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Web Site Designs for the Home & Garden Market by ET Productions

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 Our Answers to the Migration Challenge
Screen capture of BordersToGo's Yahoo Store after makeover
After Migration to Yahoo Store
 First came branding the site. It is VITALLY important that a site creates a good visual impression and instantly assures a potential customer that it offers what they're seeking (assuming that's so, of course). Web surfers won't take time to read. Recent research confirms that they decide within 1/20th of a second if this is where they want to look further or if they'd rather just hit the back button and try someplace else. We wanted a picture that showed the wallpaper borders in context, in a lovely room. We wanted a logo that enhanced the Borders theme with text fit for even Mr. Magoo's eyes. And we wanted a more lively color palette to compliment all the vibrant colors in the site's product shots.
      Navigation was a real challenge. The previous site's left nav seemed like a somewhat random collection of links. We needed to break this site down into three or four main categories, then show top-level and certain second-level links under these "store departments". To make these category levels clear, we fell back on the visual metaphor of the old Windows 3.1 file manager with it's vertical lines and horizontal branches indicating the directory tree structure of a group of files. Looks pretty simple and works great, but it took some fancy RTML programming to dynamically generate such a menu so that it automatically adjusts itself as new sections are added to the store.
      We used the Yahoo Store Accessories Feature to offer customers a sample of each border for just $2.00 including shipping.
      We also built a custom Tableizer to parse through specially delimited data within the Caption variable and print it as a table (Here's a closeup). Thus, data within that table looks great but remains within the searchable text of the caption.
      Visit the site and see how you think it compares with the old version (opens in new window). Or check out the client's own words about the project.
 
 The Migration Challenge
The original site looked decent enough in a minimalist way, but it lacked strong visual clues to identify its mission. It also failed to meet even the barest standard of SEO. You can click the image below to see it full-sized.
BordersToGO Yahoo Store before migration
Before Migration

But the look and the SEO deficiencies were only the tip of the iceberg-sized difficulties this site presented its owner. It was hosted on a custom store platform by its developer. The cleint had access to the back office where he could change a few things, but no access to the database or programming. After completing the site, the developers seemed to fall off the face of the earth. They would not answer their phones or return messages left on voicemail. They wouldn't respond to e-mail or even to letters sent by mail.
      The site owner finally gave up in frustration and, after some research on store platforms he knew he could manage for himself, settled on Yahoo Store's Merchant Solutions platform and ET Productions as the store developer.
      This "developer retired and forgot to tell anyone" syndrome may sound like a nightmare. Indeed it is. But it's an all too comon one. Putting the client back in control was as important here as was elegant design; clean, logical navigation; and top-notch SEO.
      We had our work cut out for us, Read about the migration.
 

ET Productions portfolio of web design and writing work