This week, we will explain why user centered design is important by analyzing Reflection Center’s website.
The ReflectionsCenter.com website with its tan and blue color scheme seems at first glance to be appropriate for a resort or beachfront community. A large part of this is that two of the four large image seem to be beach related. Right off the bat, it makes the visitor feel like the site may not be the correct site. The main image area is Flash based and there is no alternative image that loads on the iPhone or iPad.
There is no search function on the site so visitors who are looking for a particular service can’t search for it. The pull-downs for Choose a Condition and Choose a Procedure contain so many links—particularly the procedure pull down—that they are almost useless. There are just too many options to choose from which overwhelms the casual or beginning visitor. Instead of listing every single condition and procedure, a better approach would be to list items by more general terms—Face, Legs, Skin, etc…. While less accurate, it is easier for the visitor to grasp and begin to drill down into the site.
Overall, the site feels narrow. With the average size monitor today being 1024 x 768 pixels, this site would leave unused space left and right. I’d suggest the site become wider and the space used better as a result.
The main navigation is comprised of many important links that, in most cases, are unrelated. Unfortunately, Services, which is a very important link is on par with Shop and Library which are more subordinate. We should evaluate the NAV structure to determine what links are necessary and expand important ones and remove the unimportant ones. To that end, Library and Press could be consolidated into a New tab since both of those only occupy a single page. Likewise, body guide is really only important in choosing a service and so may be able to be moved to the main services page instead of on its own main navigation.
To read more, please see our second post on why user centered design matters.