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Fernwood Coffee Company Analysis 4 May 2010

Posted by sbrashear in Design, e-commerce, Websites.

A coffee roasting company, based in Canada, Fernwood Coffee Company, is squarely aimed at coffee connoisseurs. Another site using WordPress, the Fernwood Coffee Company is example of a simple and effective site design. The home page is contained on the screen. The color scheme could not be more simple than black and white with a little blue-gray and a light gray-brown mixed in.

Navigation tabs are above header across the top of the page on every page as is the background graphic what of what is presumably the skyline of part of Victoria, B.C. The skyline is paired with different photos on different pages; a nice way of customizing the header on a WordPress site without it looking overused. It reinforces a sense of continuity among the pages of the website.

The site also has a store from which users can purchase coffee. However, the interface to order coffee is a bit clunky for a few reasons. It is not possible to order coffee from the products page. If a user is on the products page, he or she must click through to the store page. It is an extra click; an extra interaction that could be somewhat distracting. The store page has a two drop down menus for each product: with options like whole bean, ground, etc., the other for shipping options. The shopping cart is a PayPal shopping cart, which opens in s separate window. It doesn’t appear to be possible to select several different products in different quantities at the same time, which might be okay as users of Fernwood Coffee Company’s web site might not typically order more than one bag coffee. That it doesn’t also automatically figure in shipping automatically is frustrating. Fernwood Coffee Company needs to find a native ecommerce interface for its site.

While Fernwood Coffee Company’s web site may be aimed at coffee connoisseurs, it should also consider non-connoisseurs as well. Those who happen upon their site and are not connoisseurs might be a bit lost at first. Specifically, they should consider making their product category tabs as single origin might be confusing to some, though in the context of blends, it might make sense.

Finally, the Fernwood Coffee Company should certainly consider a blog. As a small artisan coffee company, a blog could certainly attract attention to their site and their business.

With the exception of the shopping cart, the site is well-designed and easy to navigate. Design is consistent and predictable throughout.



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