Jessica Arias Guillén
- How friendly is the site? Does it communicate everything it needs to?
The sand cloud website in general, is very friendly and welcoming. The page is bright, using very adequate pastel colors and white for most of the backgrounds, the combination of them, transmit a nice, happy and positive vibe. The white space they use makes the page look clean and easy to read, not too much information and nicely organized so the visitor can take a look at everything without problem. The top bar has a promo or a sale that changes when needed, but it is always there reminding the reader the benefits of purchasing there and also, after the main menu there is a big and attractive announcement about special offers or messages that has the same effect (or even stronger) than the top bar. The language used is casual and welcoming, with a friendly tone that feels natural. The only problem two problems with the friendliness would be that: a. There is no option to make the font bigger; for me, that isn’t a problem, I think the size is perfect, but if someone with not very good sight would visit the page, that would cause problem to them. b. When you click “shop” it takes you only to the towels, when they have much more products, but I will deepen on the navigation section.
All the information they give is very useful and complete I like that there is even a high quality and entertaining video explaining everything about the brand in case you want to know them deeper. It is clear they know their audience really well and know what they want to hear and the way they want to hear it, the terminology they use is simple, easy to understand, the fonts they use are consistent through all pages and is very well chosen, as it looks pretty and clean, but when they have to make a message more attractive a stronger font is used to create contrast and impact. When navigating the webpage I thought about several questions visitors could have and everything I asked, the information was available for me to read, for example, the shipping, their mission, how could I get involved, sales, their social media, reviews on the products, etc. Except for one thing: what is the process of producing the towels? I couldn’t find that information anywhere, and I think it’s really important because they are supposed to be eco friendly and unique handmade towels, for a curious person like me, that is important and it adds more value to the brand; a little and simple video would fit perfectly.
- How relevant is the content to the audience?
All the content published is nicely presented, in a casual but convincing way where you feel inspired to contribute with the cause. There is the right amount of information, not too much where they repeat everything a lot of times, but enough for it to be stuck in your mind. In general, the information is really relevant and complete. I can notice the information has been filtered, compacted and is really focused, I think they give the most valuable facts for their audience, except for the process of the making of the towels, as I already expressed. At the end of the page, there is a menu with all the extra information like FAQs under the name of “support” where they respond all the doubts a visitor could have in a very clear and detailed way. Also in that bottom menu, there is a section called “videos” where they publish some really great and beautifully produced videos that are related to the brand, like nature, adventure and the use of the towels. Another thing I really liked, was the “wholesale” part where you can contact Sand Cloud if you want to sell their products on your own store.
- How beneficial is its interactivity?
The interactivity on this website could be better, it has some debilities as well as positive elements:
-The communication is passive in general; they give the information but don’t allow the visitor to express comments or data if they don’t buy anything or want to participate on the wholesale or the ambassador program.
-The first thing that appears is their latest deal or sale, it’s the biggest and most attractive part of the home page, they want you to click it and if you do, it takes you to the online shop but the problem is that they don’t make it obvious that you have to click it, because there isn’t a “click here to shop” button, so I may think it is just a picture announcing it and I have to look on the rest of the page somewhere to click to take me to the shopping.
-The contact information isn’t visible on the home page, you have to scroll all the way to the bottom, click “support” and once you are there, look for the question where they give their email, which is the only data they provide; the customer services telephone number is extremely useful and it isn’t anywhere.
-A really good thing they have, are the forms for you to fill with your information so Sand Cloud contacts you if you want to sell their products or to become a brand ambassador.
-It is clear you should return to the website if you want to purchase something because of the sales that they always offer on the home page, the special packages they put together for holidays or other important dates, also they put up new products and new colors to the ones that already existed, and they have a blog with news about their actions and the environment in general, which helps a lot for people to come back again or even bookmark it. The only problem is that the blog section is quite hard to find because it is on the bottom of the page with no attractive font and small size, so I think they should put more emphasis on that.
-The privacy information is clear and easy to find because it is positioned where the majority of the websites put it.
-The shopping process is not complicated at all, and they have tools that help accelerate. For example, if I buy something, when I finish putting my billing information they ask if I want the page to remember for future purchases.
- What about navigation?
The site has a logical structure, where –as I have mentioned before– at the top, there is a little bar with the sale or offer of the moment, then there is the main menu, which I think could be a little bit more attractive and bigger and the “blog” section added there instead of at the bottom. After that, there is the big announcement of the current sale, then the top sellers, the video of their mission, their instagram posts, some commentaries of the media about Sand Cloud, the bottom menu with all the extra information, and the links to their social media. If you exit the home page, it is really easy to go back by simple clicking the logo on the top left corner; the visitor will never end up on a dead end. A feature that is really helpful is the search bar at the top, for you to search a product directly to the details of the product to just click “add to cart” without having to browse through all the website and looking at the rest of the products, nevertheless this is aimed for people who already know the name of the them and are sure of what they want to purchase.
