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Web Site Designs for the Retail Market by ET Productions

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 Our Answers to the Makeover Challenge
Screen capture of Yahoo Store after makeover
After Makeover of Yahoo Store
 For branding, we went with a new logo and added a golfer in mid swing in the upper right of the page. Text and products appear to float over him while he enjoys the benefits of his great golf deals. We made certain that even at 800 pixels wide (shown above) there are plenty of products visible above the fold, and thumbnails are big enough to be instantly recognizable as golf products. We revamped the page so that it now scales to fit any screen size from 800 x 600 up. We added color and coded it so that it helps the eyes identify what is a price, what's a link, what is a headline and so forth.
      For SEO we made sure that all headlines and link text were plain text styled in CSS, not text rendered as images. Rendered text is the Yahoo! Store default, but search engines can't "read" images. We also gave each page its own unique TITLE tag, and META description and keywords. In addition, instead of using short product names as the headlines for inner pages, we expanded the headlines using H1 heading text styled in CSS so it doesn't look clunky.
      To guide users interest, we added a right column showing specials, new items and best sellers. We attacked the navigation problem by creating top-level categories called Shop-by-Category, Shop-by-Brand, Our Greatest Deals, Golf Gifts and Info Desk (the customer service pages). For interest, top level categories are shown in large yellow text and sub categories are bullet listed below in white text with tiny golf balls forming the bullets.
Sales before and after the makeover
 The Makeover Challenge
The original site had a number of problems, but the most serious was poor branding. Designed for 800 x 600 resolution, below is what you saw on the opening screen without scrolling. There was nothing visible above the fold to establish what the site was about short of taking the time to read the text. Internet surfers simply don't do that. If the site doesn't look like what they are seeking they back button out before they read the first word. Yahoo! Store before makeover
Before Makeover

After branding, the next challenge was to inject some life and color into the site. Outside of product photos, there was little but dark green and black..
      SEO wasn't all that bad, but there was work to do in that arena too.
      Product thumbnails were too small to be easily understood. Navigation was limited and inconsistent. Layout and color were needed to guide the eyes.
      Visit the site and see how you think it compares with the old version (opens in new window). While you're there, click on ANIMALS or CHILDREN and see how the menus expand to show inner category detail.
      Better yet, look at the sales graph to the left, captured right from the Yahoo! statistics section. We've blanked out the actual dollar amounts for obvious reasons, but the percentages are easy enough to see. The grey bar to the left represents sales from April through June of 2005. The makeover was completed April 1 of 2006, and after-makeover sales are in the yellow bar to the right. You see a four-fold increase in sales, actually eclipsing the Christmas 2005 peak.

ET Productions portfolio of web design and writing work