Winter Park, FL (PRWEB) November 10, 2005 –-
With more than 10,000 area rugs to choose from, RugScout had a serious problem to solve. How to show site visitors 10,000 rugs and allow them to find the ones that best fit their tastes and their room’s colors while staying within their budget? In designing a completely new site, RugScout split the problem into two halves – sorting area rugs to be displayed & incorporating the desired color scheme and appeal of the visitor’s living room and rug combination.
Solving the first half of the design problem, product display speed, went well. Prominently placed drop-down selections for the area rugs primary color, size, style and price range, combined with loading smaller thumbnail images, was effective with test consumers. The goal was to be under 3 minutes of total shopping time to preview at least 100 criteria-chosen thumbnail images of prospective matching area rugs. Average aggregate viewing time for area rug consumers tested was between 2 and 3 minutes in every case.
The second half of the problem meant creating a virtual living room where consumers can quickly and easily change settings to recreate their existing living room online. A few hundred hours of work creating images for wall paint colors, flooring materials, trim boards and more proved to be a winning combination among test consumers. RugScout ran pre-launch consumer test groups through a series of area rug shopping scenarios where the goals included: speed of viewing, aesthetic similarity to actual living rooms and the ability to find a matching area rug. An additional score was added in later groups to also track the shopping “fun” level factor because post-test interviews had a recurring theme mentioned – fun. Site dwell time during unrestricted “browse” tests and their count of average pages viewed were high enough for testing staff to concede that fun, a truly over-used marketing term, should indeed also be measured.
Web design was enhanced based on testing comments and a few suggested features were added as well, including the couch swatch matching images. The most frequent feedback item specified was a desire for more choices in room design element selections (more work for the RugScout art department!).
“Launch windows (for a new website) aren’t exactly the same here as they are at NASA, but when your team pours its time and collective creative energy into a project and then it tests out very well with consumers, your eagerness level jumps,” says Patrick Grady, founder of RugScout. “We discussed launching our area rug shopping site after adding a few hundred more hours of graphics work, but in the end, I decided to green light the project immediately. Consumer testing showed us we were already able to meet the site’s intended “experience” goals. Work to widen and enrich the available graphic elements library will continue post-launch.”
“It’s not something we take lightly, if you’re not ready for real shoppers, failure will follow. But launching in time for the late fall and winter shopping season is critical to our success. We are definitely biased, but we also believe that this project is begging for immediate exposure and use right now.” Grady says.
RugScout.com is a new Area Rug shopping website designed to quickly present matching area rugs to visitors who are able to create their own virtual living room during the process. With over 10,000 area rugs to choose from, a new level of creative presentation was built-in to make rug shopping fun and fast. For more information about RugScout, please visit http://www.RugScout.com.