I'm currently hunting down a variety of display cabinets to show and tell for my managers, and thus have spent a few days trawling online. I've discovered a few poorly thought out elements which put me off delving a website properly, and thus may loose custom for these potentially excellent cabinetmakers.
A killer so far has been bigging up that you have many different types of cabinets suitable for many different uses, when really it's the same three designs, available at three heights, with two different doors, and 6 different finishes. That is not a display solution for my every need, that's you over egging your pudding to the point of my no longer finding it tasty by the time I've negotiated your website and realised what your trick is. Be proud that you specialise and have a select but popular range of options. Don't get so hyperbolic that it makes you sound desperate.
Next to this is having a fantastic range of wall mounted, freestanding, plinth based, rotating, all singing and all dancing cabinets, but having a website so scrappily organised that it becomes a chore to navigate and understand what's what. One website has delightfully complex layers of menus so from arriving you choose "Products" then "Exhibition Displays" then "Standard Displays" then "Cabinets" then "Freestanding" and finally get to see some clear images of individual cabinets. It felt a bit like a chose your own adventure book. Rather than helping people narrow down their needs, having only two or three options on each landing page means it takes longer for potential customers to find the end result, and makes it hard to compare and flick between pages easily.
A final twitch has been browsing websites where the level of English definitely needed someone to red pen it. Some of these look very professional, the web design has had money thrown at it, the pictures of exhibition fit outs are impressive, yet the written words are jarring.
"Cabinets for any types of museum outfitting can be bespoke made to your design if you contact our cabinets team to discuss options." I'm not sure if this was sent through google translate from anther language, but it's from a PDF by a UK company.
"Museum and Galleries Display Cabinet's" If you can spot what's up here, which was big and bold on the header of a webpage, give yourself a couple of brownie points ;)
This might sound picky, but the world's best cabinet designer and manufacturer could remain undiscovered if the first impression someone gets is "If they can't employ people who use clear English, I'm not sure a job with them would be completed to spec"
There's a lot of competition out there, from small and local companies to the large internationally renowned makers, with the internet primarily the first point of call for potential customers. Be clear, be honest what makes you special, and get your website test driven by a few people with different goals to see how professional and user friendly it is.
Webcomic and occasional blog about the heritage sector.
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