Welcome to the first “Complimentary Comps“, my design exercise offering free makeovers for sites I use and care about.
I had to choose Foxycart.com because their site initially gave me the idea for this series – or at least, I remember cementing the idea in my mind while visiting their site. I’ll admit that they might not be the best example as set out in my criteria, mainly because their site really is good – but it’s so close to being much, much better. I ended up completing two different designs for foxycart – one that that better completes their current approach, and one that rethinks their approach entirely.
Approach 1: Fixing the current design
I love foxycart’s attitude. They sprinkle some goofy humor through their messaging, and they approach you immediately with an in-your-face punch line: Foxycart is different. Can’t miss it. They know how troubling the world of e-commerce can be and are promising a lot up front – it begs the user to dig at least a little bit deeper into the “how & why”.
While their messaging is great, their current design is missing the mark. It’s not terrible by any means, but it doesn’t achieve the modern look I think they intended. I also feel like most elements needed more room to breathe, making the site text more “scannable” by today’s impatient and low-attention-span user.
The new design was really just a lot of little changes that added up – a band aid if you will. But alas I still needed to start from scratch:
Approach 2: Rethinking things
My second overhaul involved rethinking how Foxycart represents themselves to the market. I feel the current design detracts from their true strength: transparency. Foxycart can be molded and customized into just about any form, allowing customers to make a cart that looks and feels just like their own site. I feel their current design too easily places it into the category of “yet another web 2.0 shopping cart”.
My second approach brings nothing fancy to the table: just the plain facts about foxycart. It suggests much less about how it should look, feel or be implemented, allowing the user to imagine it on their own site. It speaks directly to the developer who ‘just wants to know how it works’, yet it is elegant enough to please the eye of less technical users.
In the end I really like the 2nd version, and would be delighted if the guys at Foxycart thought the same. If not, cheers to Sunday afternoon design!