Site Improvements That Will Boost Business

    September 4, 2003

I visited the Kiyonna site and here is some quick feedback for the site owners.

This site would not generate much search engine traffic because:
There is no text, only graphics. Search engines can read only text in html format.
There are no text links to follow, only graphic buttons. Search engines can only follow text links to index more pages of your site beyond the home page.
There are no meta tags for the search engines.
There are no image tags on your pictures. Search engines can read the text in meta tags.
Your title tag has only the company name, no key words. Search engines read the text in the title to see how relevant your site is to what people are searching.

There is no invitation or incentive to join your mailing or newsletter list – a must for building a subscriber base.

A nice, clean graphic look, but little color.

Some ideas:
add a second, brighter color to the design
have some models with different hair colors and looks
have some more colorful clothes shown.

Some Solutions:
Find out what key words people are searching for using Word Tracker.
Optimize your site for search engines using Web Position Gold.

“A powerful agent is the right word.” Mark Twain

Garland Coulson, “The E-Business Tutor”

Hi Kim,

As a tall woman who is also a Webmaster, I really appreciate your clothing line. The new side navigation is excellent. I just have one criticism. It’s major, but easily corrected.

The constant white text on black background is hard on the eyes. Plus, when repeated as it is on every page of your site, the value of the content is lost.

You can keep the dark background if you like, but make all the important text black, maybe in a white table within the dark background.

Best of luck with your line. And do let me know if you ever expand to Talls!

Reesa Marchetti, Editor-Writer-Webmaster
Web Design:

The new navigation system is definitely much better! One comment, though — since there are as many Afro American women size 14 and above as Caucasian women, why are you missing this potentially large market by using only white (and one vaguely Hispanic) models?

You are very aware that your customers have to be able to identify with the models, since you are using generously sized women, but don’t appeal to only a segment of your potential market!

Sincerely, Virginia Wiedemann of

As a possible future advertiser or affiliate for Kiyonna I must say that I prefer the constant side navigation bar.

I just hope that you keep your present racial-mix of models, as having both on the home page is a big plus for any ”plus size” site, although your previous number of images made the page a bit slow to load on ”ordinary” home computers.

An improvement.
Yours, Brian Marshall.

Being a 14+ woman, in my 30’s and working in the web business, i am probably one of the ideal reviewers for Kiyonna. I compared the two sites and here are my comments.

1. Layout: The new layout is a lot better than the old one. The major complaint with the old site, is that nothing looks organized. Images nor text has its own place. Some items are centered aligned, others are left aligned…while some things just float in the middle of the browser without reason. The new layout constrains this floating issue. Everything has a place and it looks like it is consistent throught the rest of the site.

2. Colors: The grays work on both sites to make the photos stand out, however, adding a little color would help. A little maroon or dark blue would really set everything off and not make the site seem so dark. Especially since all the photos are taken on a neutral background.

3. Text: The fonts are easily readable and make sense except for the 888 number in the top corner. It does not match any other font on the page and is bigger than the fonts in the navigation section. I would make it the same size and font as the navigation.

Overall I like the look and I will probably be looking more at the site for future purchases.

As a plus-size woman myself, I found the line and style of the site to be slim and sophisticated. The site’s colors and shapes remind me of that “little black dress” which is versatile and a wardrobe essential. While I do not know what the details of the rest of the new design are, I would add a few things. It is often difficult for plus size women to find a good fit. Knowing the height of the model in the photo might give someone tall like me (6′ 0″) an idea of how short a skirt might be. I hope you’ll have info about where to get the shoes in the photos too. Many online shoppers don’t want to have to go to a separate site to find accessories that they already know look great with the outfit in the picture.

Other comments include the small instructions at the bottom of the screen, to click on a photo for more info. A potential customer may not want to scroll to the bottom to find that out. (or you could fit it on one page without scrolling). You also show “basket content” on the first page but ask customers to put the item in their “bag”. Consistency might be less confusing, especially if you will sell accessory bags in the future.

I have not seen your current site, but do not know what to expect from “collections” vs. “boutiques”. Are they the same? It would also be nice to know if an item was dry-clean only or where it was made. Many internet shoppers are sweat-shop savvy and want to spend their money accordingly.

I hope this information is useful and I would like to know how to get my site on a list to be reviewed. Thanks!

Vicki Englund

I know that black is a fashion for “the woman who can wear anything”, but on a web-site it is wrong. This is especially wrong when marketing clothes –


Because the purchaser, female for herself or male for a female, does not want to enter a funeral background site.

The background must be a lighter, happier, colour. Think of it this way; would you go to shop in a place where the entire surroundings were dark?

Sorry that I didn’t delve further into the site – the initial page put me off completely. Probably a minority view (as if) but the site shut me off from first appearance.

Jerry Wilde
Jezter Ltd. / Wilde Pages Ltd.

This is my first review, but I would like to eventually be reviewed, so here it goes.

I looked at both pages, the old and the new, and I must say I think the new pages are a great improvement. On the old site, the navigation through the collections was a little confusing, as I couldn’t keep track of what I had viewed before because the category names kept scrolling horizontally as I moved through the pages. The new site fixes this with a navigational sidebar. I also think the layout of the new site is easier on the eye. There isn’t as much scrolling down to see the entire dress. Suggested buys are also a great idea. The placement of the shopping cart and checkout buttons at the top is a good decision as well.

Overall, the new site is a lot more “user-friendly” than the old one. I am assuming the new site is not completed, as I couldn’t fully navigate through it.

As far as improvements from a consumer’s point of view, a full description of the material of the dress would be nice.

Hollis L. Harris

I thought the layout for the new pages was better, with the buttons on the side, also not moving around when you went to a different line, that was a bit confusing on the old page. The only thing I would recommend taking from the old page would be the centering of the pictures and text within the window. Being someone who uses a 1024/768 screen I appreciate it when the site has taken me into account along with the lower resolution viewers and at least centred it for me.

Other than that, I thought it was great and may be taking some tips from the button design (being only a beginner).

good luck.

The tag line says “sophisticated,” but the model displays a playful attitude, sending a mixed message. Which is it? Also, more than one model is needed for this type of layout. And put the prices in a drill-down to get the customer interested in using the site–use leads to use–…
Larry Phillips

The design on the site mockups is top notch. I like the flow of info, nothing is too crowded, the products get the focus. A couple of thoughts: the gradient from dark to light on the left hand side may be a challenge to pull off on a real site unless you get creative with layers. The more sites I do, the more I realize that keeping it simple is the winner. I would want to have the ability to see varying up-close shots of the merchandise. That means a bunch more work but may be worth it.

George Meyer
Senior Multimedia Designer

The page I could click to looked fine to me. I am not sure how the white fonts would do against search engines that do not pick white fonts, but otherwise, I like the site.


The site is good looking and the links are quick. My suggestion: Have a copy editor review all site copy.

S. Robinson

I do allot of shopping on the net. I would like to see the arrow to the next page a bit larger. The text on the company link is to small and the black and white contrast is hard on the eyes. Also, I like to have a link to the fabric of the item, where I can see a large close-up of the fabric. And, information on the fabric type & care instructions.

Annette Upton

I have looked at the site and it looks good.

I would consider beefing up the crispness of the text found at the bottom right and the right sides of the pages. It is a little on the blurry side and may be difficult for someone to read.

Have a wonderful day!


Scot Brown

I feel that the new mock up is better as it is easier for the user to navigate to other pages..

Thank You for the opportunity to evaluate your site.. I think it looks pretty user friendly..

Jeff Brusatori
E-Commerce Consultants Plus

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