May 07, 2009

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Wine websites: for art or commerce? Last week I saw a set of witty, original wine labels (on bottles)...and wanted to buy a case for gifts and drinking. Found the website, thinking that would lead me to a supplier. Big mistake - it was one of the most frustrating and over-designed sites I've ever experienced. Moved to rage (time on my hands?) I let fly when I finally found their email address (even that was a chore). Below are some excerpts from our correspondence over several days: Me: Love your labels but gotta say the website is a royal pain in the arse - you sure it doesn't actually prevent sales? Them (in reply): thanks for the note. You know, you're not alone, other people also dislike the website, others the artwork which adorn our wines and there are some that dislike the wine itself...What in particular was the monarchical travesty you refer to with regard to the website? Me: I wasn't just sniping, but want to help you SELL MORE WINE. A website should make it EASY for me to find out about the wine, ask questions, and BUY. Even getting through the home page [a flash page] at the beginning was maddening - I persisted because I'm stubborn, but my guess is most would not. That means fewer sales, and fewer holidays in Europe. On one level, the site matches the uber-cool labels, but I also believe it's a 'sales prevention' tool, not sales enhancement - your web dudes really need to be taken in hand, or replaced. Seriously. Them: We see where you're coming from, however we share a different point of view. There is a plethora of rhetoric I could supply outlining these choices, but at the end of the day, we love making booze and love the implementation of design be...

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