Create a book shop web site – case study

Part 1 – Introduction

This project looks at the process for creating a book shop brochure website. Adobe Xd is used as a prototyping tool. An export plugin creates the HTML and CSS files.

The first job with any project of this type is to check out the competition. See how other book shop sites present information and use them as inspiration. Below I analyse three book shop sites. Any criticism is, hopefully, constructive and not meant to cause offence.

Lyalls book shop

Pros

The home page has a good lead image. It emphasises personal service and the flowers are a nice touch.

The navigation is simple and easy to find. The mobile menu slides in from the left and is fuss free.

Lyalls book shop in Todmorden Is on the main road near to the station. The site uses a sober colour scheme and is mobile friendly.

The lead text is succinct and not to long. The social media link under the text is well placed and gives the customer a good entry point into new events. The Twitter feed has recent content and give a good impression.

The why visit section indicates that the main aim of the site is to encourage visitors to the shop. There are four benefits listed including a “wants list” service. This is not usually available from online sellers and acts as a USP (unique selling point).

Finally the customer comments section (testimonials) encourages visitors and promotes the personal service aspect of the business.

Cons

A common issue with brochure sites is that they tend to be forgotten by the site’s owner. A typical example is here on the home page, where the “latest book collection” is dated four years ago! This does not give a good impression.

The news page is superfluous , it is better to use social media as a way of keeping customers informed. A news page with the last reporting date in 2015 is not news and gives a bad impression.

Mobile site

The mobile site is shown below. As of 2019 Most people view web sites on a mobile device. As is typical the site becomes a single column with a “hamburger” menu. The menu slides in from the side.


Clitheroe Books

The Clitheroe books, shop is close to the centre of the town. They also sell online via Abebooks.

Clitheroe books is in a good location near the centre of the town.

An extra selling point is that they are part of the Hive network of independent books shops. If you buy something from the Hive site you can designate your favourite book shop and they get a percentage of the money. You can also collect your order from Clitheroe books. A recent customer comment says it all.

 The Hive site is a reliable and ethical alternative to online giants 
Free and fast postage, excellent communication, book prices comparable to other large online sellers, and local independent bookshop benefits. What more could you want?

They also publish poetry pamphlets . This is a unique selling point for the business.

Pros

The latest new section is updated regularly unlike some sites.

The second hand books page sets out the shops buying policy and their specialised selling categories. This is the kind of page that all book shop sites should have.

Having a new lines page is a good idea but this needs updating regularly so that users will check back and visit the site more often.

Cons

The site has a book search page. This may not be all that useful with the plethora of online sellers.

The whats’ on page on the site is more of a “what we are not doing” page. for example

” We have previously held numerous readings, signings and book launches but from 2018 we will be reducing the number of events “

Try to avoid any negative content!

Ebb and flo bookshop – Chorley

This is probably the site that needs the most help!

The main focus of this site is the child friendly nature of the shop

Pros

The home page side show is a nice touch. However it can not be viewed on a mobile device. The social media links are prominent and Facebook is posted to an a regular basis.

There are over 3000 twitter followers.

Cons

The main issue with this site is that it is not mobile friendly. Secondly the navigation menu is not visually separated. If you can’t see it in the image above, it is at the top left.

The about us section could be integrated with the home page introduction. Create a separate About us page for those who want more detail.

The “What we offer” page lacks images. It would benefit from some photos of the shop and it’s products. Emphasise the unique selling point of the shop, which is the child friendly nature of the experience. The schools and nursery services page also lacks images.

As with previous sites.Try to avoid news and events pages unless they are updated at least weekly.

Part 2 Initial design

Start the design process for the new site, aims and goals

Audience

Books are enjoyed by many age groups. The target age range of customers needs to be considered. For example, Is the site aimed at older readers or children? This will determine the colour scheme and “tone” of the site. You can use different landing pages for each audience.

Content strategy

Remember, new regular content will keep your users coming back. New content writing is a commitment that needs to be factored into how much time you have available. With brochure sites weekly updates are adequate.

Social media strategy

If you are low on time use a twitter or Facebook page as a news feed. All business’s should have a Facebook and Twitter page to keep customers up to date on any offers and events.

Recommended pages

  • Home
  • Gallery
  • Latest books (feature the best new acquisitions)
  • Local authors
  • Contact
  • News (if you intent to keep it up to date)

The design

Style guide

Colours

Define the site colours.

Fonts

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