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Website review


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In this report, I will evaluate these two websites according to the following criteria: Design, Ease of Use, Copywriting, Content and Interactivity. Based on the review, I will conclude which of them is a better site explaining my decision. Finally, I will present some recommendations on how the better website may be improved.

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Website review

  1. 1. 0 Website Review June 2013 In this report, I will evaluate these two websites according to the following criteria: Design, Ease of Use, Copywriting, Content and Interactivity. Based on the review, I will conclude which of them is a better site explaining my decision. Finally, I will present some recommendations on how the better website may be improved. SUGAR CRM vs. SALESFORCE
  2. 2. 1 A) DESIGN In the area of graphic design, Sugar CRM has a clean and well defined design. Looking at the home page, they feature at the top three large ads -shown in a slideshow– advertising their latest product, mobile app and important news. Below these images there is a description of their four solutions: Marketing, Sales, Support and Platform. The good thing here is that you can have a clear introduction to their business without scrolling down since all the main content covers the first half of the page. The rest of the page is dedicated to showcasing some of their worldwide customers –linked to their worldwide’s customer page- and a description of their businesses’ areas supported by photos and an introductory video to their CRM platform which provides clear and additional information to their products and keep the visitor browsing. The website aesthetics provides a clear and positive impression. The use of text fonts and sizes, colors and background are consistent across the entire site. They have an appropriate use of images visually connected to content. The layout is clear and they keep the interface consistent across the entire site. The company logo is small, positioned on the top left on every page and with link to homepage. The search option also appears on every page and on the top left of the navigation bar. Salesforce’s graphic design is simple with good use of appropriate colors. Their approach to the home page is similar to Sugar. Firstly, they show a similar style of ad at the top –shown also in a slideshow- that offer links to informative demos on key features, pricing information and free trials. But what grabs the attention is the huge tag line – No hardware. No software. No boundaries - featuring their advanced cloud computing/software solution. They know that they are successful in that area, so they get the customer’s attention using that marketing. Below the ads their main products are presented. You need to scroll down to see the six suggested items and access to the links provided below, such as details, demo and pricing, to find out more. Following they feature their marketplace apps and some success stories. Finally, a set of highlights of their business is described. The content featured here is large; it comprises lot of information packed into a small space. The font is very small and there are not images to make it more attractive. As it stands, it doesn’t grab my attention as it is fairly boring and overwhelming. The website provides a good first impression and visual aesthetics. Images are properly used to illustrate key features and are suitable to the text. The page layout is simple and well designed; however, it is not consistent within pages (i.e. “Customer Community” page) and across all their websites (It is not within the scope of this report to carry out that analysis, however, an example are the developerforce and Salesforce AppEchange websites). Their logo is on the top left of the navigation bar with link to homepage on every page. The search box –on top right- along with the main navigation bar remains in every page, except on the “Customer Community” page that has a different design. B) EASE OF USE With regards to the ease of use, Sugar CRM’s navigation works well and show visitors where they are and the company name on all pages. The navigation is consistent across the entire site. The navigation bar remains on top on all pages to allow visitor ease of use and remains visible as you scroll down which is a good usability practice. On top left side, it includes the company logo with link to the website’s home page. The navigation links use appropriate wording. The text link wording is always in light blue color allowing users to easily find web page links. The information architecture is well planned out. They catch visitor’s eyes placing on top of every page the most import content using different calls to action (for example: videos, case studies and reports).
  3. 3. 2 The content is easy to read across the entire website, however, on the main bar they use large drop-down menus that might confuse the visitor to scan content (for example: the “Product” link). No site map exists for this website; they seem to replace it with the navigation bar. Salesforce has a good designed website that allows visitor to surf it quickly and easily. Although the navigation shows visitors where they are along with the company name, the text is not always consistent with the navigation menu. The navigation bar is not uniform throughout the site, i.e., the home page and the Community page have a different navigation bar and the travelled path is not provided. The use of links is clear; you know where you will go by clicking on a link. Good wording and formatting of navigation links in light blue color. There is not always link to the home page, an example is the Developer site under the Community drop down. The information architecture is simple. The most important information on every page is not always on top of the page, visitors have to scroll down to see the full content. In addition, content is properly formatted by using header tags, bold text and colors. A link to their site map is not placed on every page of the website, for example, the Blogs page under the About us menu. C) COPYWRITING Sugar CRM’s website use short text and precise language to describe their business. The About section clearly describes the company’s mission, they also include press releases and articles that focuses on the benefits of their products. They keep the text large and easy to read with strong use of keywords (for example: CRM Software, CRM Solutions, CRM for support in the home page) and bold text to highlight hyperlinks. The content is broken up with plenty of short sub-headings set in heavier type allowing visitors to quickly get the gist of each section. They make an appropriate use of white space across the entire site to separate everything apart and add images to make the content more interesting. Salesforce’ s page