|Thu Aug 1 2013 10:44:37|
What Do You Think of Ruby Lane's New Upscale Design?
By: Julia Wilkinson
Ruby Lane unveiled a site redesign, currently in beta mode, as part of its 15-Year Anniversary, official now that it's August 2013. You will "see a brand new home page, as well as a new shop home page and item page layouts that we feel are even more attractive, and more intuitive than ever before," read part of an announcement sent to its shops.
The last major redesign of the site was in 2004, which is quite a while in Internet time. In my opinion, the new design is much more professional-looking and eye-catching, and should accomplish its goal of appealing to "an even higher-end buyer than we currently have. We want to grow the site to include a customer base that is "the best of the best"," as it said in its announcement.
I also think Ruby Lane is going about the change in a good way, cautioning users to give the changes a chance before judging them, and acknowledging that change can be difficult. It is also thoroughly testing every aspect of the new site with select shop owners and staff.
This redesign, in keeping with where a lot of the Web seems to be going these days, is highly image-based, with photos and graphics taking up most of the screen. However, the categories ("Lanes") of the site are right near the top, "above the fold" as it were; and the search is front and center, with a convenient drop-down box that lets users search the whole site, individual categories, "Today's" or "This Week's" Arrivals, or a shop directory.
One of the coolest aspects of the redesign, in my opinion, is a new Advanced Image Processing tool which removes the background completely from the image, leaving visible only the item for sale; centers the item in the frame, and, if necessary, adjustment to lightness or darkness are made and shadows removed, among other things.
Lastly, I like that the new site design completely fills my gigantic monitor, whereas the old site left white space on the sides.
But, now it's your turn to give your optinion: what do you think of Ruby Lane's new design? Are there downsides to it being so image-based? Are there other changes you would have made? And do you think it will attract higher-end buyers and tastemakers, as per the redesign's goal? Post a comment here!