View Full Version : My French Neighbor : your opinion about the design

10-11-2011, 09:42 PM
Hi everybody,

Following a previous post in the "Introduce yourself" section, I want to have your opinion about my design as American people.

I'm French and I sell French products in the USA in a retail store in Baldwin Park, Orlando and online.

I created the website by myself with Prestashop but in May I worked with a small French web agency for the design.

Since May, I heard different point of view. A lot of people told me that it was too clean (sleek ?) . So, last week, I added the Toile de Jouy pattern on both side.

Now, some people tell me that it is not clean enough .......

I would like your opinion as American people because I know mostly people originating from ... France..... since I arrived in Florida one year ago.

Last question : I know the designer who did that : Archiduchesse :: Chaussettes Made in France dans 48 couleurs ! (http://www.archiduchesse.com/) . Do you think this kind of design would fit to my products ?

Thanking all of you in advance.


10-11-2011, 11:37 PM
I think a good site should appeal to people living anywhere. Naturally there are cultural differences and the language has to be appropriate etc. The basic principals of design apply to any graphic communication such as a website, though.

Like I said in your intro thread your current site is fine. It's easy enough to navigate and find things. I'm not having any problems clicking around. I'm able to add products to my basket. All good things. I won't lie to you and tell you it's the greatest site I've ever seen though. It looks like most shopping cart sites I've come across. In fat I'm guessing it was built on some kind of shopping cart software and that the general layout hasn't varied all that much from the default. The site can be a little busy. There's a lot of information on the pages all competing for attention. Better would be to have a little less information, but the most important information and a clearer hierarchy for where the eye should look.

That's why I suggested the Toile de Jouy pattern may not be the best idea. Visually it's trying to pull my eye to it, which takes my eye away from your navigation and your Add to Basket button. Which would you rather I be looking at?

Compare that too the Archiduchesse site. Notice how the most colorful things on the page are the products. That draws the eye to the product above all else. Also there's a lot less information on any given page. Each page has a greater focus on what really matters and directs my eye right to it. The design makes it clear which information I should be looking at.

On your intro thread Kristine mentioned how when she thinks of France words like sophisticated and elegant come to mind. I think those were the words she used. When designing your site I would use those words (or whatever words you think appropriate to get Americans to think France) and have the designer try to capture those words in the aesthetics of the site. For example red and black together are generally consider elegant. So is a lot of empty space. The empty space suggests luxury. Neutral colors also suggest sophistication. Off the top of my head I would suggest mostly gray and black with red as an accent color. By no means is that the only color scheme you could use, but it's the first thing that came to mind.

Hopefully something in there helps.