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Friday, Sep. 16, 2005 at 10:08 am

Grading the Redesign

By Bryan Eisenberg
September 16th, 2005

The e-tailing community is humming with talk about the new effort at the Gap’s aggressive stance on improving its customer experience is a delight to watch. Its goal to cut down clicks and make online shopping even easier has been the focus of a $10 million redesign. A recent “New York Times” article chronicles the experience:

When women browse’s T-shirt section, they do not have to click to a new page to see details about the 16 shirts shown on each page. Rather, when they put the cursor over an item (called “mousing over” in industry parlance), they are invited to click on a “quick look” link for the shirt. That link yields a pop-up window that shows a model wearing the shirt alongside swatches of the colors it is available in. Mouse over any swatch, and the shirt takes on its hue — and the window tells you what sizes are in stock.

When a shopper clicks “add to bag” from within that window, the site does not shuttle her to a checkout page, as many electronic retailers do. Instead, another small window replaces the previous one, showing the shopping bag and asking her to consider multi-item discounts. If she ignores that window or clicks the “close” button, it disappears and she continues browsing shirts from the original page.

From a technology and usability perspective, the new product interface is leaps ahead. The use of AJAX (define) is impressive. The site developers should be proud; this interface will be the envy of many.

The site was down over the past few weeks for the upgrade. PR from that, however, might be helping rather than hurting. Whether or not this was by design, it’s successfully working many up into a frenzy.

The redesigned site will certainly spike sales in the short term. But if Gap really wants to maximize this opportunity, I have a few tips.

Continue reading my column over at ClickZ…

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Comments (1)

  1. I guess it is pretty cool for the redesign.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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