Geoff Wilson / Digital Marketing / March 29th, 2008

A Study in Design Simplicity: Discount Nourison Rug Outlet

Jesse Murse is a great friend of mine and one of the original founders of this company.  He started 352 Media Group (originally called SpyderWeb Page Creation) with me back in 1997.  A few years later he left to go to law school and he is now a very successful attorney in Sarasota, Florida.

Since Jesse still has good Web design skills from his days with our company, he sometimes moonlights as a Web designer on the side.  For the past year or two he has been busy creating a Web site for his father’s very successful business, Rugs As Art, in Sarasota, Florida.

The Web site Jesse has created, called Discount Nourison Rug Outlet – online at www.discountrugoutlet.com – serves as a good model for a design that effectively communicates the company’s primary marketing message.  Although the design is simple and not very polished, it does an extremely good job of focusing the user on the fact that the Web site offers the very best prices on Nourison rugs, including free padding, shipping, etc., with every purchase.  You can’t visit the site and not come away thinking they offer the best deals.  That fact is thrown in your face on almost every page.

An example of the effective (abiet a little obnoxious) graphics found throughout the Web site:

I see far too many Web designs where the primary purpose of the Web site is lost.  Web Designers have the tendency to want to make fancy, intricate designs, but sometimes the customer’s most critical marketing message can get hidden.  It’s no secret that Web users have extremely limited attention spans, and it is critical that the purpose and goal for the Web site be prominently highlighted and easy for users to find.

Take our Web site, for example (www.352inc.com).  The number one goal of our Web site is to drive new business to our company — specifically, sales leads.  That’s why we have a “Contact Us” link on our menu bar on every page, a “Request a Proposal” button on our home page and most subpages and text links to both in the body text of many pages.  We want to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to get in touch with us and send us that sales lead which we desire.

When we meet with a new customer for the first time, one of the first questions we ask is what the customer’s goal for their Web site is.  How will the customer measure sucess?  Is it through online sales, sales leads, brand building, page views, phone calls received, white papers downloaded, members signed up, videos watched… etc.  We identify those key success indicators and then build a Web site architecture to give the customer the best chance for success.

A Web site doesn’t need to have an Addy award winning design to be great… it just has to serve its purpose well.  Despite not having the prettiest design, Discount Nourison Rug Outlet has certainly got it right.