Tag Archive: web design


Awwww Rats.

Holy Cow! It’s going to come alive and try take over the world!!!

Actually, it’s  just the R.A.T. 7 gaming mouse, but I think Mad Catz has done a TON of things correctly with the design and marketing of this mouse, and their work is worthy of a quick case study.

As a side note, anyone who knows me knows that I’m addicted to computer peripherals, and that my love for mice is almost unparalleled (I’m currently rocking this baby and loving it).

So, let’s dive right in!

  • The features. This goes without saying, so I’m not going to dwell on it.
  • The look. Does the mouse need to look like it does in order to perform its function? There are some requirements (It needs to be in a shape that works well with a hand, with buttons somewhat located near where your fingers will end up), but nothing says it has to look like a cyborg hunter. The fact of the matter is that this mouse is made for gamers, so it needs to look like something that would appear in the next episode of Star Wars. Mission accomplished.
  • The website. CHECK IT OUT HERE!!! Again, you’re marketing to gamers who are intimately familiar with the webernetz, so you cannot skimp on the website! Once again, Mad Catz delivers. They have links to their products, blog, downloads, support, and contact at the top (which is somewhat expected, but the blog is a nice touch); they have a header that scrolls through pictures, they have an interactive 360 view of the mouse also in the header, they have their awards displayed, they have nice, big pictures, they have a sub heading with features, tech specs, a photo gallery and a “buy now” button (NICE!). Everything is clear, concise, bulleted, and perfectly aimed at the target audience.
  • The video. The piece de resistance. Watch it here. How many mice do you know with their own awesome video?!? Again, perfectly aimed at the target market, and well produced. This video was an excellent touch (it almost makes me hit the ‘buy it now’ button every time…)

What do you think of Mad Catz’s job with the RAT7 Gaming Mouse? What could they have done better?

Axed.

When my wife and I were buying our first house, my dad kept chanting that the first 3 rules of real-estate are “Location, Location, and Location!”

Well, in this instance, the internet is similar to the real-estate market:

Below is a picture from theaxeeffect.com.

First of all, the site takes considerably longer to load than the average website. I’m sure this is  due to the necessity to load all of the features and that this is some attempt to make visiting the site more of an ‘experience’, but I’d argue that you could get the same effect going to dollarshaveclub.com (and I’d argue that Dollar Shave Club’s site loads faster, is simpler, and I believe it still provides more of an experience than just simply existing as a site on which you can purchase razor blades cheaply).

Next, when you want to look for a product, you have to slide that little slider bar in the middle of the page from “What’s New” over to “The Goods”. The location of this slider bar is not intuitive, and it took a while for me to even notice it amid the chaos of the rest of the site (videos, buttons that bounce to features on Facebook, etc).

Once you do find the slider, and you bring up the list of products, the pictures are all incredibly small! I’m sure that Axe has invested some serious time and money into creating the designs on their containers, and the containers themselves, so why don’t they show them off?!? Also, I know which Axe shampoo I use, but it still takes some serious squinting and searching for me to be able to locate my bottle from the rest of the tiny bottle pictures on the website.

Axe should take some notes from this article on mashable. Tip #1 for making your Ecommerce site more appealing – Pretty Products, Pretty Layout. Remember, you’re trying to sell men’s grooming products…not annoying videos.

Cottage Inn Catastrophe

Yesterday, I was looking for the hours for my local Cottage Inn Pizza, so I went to the website (www.ordercottageinn.com), and clicked on the “Contact” link (one of only  5 links at the top of the page):

…which led me to this page:

Now, clicking the “Contact” tab on this page sends you to the correct contact page, but this is a good example in how simple proofreading/testing should not be undervalued!

Obviously, websites are of utmost importance (and have been for the past several years), but, while they may appear to be so commonplace and “dime-a-dozen” (there are pages and pages of individual Cottage Inn websites that come up on a simple Google search), we need to ensure that each one is an example of the quality of the company for which it represents.

Even in this instance, the “Cottage Inn” site which I originally visited was not main corporate site, but its bad link to the corporate site reflects negatively on the entire company (especially since the bad link was from one of the five main options at the top of the page)!

Proof read your websites and test the links, and then have a friend proofread and test out your links, and then have an enemy proofread and test your links! Try to do what your customer will do (which may not always be what you think that they’ll do), and make sure you can do it without any errors!

…and, lastly, when you do have to have your website throw an error, make it fun like this one!