Cake Cleanup

A website should be concerned with three things- usability, quality of content, and design. Without these things, its life can get difficult, with low conversion rates and poor performance overall. I spent some time looking at DeRobertis Caffe’s website, and I found that while their content says a lot about the bakery and its rich traditions, the design and usability prevent that voice from being heard.

Starting on the homepage, some immediate issues are the colors and font. Next, there is a lot of repetition. Some examples- “open 7 days a week is listed twice,” the location is listed three times and “order online” is listed twice. The bottom of the page also repeats content twice. This seems to have been an accident.

The quality content comes out on the About Us page. Though a bit long, I think the rich story is an acceptable addition to the site. The Gallery also makes heavy use of pictures, which is important in the cake business. In addition, the video was a nice touch. I suggest embedding it onto the website instead of having it link to YouTube.

I enjoyed the content so much that I began to feel a personal connection with the bakery; thus, I decided to mock up my own wireframe to show how the site could be better organized. It’s purpose is to improve navigation. The blank middle area is where content would be.

I noticed the current menu doesn’t include links to add items to cart. I suggest the order online and regular menu become integrated. Items that are only available in store can be stated within the list. Integrating the menu may see an increase in online conversion, as there is currently no option to shop online from the navigation bar. Adding a cart button will also draw attention to the ecommerce options. To condense options on the navigation bar and avoid repetitive links throughout the site, I added cakes, specialty cakes, and video to a drop down menu. Finally, Location and Contact Us can be pushed to the bottom of the page, as this is standard. Users are familiar with this format.

I’d like to end this post with DeRobertis Caffe’s cake decorating video. If you learn anything from today, maybe this will be it.

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