Thursday, 16 September 2010

H&M goes online, and kills the user experience by crude cross-selling

E-commerce fashion geeks might be aware that H&M has just opened up to online shopping in the UK. Following success in Sweden, a country obsessed with fashion and fashion blogs, I bet you H&M HQ couldn't wait to test the waters in the UK. This afternoon on I headed out to H&M's UK site and here are some quick thoughts.

Ladies landing page
Landing page features the promotion of a red top. Curiously there is no CTA and the only link is the price, so far so confusing. What I do like though is the super strong use of imagery against white background. It's very H&M and follows their style template for billboard advertising.

Product selection
Eager to check out the offering of ladies clothes, I click 'Ladies' in the top nav and a left hand side nav column appears, 'dresses' selected. Having found a dress for £19.99 I click on the image and see a light-box (which doesn't dim the background) and - this is a problem - see the individual pieces which make up the product image I clicked on. In terms of usability, this is really bad. Cross-selling benefits aside, I clicked on 'Dresses', saw header indicating that yes indeed I am in the right category, but now see a mix of garments?

Lesson: If a user has selected product type by sub-nav, selected a garment within that category, then user should see a product page 100% focused on that garment.

After a bit of confusion, I click on the dress and get taken to check-out. Fine.
I decide to confirm shopping bag and expect to start the login and payment process. But instead, H&M display a light-box with seemingly completely unrelated products such as place mats.

I love H&M dearly, being Swedish means it's as much a part of your national identity as Volvo and IKEA. Therefore it actually hurts critising them. But I don't like it when companies overcomplicate fairly simple actions. If a user is interested in a dress, then let the user see the relevant information and make it easy to buy. Let's hope that H&M sort out these irritation moments so it become a joy and ease to click away and make some purchases!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


Recently I have really fallen in love with The site practically bathes in informative and engagine content and uses strong enticing imagery. Find your destination in a multiple of ways (top nav, map, search box), learn about the country and city, share your opinion with others and buy lonely planet books.

This site is pretty massive in terms of content and you can spend hours on it. It is a little bit like, which is no great surprise considering BBC owns 75% of lonely planet. If you're a fan of travelling and fancy spending a few minutes getting a good dose of inspiration, then do give a go. Some good site features:

*emphasis on search. Sites know their users use them, yet few make the search box a fairly integral part of the site.'s destination search box even uses inline validation, great!

*quantity engages. On each destination page, features quantity of restaurants, sights etc. If you've got information, and have categorised it, don't be afraid to display and promote it.

*cross-sell when relevant! Make it easy for site users to buy relevant products when accessing site content. Test the CTAs and placement to see what works best.

What I would wish for, is better integrated user generated content. Whilst lonelyplanet is beautiful and good to use, personally I would only use it for getting inspiration and information. I'm sure most would find the site of choice for UGC and reviews.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

How did I miss these sites!?

Was going to write about the use of points when estimating future work requests but instead stumbled across three ridiculously adorable and quite frankly addictive sites.

Everyone now: 'Awww' 'ooooh' 'oh please can we purleease get one?'