Weekly Content Critique: Style #8851

No, I did not accidentally slip into a number code. My cat did not take over my keyboard (that would be quite a feat, since I don’t have a cat). This week’s product forgot to bring a name to work and got assigned this random number. It’s actually a baton twirling dress. One design of many nameless, serial-numbered dresses. There are better ways to handle this, even without coming up with unique names for each dress. Let’s get to it.

The introduction: 1 ping

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This is the very first sentence on the page. I unbolded the text for your comfort, but decided to leave the ill-advised caps intact. This statement makes me suspicious that the company has had complaints about delivery time. The next paragraph on the page starts: “Since the photos feature 576+ Crystals, ordering fewer than 576+ crystals will cause some areas to have lighter or no coverage.” This statement makes me suspicious that they’ve had complaints about the look of the dresses. Not a good start. I’m giving it 1 ping, though, because there is useful information here, even if it doesn’t exactly instill confidence (any press is good press?).

Informative copy: 2 pings

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Well, there’s some product info. The dress is for standing on a podium? It is stretchy. It comes in sizes. The site felt a need to explain that to buy the product, you must click “Buy Now.” What’s it made of (stretch lace does not cover it)? Is it machine washable? I don’t even want to ask where it is manufactured.

The introduction paragraphs at the top of the page are longer than this one–they go into great detail about crystal count and shipping times. Between those messy paragraphs and this messy one, there’s a decent amount of information to be gleaned about this product. Not enough, and not well stated, but it’s there.

Effective images: 3 pings


This is the strongest point of the entire page. They show the dress on a live model. Always a good idea for clothing. They show the front and the back, which took a little thought. The resolution is good? That’s all I can come up with.

They also have tiny swatches of all the color options. These need to be larger. The entire image should be larger–clickable and zoomable so we can see the details on this very detailed dress.

And, since they emphasize crystal count, there really should be images depicting those variations. Their effort to push more expensive, higher count dresses is pretty transparent. Might as well run with it and create sparkling images of 720-crystal dresses.

What I’m buying: 1 ping

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Um, a dress. Which has an undisclosed shipping time after a disclosed production time. I hope it comes wrapped well so none of those 576 crystals fall off.

Design: 0 pings

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SEIZURE WARNING. Do not look down if you have a known or potential seizure disorder.

Sad but true. That’s never a good sign when talking about page design, but I just have to add this section. This is, of course, not the entire page. It falls below a large chunk of white space below the dress info. Just so you know what’s going on, these are the links to all their other baton twirling dresses. No joke. Oh, and I didn’t add that floating Facebook box. Try to not get dizzy.

Still with me? Good. There are other glaring design problems–the spacing really grates on me–that will be apparent when you see the full page, below.

Final score: 1 ping

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It’s more like 1.4 pings, but I’m rounding down to account for the fact that I’d like to give it negative pings for the design. I’m not in the habit of shopping for baton twirling dresses (really!). And I’m sure people who are know where to go for what without needing to rely solely on website information. But I suspect it can be done better than this. In fact, I know it can, because I Googled “baton twirling dresses” and got a full page of sites that put this one to shame.

Here’s the full page (click for larger size):



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