If we accept the rule of double negative elimination, I am for nudity. Because I’m most certainly against AgainstNudity.com, a clothing retailer of the H&M variety. This type of retailer focuses on clothing design rather than brand names; the nymphet shirt is a fine example. (Note: My objection is not to the aesthetic-over-brand mentality.) If they ever branch out to commercial advertising, I’m thinking they should hire Against Me! to do music and Matt and Kim to do choreography or staging.
The introduction: 1 ping
It’s time for me to sympathize with my femininity, according to the introduction for this shirt. Okay, I can roll with that. Even the high-fashion world is embracing femme-leaning androgyny now more than ever. But–and I realize my take on this might be a little different given that I’m not the target consumer–that doesn’t fly as a selling tactic here. Not only because the idea of “sympathizing with” femininity makes little grammatical sense, but also because there’s no context or compelling message that relates directly to the product at hand.
By the way, I assigned this sentence the role of “introduction” solely for my purposes; it does not stand out in any way from the rest of the content other than by being first in line.
Informative copy: 1 ping
On that note, the rest of the content is equally … off. Strawberry pink nailpolish? Therapeutic? Yes, selling clothing is selling an image or possibly an experience. J. Peterman does this well, but in a don’t-try-this-at-home kind of way. Points (completely figurative) for including the material and origin of the product.
The only copy about the shirt itself is the last sentence, which mentions two design details that are noticeable only when you rotate or enlarge the image. Is this effective encouragement for shoppers to engage with the image and inspect the product more closely? Probably. Is there a glaring absence of commentary about the already visible parts of the shirt? Yes.
Effective images: 2 pings
The one image on this page is good. That I can both zoom in and rotate the image 360 degrees to see the shirt from all angles is great. But. I can only zoom in on the front view, which detracts from the whole effect. Zoom is not a good substitute for multiple images. Zoom also does not solve the problem of lack of contrast–between the white background, white mannequin, and pale shirt, the image is pretty washed out.
The copy recommended that I “notice the neckline in the back.” Here I am, noticing it. There might be a seam down the back of the shirt. There might be some slight ruching at the shoulders. That might just be a sloppy design and sewing job. Who’s to say.
What I’m buying: 1 ping
It seems like a simple matter, an article of clothing. You get the article of clothing in some sort of package, hopefully also in some sort of protective wrapping, almost always with a tag that provides care instructions. All one need to know to confidently buy the article of clothing that will complete their look for the office meeting/movie-and-dinner date/sweaty dance party/gym is that it will fit well and that it matches something else well enough to make an outfit.
More concisely, size and color are the important elements of “What’s in the Box” type info for a shirt. I have two things to say about this page’s ability to fulfill this need: Fail and fail.
The size chart provided vague measurement guidelines. I’d like to point out “length” as a critical measurement for a shirt that has three distinct lengths–front, sides, and back–is almost useless.
As for color, there’s one option. In the color swatch box, it looks like a pale yellow. In the image, it looks like some flavor of beige. Ah, but there are the tiny stripes, too, which are not reflected in the color swatch box. I get a general sense of the color, but is that good enough for precise outfit coordination?
Design: 4 pings
Best part of the page. It’s simple, clean, and has nice navigation touches like a “my bag” button on the right edge. The muted color scheme works for me–except, as mentioned, in the image itself. The site designers are embracing social commerce with a built-in Facebook comment window (a step above the requisite Like button), which is a good business move if not a particularly striking design choice.
Final score: 2 pings
So here’s something funny. The CEO of Against Nudity, Louis Moreau, was invited to speak at the 2012 Internet Retailer Web Design and Usability Conference about using product pages to increase sales. As he himself said regarding the subject: “The product page must make the customer fall in love with the product, which is not a small challenge.” I couldn’t agree more, Louis. As they say, identifying the problem is the first step to a solution. Here’s a tip: Employ a native English speaker to write, or at least skillfully translate, the copy for your English-speaking audience.