Good and Bad Website Design

I feel like the design of the Nordstrom website doesn’t quite work. While I think it looks fine, I don’t think there is anything particularly special or interesting about it. I feel somewhat bored looking at the website because there is nothing playful or fun about the design. As far as navigation goes, I hardly even bother to go on the website anymore because I find it so frustrating. The department store used to have a very neat and simple website with an easier navigation bar. However, last year the company changed the website and now the navigation is confined to three links, one of which is the primary navigation. Within that, you have to move around drop boxes and often times I find myself moving my mouse too far and having to start all over again. It’s especially frustrating because this website used to be really visitor-friendly and now it only encourages me to shop somewhere else.

I think the design of the Williams-Sonoma website is extremely successful. The top navigation is consistent on the website, however, the side navigation changes with the months to match the seasons. I really like how they have chosen to have a navigation bar to take you to certain places and then use the side navigation to go to more specific or season-oriented pages. I love the layout of the website because it feels very clean and engaging. I don’t feel bored by their design because the webpage is constantly updated and photos and colors are always changing. Despite the changes they often make, I feel like the webpage is very consistent and always looks the same way so visitors know where to go and what to expect.

I think J.Crew is another example of a successful website design. The typefaces, layout and colors all match the clean and neat feeling the clothing store strives to deliver. I love how they use two different platforms for navigation and also include links to other parts of the website, such as “looks me we love” or “see their picks” because it allows visitors to get more of an interactive or “in-store experience” rather than just online shopping. I also love how their grid is set up, although it is not overwhelmingly apparent on this page. As you go deeper into the site, they have a very neat four column grid that allows the navigation to always be present on the left hand side and clothing on the right with enough space to actually allow visitors to see it.

-Gabby Rello

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