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Heartland House Designs

lacks identity, cohesion

In the original review request of Heartland House Designs Cross Stitch and Needlepoint, the author commented: Cross stitch and needlepoint designs featuring Frank Lloyd Wright and other Arts & Crafts artists plus a variety of other types of designs from endangered animals to zodiac signs. We sell directly to needlework enthusiasts at all levels of expertise and through local needlework shops and in many museum gift shops.
Reviewed by: Bennie C. Taylor
There are many sites selling needlpoint and cross stitch items. This one needs a larger or more distinctive identifying logo or banner to set it apart from all the rest. The current small logo gets lost on the page. The white background is good, and the font is large enough. You include a lot of information - also good. But I think it might be better to put some of this info in a welcome and introductory paragraph (and you could include your invitation to contact you with suggestions, etc.) to set a friendly tone right at the start.
The navigation is a little confusing.
      Make sure the reader gets what you promise - either a larger view or information about the product. The thumbnails are nice, and the images are clear and attractive, but we need a way to go back to the product page after viewing the larger image.
Try to maintain consistency in the style of subpages.
      The menu buttons are not attractive and take up too much space. Text links would look better and would allow more area for showing the items offered without crowding them together in a bunch.
Overall the home page is unbalanced with too much information presented in a random pattern. Put the most important information first and set special offers or instructions apart from the main offerings.
      There is a daunting amount of information in the columns at the bottom of the page. Some of this information needs to be emphasized and some perhaps omitted. For example, the site probably does not need a search engine because it is not that large. And offering a chance to "Search the Web" is an invitation to potential customers to go elsewhere.
      The "important information" in the third column needs to be set apart for emphasis and placed before the link to the shopping cart. I suggest arranging the contact information, bottom navigation menu, copyright info, etc. across the bottom of the page after all other information has been given.
      The many and varied fonts and font colors create a disorganized look. Since your products are colorful, you could show them to better advantage by using black or gray text and blocks of color to divide up pages.
Posted: 9/2/2003

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