Web Design Critique: Academy Supply

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School tables and chairs neatly arranged in circles and half-circles, neatly placed together with nothing out of place. A simple image, but for a school furniture company, a powerful one, as it lets them tell visitors to their site what they’re about without even needing to say a word. Metaphorically speaking.That’s a good impression, by all accounts; a straightforward delivery of a clear message: ‘We’re Academy Supplies, we’re a school furniture company and we’re here to help.’

The slideshow immediately below the site’s fold does communicates its identity quite well, as mentioned before. Like the rest of the site, it’s a straightforward communiqué to the customer, telling them what the company is about. This message is reinforced by what else is in the fold, with product listings, special offers, design ideas, services and the like.

Little is in the way between the visitor and the information they want, as immediately after they scroll down from the fold and the greeting slideshow, the info that you would want is already there. For the main page, these are the contact info as well as the links to the products listings as organised by product classification.

There is, however, a catch. The images or the visual aids (logos, product samples) tend to be very big. Now, while this helps a lot when it comes to getting an idea of what the furniture actually looks like, it also means that the pages need a bit of loading as well as scrolling to properly explore.

The professional and straightforward approach that the site of the school furniture company takes is also readily apparent with its colour scheme; plain white complimented with a cool, light blue, with the only other colour coming from the bright pink chat link, as well as the dark green text. Now, you might have noticed that there was emphasized, and there’s a very good reason for that.

One of the most notable things about the site is that, besides the images in product listings and the one below the fold, there really isn’t much in the way of colour in the site. Long paragraphs of grey text greet visitors in some pages, without a single image or splash of colour to break the monotony. This is the site’s biggest weakness made concise; in it’s aim to provide a professional, efficient webpage for visitors, it went too far and ended up with something that felt somewhat cold and lifeless.

 

 

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