Italian shoes have a definite brand. People expect sleek style, the latest fashion, and excellent workmanship. This Italian show brand offers less formal attire, but the expectation remains the same. This is a high bar that OXS must reach both with its products and its website.
To complicate matters, the website appears to be selling high fashion work boots. This makes their task a little more difficult, because they must convince potential customers and store buyers that a work boot can indeed live up to the glamor expected of Italian footwear.
Website Reviewed: oxs.it
The OXS website does a great job of showing their products to their maximum advantage. The website is completely black and white, as are many of the marketing pictures. The homepage features a video advertisement for the brand placed in the upper left hand side, which is where most people look first when they open a webpage. A sidebar makes it easy to interact further with the brand, such as looking at the current lines and seeing where they can be bought. As you scroll down the page, there are more navigation bars and, finally, links to social networking sites.
At first it seems a little silly to have several different navigation centers, but the links further down the page are actually duplicates of the ones on the navigation bar. Further, they are placed next to photos of the products. This organizational tactic works well for this brand, and because the photos are black and white with a film noir quality to them, they act as decoration and promote the brand at the same time.
This website does not just promote products; it promotes a brand as well. You can see this in the overall style of the site as well as the prominent placement of the logo design. After all, why would you buy clunky boots for high fashion wear if not for style?
Creativity: 5 stars. There are a few elements that we really liked. For example, when you hover over a link, it is ‘crossed out’ by a line. Clever little things like this add immensely to the memorability of the website. Further, the photography is professional and generally interesting to look at.
Ease of use: 3 stars. The website has good overall design, but the front page is a little overwhelming. The use of several different links for any given page is a risky move, but there is definitely a cluttered feeling that could be easily remedied by moving things around and changing sizes slightly.
Functionality: 3 stars. It’s easy to access the footwear being represented, but there are no prices, material information, or ‘buy now’ links that would encourage impulse purchases. This may be losing sales and income for the company. Further, the links to social networking sites are placed at the very bottom of a rather long page, and they are less visible due to using the same colors and fonts as the rest of the site.
Content: 5 stars. There is not a lot of written content, but it is all well written and correct. The photography is used in lieu of words, and it does a fine job of representing the brand.
Appropriateness: 5 stars. The OXS website is very appropriate for their product and their brand.
Overall: 4.2 out of 5 stars. This website has only superficial flaws and is otherwise very well designed.