The whole site is too big, too slow, and too confused. :-) ("But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?")
I`m not trying to blast the site, but if there`s a problem, it makes sense to look at it as analytically as we can, right?
I went to the site. Before even going there, my mind was "Oh
jeez...another jewelry site!" That`s something to overcome---the
differentiation problem many businesses face.
The actual site loads quite slowly. I have a DSL line, and it was
click-pause, click-pause, and so forth. Annoying. It looks as if it`s a
Yahoo! store? Those seem to be problematic on a regualar basis, but I`m
not a Web developer.
From a logic and navigation viewpoint, it`s just way too much
"extraneous" information. Consider a *definition.* When you define
something, you acknoweldge and reference all sorts of related stuff.
But what makes a real definition is that it *focuses* on a single,
unique attribute---something that applies to nothing else, other than
Everything that isn`t part of the unique attribute is "non-essential."
So how do you separate out the *essential* from the non-essential?
What`s important, and what`s not so important? What`s necessary to the
site, and what can you get rid of?
That applies not only to the content, but also to the *process.* By
that, I mean how many clicks does someone have to make to get to where
they want to be? Why go from A to B to G to L to H to C? Why not just
go from A to C, and be done with it?
I see that in your pictures.
From my perspective, if you`re going to sell jewelry, people want to
*see* your jewelry. That`s the first step. If they like what they see,
THEN they`ll maybe wander around and look at other pieces, then how to
buy it. But FIRST, they want to see the jewelry.
You make it wonderfully difficult to actually see your pieces. :-) I
had to click about 4-5 times just to see even one picture up close. By
then, I`d forgotten where I started, why I wanted to see it, which
category it was in, and pretty much everything else I`d had in my mind.
That`s no good.
Here`s something you can try: Pick a couple of days and find a large
floor in your home. Lay out your jewelry AND your Web site on that
floor. You don`t have to put ALL you pieces on the floor, but choose 5
of every type.
Use 4x6 index cards for your buttons, navigation, and other links.
Then stand back and look at what you have. What`s the most important?
What are your real categories. How *interesting* is your layout on that
floor? What you`re doing is to recreate a brick-and-mortar store. How
interesting would it be if you have such a store with actual glass
Have a friend pretend to be different customers. "Hello....I`m looking
for something in purple." Or, "Hello...do you have anything in silver?"
Listen to (or record) the dialog. "What sort of silver?" Or, "Are you looking for a necklace or a ring?" And so forth.
Re-outline your entire site, and focus on how to answer regular
customer questions. Make your pictures immediately accessible, so that
every place you have a thumbnail, allow the click-link to take you
directly to that item, larger, with a description and price.
I believe jewelry stores can benefit from a 3-stage photography
process. First, a thumbnail. Second, an expanded area/window with the
image 2x the thumbnail AND description and price. Third, a full-size
standalone closeup of the item, in the 640x480px range (or larger).