John Moncrieff Ltd was a glass manufacturer established in 1885. They started making penny inks in clay pots then progressed to glass with the help of a Spanish family. The business grew tremendously but the factory shut down in January 1996. My friend, Scott Gilmore bought it over and started selling industrial glass. I then came on board and we started the lighting side in 2007. The company has grown immeasurably from blood, sweat and tears.
The website has improve greatly since its humble beginnings. I have compared it to two sites that I know quite well. David Hunt in Birmingham and Hector Finch in London.
I am looking at the site now as an outsider. Initially I notice that the front page is too fussy, there is more elegance in simplicity. I think that you would go to the site looking for lighting so there is no need to have so many images. Less is more.
Although the logo is the original, made over 100 years ago, it is messy as a reproduction. I think it needs to be made to look old or sharpened up and brought up to date. There is a horrible pink shadow on it too which needs to go. I also don’t like the writing overlapping it. The font is wrong too, it needs to reflect the history of the company or be the same as the whole website. The blue writing underneath clashes and is a different font so it looks untidy.
The colours clash too, there are too many. The writing is too small and too much is written. I imagine this would put new visitors off. I would have the blurb within each category not on the front page. It would be interesting what the cookies revealed. I expected to click on the photos or the headings to enter the categories but they are inactive. The words are too small to read properly and to click on effectively.
It’s good that the sub categories have wee images appearing when you scroll over them. The banner on the top is nice. I think the front page needs to be cleared away, with only a few pictures, bigger writing in the categories and all the blurb taken away. The headings do the job, when people find the category they wish to enter, they will see it then.
Navigating through the site is easy, which is very important. I think the blue needs to be changed though as this is a bit dated. The site looks a bit tired. It would be nice to have a You Tube video of glass being made or how to fit an Aladdin wick maybe. Some moving images n the front page of an example of each category would be nice too as the viewer would want to see all the images and they would stay longer. They need something to pull people in.
The mobile site is a lot better (FAQ’S! horrible mistake!) I like the navy and bronze. It is much neater, they should consider using these colours for their desktop site.
There is a mistake in the category “glass light shades”, the sub categories don’t quite fit in. This makes me feel like the site has not been updated for a while. Again, the writing is too small.But once you click on the heading, it brings you nicely into the section. There you find very tasteful images which are clear and stand out well. I think the pages would look more elegant with a black background and white writing. That is what Hecor Finch has done.
I think the one on the right looks more elegant. Again, you can see from the image that the information could be within the “more information” click to make it more streamlined and elegant. The photos are fine.
Hector Finch’s site is elegant and intriguing but comes across as being expensive. This would put me off, as I like a bargain. It’s like going past a boutique clothes shop and not going in because it’s intimidating. Having said that, it IS expensive, so I am not their target market. Their mobile site is easy to navigate and to use.
With John Moncrieff Ltd, their target market is much greater and they sell from tiny things right up to complete lighting at hundreds of pounds. So, the site has to be more utilitarian.
I adore this website, it appeals to me and I am sure it would appeal to most people, certainly those with a family. They come across as a very hight quality company with their feet on the ground, more approachable than Hector Finch’s. Their mobile site is also easy to use.
Dallas Wall Light Chrome
Dallas single wall light with polished chrome shade, backplate and black metal work. Shown with optional vintage filament lamp BUL/E27/1 to be ordered separately.
This is a nice image, though I think it would “pop” more with the graduated black background the other two sites have used. When you click on the image, all the information you need is there, except for the crucial price, very strange. That would put me off straight away. We use computers sometimes so we don’t have to speak to people.
Having completed my case study, I went back to have a look at John Moncrieff Ltd and he has had it improved immeasurably! I don’t like the clash of colours on the photos of the ceiling lights, but they just need to be changed around. The site is now lovely, the things I mentioned are mostly changed, the images are lovely, I particularly like the images such as the one on the bottom of this page. This is a site that is easy to navigate through and a pleasure to do business with. I’m amazed at the difference. It just shows you what a good web designer can do!