It’s Friday. You’re tired. Here’s a small tongue-twister to wake you up: Mr. B’s Blake boot. Mr. B’s is an offshoot of Aldo promoting classic style for gentlemen (young gentlemen, judging from their content). Typical of any fashion site, they focus on images. Typical of any company selling classic anything, they use “robust” language that speaks to the “sartorial tour-de-force” and “unflinching modern styling” of their products.
It’s hard to evaluate just one product page of this site because their design is so integrated. But I’ll give it my best shot. Without further ado, I present:
The introduction: 5 pings
Like I said, the language. Hand-finished leathers AND handcrafted detail? That sounds fancy. Seriously, though, they do an excellent job of introducing us to the finer points of these boots–color, style, and how cool you’ll be wearing them. Extra points for “stronger sartorial statement” (there’s your second small tongue-twister).
Informative copy: 3 pings
Here’s where it gets interesting. I cruised around the site a good bit before returning to this page to look for more information. Until I decided to investigate those symbols on the right, nary an informative feature was to be found. But when I did check out the symbols on the right, I discovered thorough, solid info. Hover-only reading, though; as soon as I moved my mouse, I could no longer read each feature. I would have gone with clickable icons, personally. Or something less obtuse. While it pains me slightly to do so, I’m docking them 2 pings for the strange placement of their outstanding copy.
Effective images: 5 pings
No denying it, these are some sexy boots. I can practically smell the drum-dyed, vegetable-tanned leather sourced from an Italian tannery in Tuscany. Oh, but you won’t know what I’m talking about unless you’ve already hovered over each and every one of those little icons and retained all the information you read there.
What I’m buying: 0 pings
Nonexistent. Does it matter? I don’t think so. Look at that picture. (Don’t worry, I won’t dock it for this.)
Design: 4 pings
I have some qualms about the design. On one hand, it’s sleek and modern and intuitive (the way an iPhone is usually intuitive, except when it’s not). All the information on the site is smoothly integrated in their design. Okay, so it’s brilliant. On the other hand, those hover-icons bother me.
Final score: 4 pings
At the very least, this site makes me want to hunt down Mr. B’s footwear and try it on, if only to drool over the handcrafted-in-Europe leather outsoles.
I want to take another minute of your time to note an interesting feature of Mr. B’s little virtual store, which is the blatant use of personality advertising (Can we call it that? I made that term up just now). Take a look at the upper right-hand corner. Click on one of those gentlemen’s names. View the many pictures of any given gentleman wearing various Mr B’s footwear. I wonder how they choose those gentlemen. Maybe I’ll contact them. Here’s Brook wearing the Blake. How fitting. And maybe kind of dirty, too.