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Toolup.com Peer Review – Retool Navigation

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On first glance, and during the initial loading of the site, (approx 1 minute) the “left column” overlaps onto the main body of the page, which was a little disconcerting for about a minute or so (Looking at the site through a 56Kbs modem connection) but then pops into place with no overlaps once fully loaded. That was a relief! Once all the java is loaded moving around your site is pretty quick.

On looking around, I thought the site navigation was a bit cumbersome and there were a lot of links that repeat themselves and take you to the same page… and then there where other areas where what I expected to see was not on the site. The thing I dislike most about your site is the navigation. The more I look at your site to do this review the more I really dislike your navigation.

On arriving at the site, the Home Page, had a very brief statement about tool up, but then went on to display the sponsored manufacturers. Your company intro gets utterly lost and overwhelmed by everything else that is going on, on this page…It wasn’t till I spotted the about tab, at the end of the top menu that I found the company info.

Moving right along with the things I found irritating… At the moment you have 3 links as follows that all take you to the same page. Links / Sponsored Manufacturers / Manufacturers … Again with the left column, there are sufficient links to the Sponsored manufacturers that you shouldn’t need their link or logo towards the bottom end of this column.

When I clicked on “Tips”, I thought I’d find info that a home renovation enthusiasts might find helpful hints or recommendations in choosing the right tool for the job they have in mind, instead I found “Purchasing & Order Tracking information”… Maybe my clue that I would find shopping tips here was that this link was in the blue e-commerce / search area at the top of your site… I think if you are only going to tweak your site, and not overhaul it, then the Shopping Cart area could be a little bolder so as to stand out more, and I would rearrange the order in which the links here are displayed as follows:
[Log- In] [New Account] [Shopping Cart] [Sales Info] etc.

It was my impression from having read the “About Information” you have published on your site that your business targets 2 quite separate types of audience:
1) Professional Construction Industry – electrical, plumbing, mechanical
2) Home renovation / improvements enthusiasts.

On the basis that you re-organise your Products Catalogue and get rid of the repetitive nature of it, both audiences should find it easier to find and buy what they are looking for, and home renovation / improvement specialists might benefit from some FREE tips and hints for them, with regards to buying the right tool for the job… I also think where possible a little more detail on the description on some of your products may help…

Here are my suggestions for improving your site’s navigation.

Main Navigation Tabs –
[About Us ] [Products] [Shopping] [Free Stuff] [Sponsored Manufacturers] [Help]

In the About Us section I’d put the following sub sections:
– Company Info – Mission Statement
– Shop / Warehouse Location & Info for Direct In-Person purchasing.
– Contact Information
– Testimonials
– etc…

In the Products Section I’d put the following sub-sections
– Cordless Tools
– Conduit Benders
– Concrete Tools
– Safety Equipment
– etc…

In the Shopping Section
– Log-In Link
– New Account Link
– Sales & Returns Policy
– Purchase Order Tracking & Shipping Notes
– The Shopping Cart

In Free Stuff, I’d put the “MEMBERS ONLY” down load link for the ICBO & MSDS forms.
and links to any special offers or free info, advice, or goodies you might want to offer your customers, or something like that

etc… I think you get the idea.

Special Offers / Clearance Items / Hot List / Package Deals, could then be designed as unique menu items for your “Left Column” or you could make some kind of “Button Link” which would make these areas of your site more visible… It’s also important that these 4 links don’t all point to the same page.

I hope my thoughts help you in making your site better and your business more successful.

Kindest Regards,
Marina
Anna Heim Web Design

Peer reviewers volunteer their time and effort to help other site owners with their websites. Please take time to visit this reviewer’s site and say that you think what they’re doing is valuable to the web business community. If you’d like your site reviewed, send an email to editors@ientry.com.

Toolup.com Peer Review – Retool Navigation
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About DevWebPro Peer Reviewer
Peer reviewers volunteer their time and effort to help other site owners with their websites. Please take time to visit this reviewer's site and say that you think what they're doing is valuable to the web business community. If you'd like your site reviewed, send an email to editors@ientry.com. WebProNews Writer
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