Everything is great, all the links are visible, you can navigate the site in a very simple way, with no complications and very intuitive, except for the “shop” section. When you run the mouse on the words, the different categories they have for their products will appear, and that’s great but if you click it, instead of showing you all those sections organized, it only shows the towels and can be a little bit confusing, a new visitor may think they are the only products Sand Cloud offers. They should have a different system, where if you click “shop” you have all the categories displayed and from there you choose which one you want to explore.
- Design quality?
The design is very adequate to the theme of the brands and even the colors they use for the products are used on the website; their communication through design (fonts, structure, pictures, icons) is quite integral and coherent: feminine, pastel colors, simple and fresh. They way the page is structured works as a clear guide, the names of the sections, pictures and even videos are immediately tell you which part of the page are you browsing. The site in general, is attractive, but there are some elements that would be better with more contrast or a way that the sight of the visitor is taken there, like the two menus of contents: the one on the top and the one in the bottom. Also, some more icons like arrows and buttons like “click here” would be beneficial for the visitor to do what the page wants. All the pictures and videos are high quality and are nice to see, the pictures fit perfectly avoiding the visitor to scroll down to see it entirely.
- Copy quality?
The copies are simple, straightforward and emotional when they need to be, but not too emotional that sounds fake. They are nicely written with good grammar and clear. If they had a tagline next to their logo would be a good way to catch the visitors attention and to let them know in a fast way what the brand is about before going to the sales or promos.
They use the right amount of text for the home page, for people to read the information without feeling tired, they are very dynamic texts, where they play with just two different fonts (the recommended is not to use more than 3, so it’s perfect). I think, the size of the letters could be a little bit bigger in the table of contents and on the products info; but apart from that the fact that some words and phrases are bigger than others or thicker gives the page a more fun touch.
- Credibility? Attention to detail?
Through their videos published and the “our mission” segment (which describes very detailed about their actions and with which organizations they work) credibility is created. Plus, while browsing through the site you are completely surrounded by an eco-friendly and fresh experience, you really feel inside the Sand Cloud world thanks to the design of the page. You can tell it is a safe site to buy online from, there is the © icon next to the name of the brand, the privacy details, the padlock when purchasing and there aren’t any weird pop-ups that make you feel insecure or any visible blue or underlined links. This job has been made correctly, and the fact that you feel very safe inside the page, pushes and motivates you to buy their products.
- How good is the marketing?
The marketing is one of the best features they have on their page. The fact that they are eco-friendly and that they have worked so hard with different organizations to clean the oceans, adds them a noticeable positive value against their competitors and that make that super strong. When you browse you discover their branding really clearly and they present it a fast and easy way to be captured by the visitor by the use of multimedia and texts. One thing that they could implement, would be that on top of the homepage before their sales, a tagline would appear next to the logo summarizing what Sand Cloud is about with one simple but catchy phrase, so the visitor remembers that when reading about the current promos and when going through all the site. Apart from that, all the messages are focused and impactful especially for their main target but it’s also friendly and convincing to the rest of the audiences; everyone likes environmental causes. Other good element is that they make clear which are updates or new products so if you are a common visitor every time that you come back you notice them but if you like the brand very much and want to share they don’t give a button or a tool to do it, however there is a special part where you can sign up to become and ambassador of the brand, which is a really good idea. Lastly, I tried some keywords on google like “cool beach towels”, “eco-friendly towels” and “beach towels with a cause” but only for the last one they appeared because it is really specific, but it wouldn’t be a common way to google the brand by someone who has never heard of it, they could improve that by adding more content, making connections or even paying to get google adwords.
- The Branding?
The page communicates very clear the brand’s personality, from the colors, the images, the videos, to how the texts are written. When browsing the page, you really feel like you are inside the Sound Cloud world and they do a really great job informing about their inspiration and mission.
I have checked it different mobile phones and a tablet and it works perfectly, very fast and organized a way that the navigation is smooth and easy, it looks and feels like an app.
- Loading speed?
The entire page loads incredibly fast, all the pictures and even videos appear together and not with the annoying effect of the picture cut in half and appearing little by little. They have done an outstanding job on that; absolutely perfect.
- Use of multimedia?
The pictures and videos do their function perfectly, they accompany the texts when needed and there is the right amount of them, not too much that the visitor can’t focus but enough for the page to be fun and dynamic.