think it’d be good to include images of our products, but we also like seeing healthy bodies and hair, as well as a call to action to shop. LuLu Lemon does a good job of featuring healthy/active women, along with a couple of products. Other examples are listed in the “Websites for Inspiration” section below, with notes on what we like about each website. We think LivingProof.com and FlushFitness.com (minus the flash) are also interesting takes on a home page.
Footer – We like how LuLu Lemon turns their footer into somewhat of a Site Map. We also like how they have the Twitter and Facebook icons, and those two should be included in our footer (we don’t need flickr and blog like they have). Below that, they have a more traditional footer, which we want and it should be: “© 2011 PhitTM Hair and Body, Inc.” left justified, and then this footer menu right justified: privacy | terms | sitemap | become an affiliate
This should be optimized for going straight to product purchases. LuLu Lemon again is a good example. There should be both a left-hand nav that gets introduced here with all of our products listed, as well as graphic versions of them in the body section. And LuLu Lemon has a static graphic of an active woman at the top, which we also like.
Note that we only have six distinct products at our launch, so it should be straightforward to organize them in the left-hand nav.
As we expand our product line, we can introduce categories in the left-hand nav (e.g., Hair Care, Body Care, Apparel), but we don’t need that for now.
3. PRODUCT DETAIL
LuLu Lemon again provides a good model. The left-hand nav should stay the same, and the product selected should be prominent as an image (the bottle images provided can serve for now, but we’re also open to other takes). Then, to the right of the product, we should include: (a) the product’s name; (b) a divider line; (c) size and cost in tabular form (see below for available product sizes); (d) a divider line; and (e) a product description of about three sentences.
Below this area, and similar to LuLu Lemon’s product detail page, we should have three tabs for: benefits, front label, back label.
Regarding product sizes and prices, just but $9.99 for all prices for now as we haven’t finalized our pricing. The product sizes are as follows –
a) Sulfate Free, Daily Use Shampoo – 2oz, 8oz, and 16oz
b) Sulfate Free, Daily Use Conditioner – 2oz, 8oz, and 16oz
c) Detox Shampoo – 2oz, 8oz, and 16oz
d) Sulfate Free, No Rinse Shampoo – 7.4oz / 220ml
e) Sulfate Free, Leave-In Conditioner – 8oz
f) Conditioning Lip Balm – no size needed to quote; just price
4. ABOUT US
Following the LuLu Lemon model again, this is the left-hand-nav – about us, blog, contacts, our story, FAQ
The main section could have an appropriate image, with a title and text box underneath (ala LuLu Lemon)
Has a left-hand nav that includes several key ingredients that we want to highlight. The first one, and the landing page under Ingredients, can be “Hydrolyzed Quinoa”. The full left-hand nav has these selections: Hydrolyzed Quinoa; Sulfate Free; pH-Optimized; Acai, Pomegranate & Goji Berry Extracts; Essential Amino Acids; No PABA or parabens
For each of these, we envision dominant imagery, a few sentences of overview on the benefit of the ingredient (or the benefit of not having a given ingredient), and then two columns:
(1) A slightly wider column called “BENEFITS”, followed by a bulleted list of detailed benefits. For example, Hydrolyzed Quinoa could have a picture of Quinoa, followed by dummy text.
(2) A “FOUND IN” header with product images/names below it, which are links to the product detail screen for each product.