Groupon is a daily deal site that offers savings on goods and services through the concept of group purchasing. In contrast to J. Crew, Groupon doesn’t have a traditional retail location to compare it to, so the site is the brand. The site is based off of the patron’s location, suggesting the deal for the major metropolitan closest to them. The personality of the site is casual and engaging through its bright color scheme and conversation content.
Groupon’s homepage has some wonderful aesthetic elements. First for me is the visual queue of the “buy” button breaking the plane on the right side. The fact that it is a sale tag is fun for users as well. There are these rays, or an explosion that is off center in the background, which I find a little visually annoying. It does do a good job of adding depth to page, but it doesn’t snap in to the grid system that everything else is on.
The color scheme is also supporting the hierarchy of the page. The charcoal on top is communication oriented while the dark gray below it gives me information about the community they recognize me to be a part of. Next in the blue, we have some navigation options in case I don’t see what I was looking for on the homepage, and the bottom green section hosts the deals and supporting content. The product details are all here, so there is not a separate page with further details.
The rounded corners on the content boxes make the page feel softer and more 2.0 than square corners. There are not any major sexy pieces to the cart section, but there are two icons that I am HATING! The gift box, which was also available on the homepage, is to represent giving Groupon as a gift. The box is a stock image and doesn’t fit the color scheme. There does need to be contrast, but this particular image feels out of place. The second image, the lock next to the word “Payment” is not representing a company that I am familiar with or that represents “secure online payment” to me like VeriSign or PayPal. I understand that the image is there on good faith, the company is trying to tell me, “We do our best to keep your info safe,” but it is simply a picture.
Also on the topic of icons, these two images are ones that I associate with icons – you know – a picture that visually represents a category or destination on the site which you click on to get there. These are icon images being used as supporting artwork and not as icons, which works in some situation with certain images, but these two to me feel like I should be able to use them.