keep the text short and simple with easy access to more detailed description on these attributes on other pages of the website. The content looks sometimes boring and a lot busier because of the quantity of the content (i.e., the About us section). The text is large enough and easy to see and read, except the text located on the lower part of the home page that is too small. They don’t use bold text to highlight key phrases or important concepts. They use hyperlinks to find out more information. They provide enough white space around the text and add images and icons on individual sections, i.e. product overview section. D) CONTENT Sugar CRM contains excellent variety of resources: Case Studies available online and to download in PDF format, Demos designated to promote their products, live and on-demand Webcasts, free Whitepapers upon registration and Step-by-step video’s instructions for performing basic tasks in Sugar. Together, these five types of materials are easy to find and presented under the Solutions section. In the About section, there are Press Releases & Articles. The on-page copy analysis shows the use of simple and clear language across the website. Good use of different headers with descriptive sub-headings including keywords in them. They use short descriptions/paragraphs allowing visitor quickly understand what the content is about and bold few important words to emphasis main points on a paragraph. Looking at Salesforce, the available resources (Demos, White Papers, Reports, etc.) are not easy to find. I had to use the search bar to find them. They are presented in a sub-navigation bar in some of their products’ pages, for example, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Salesforce Chatter, making difficult to see when you first visit the
  4. 4. 3 page. Here is a screen shot of the Sales Cloud product page on the Product drop down: Good use of videos to showcase the features of their products. Content on pages is formatted using header tags with a short description of the page’s content with supportive sub-headers. E) INTERACTIVITY Sugar CRM does a good work in this area. Their website contains calls to action through the entire site, i.e., the telephone number displayed on top of pages and at the end, free trail button on drop- down list in the Product section and at the end of the page, demos, etc. In addition to the telephone number provided on every page (except the support page), they have a contact page providing all contact methods by region (headquarter address, telephone numbers, and emails). The only way to subscribe to receive newsletters is when you sign up for a free demo. They do not have a chat option to interact with potential customers. Downloads in PDF format are available across the entire site, i.e., for whitepapers, case studies, pricing comparison chart, etc. Salesforce use a different set of call to actions to engage users: large size of the telephone number in two formats (alphanumerical and numerical) at the top (except the Community section) and at the end of every page. Contrasting with the background, the green “free trial” call to action button is located at the very top right on the pages across the entire website. Demos and free trial buttons in strong blue on the right side of the image in the home page and on the site map area, etc. Besides the telephone numbers provided, there is a “Contact” link where users are expected to provide personal information to be contacted. No email lists are provided. To increase user engagement they have the option to chat in real time with them. This option appears as a blue button on the right side on the home page. They should have it throughout the rest of the site to potentially reach more users. To access to white papers, demos, e-books, datasheets, reports, etc. they require the user to sign up. There is no hint as if downloads are available next to registration. In terms of newsletters, I wasn’t able to find them. From an interactivity perspective, I think they do a great job with the calls to action, although, they need some improvements to make the overall user experience more engaging.
  5. 5. 4 CONCLUSION: In my opinion, Sugar CRM has a better website. From a design perspective, the home page is strategically structured to showcase the company’s products as the first thing you focus on, which means the user don’t need to scroll down or work to navigate to find more. Aesthetically, it is also very pleasing. The website has a large navigation bar at the top, which remains there consistently whichever section of the site you go to. The drop down lists show all the options available in each of the sections, this allow for easier scanning as you can jump to the group that you are interested in and scan the items within them. Additionally, I think that they have a consistent navigation, good color of large fonts contrasting with their background and lot of white space and images making the overall navigation across the website an enjoyable experience. Unlike Sugar CRM, Salesforce’s site design demands more effort to find what you need. Moreover, the lack of navigational elements or options in the menu of the main navigation bar makes difficult to navigate and find what you need. It is tedious to have to go through a number of links in order to reach the one that is interesting to the user visiting the website. For these reasons, I choose Sugar CRM as better website. RECOMMENDATIONS:  When you move across the navigation bar, there is no visible change in its color to show you where you are positioned neither when you hover over the menu with your mouse. To improve the overall user experience, I recommend using a lighter color as you travel or hover over the menu in order to distinguish it well from its background.  They use a search icon that is placed on the top right of the navigation bar. A search box expands when you click on the icon to type something overlapping the telephone number. I recommend resizing the navigation bar in order to make the search box visible all the time or repositioning the search box. Here is how it looks like:  The options available under the “Products” and “Solutions” drop down present a lot of choices in groups. The order of the groups and mentioning some elements more than once are confusing to the user. I recommend changing the groups order, featuring the options relevant to the menu in the first column, for example, move the “Switch to Sugar from” option in the “Solutions” drop down to the last column of the list. Since some options point to the same thing, I would also recommend removing duplicate menu, for example, the “Use Sugar for” option from the “Solutions” drop down as it is already under “Products” menu.  I recommend adding a live Chat option. This will bring into more leads and potential customers.
  6. 6. 5 APPENDIX The report is based on the following websites addresses: (1) Sugar CRM: (2)Salesforce: