Analysis Nordstrom.com is following the trends, the top of the page includes the typical ‘shopping bag’ in the right hand corner. However, it also has a “Welcome to Nordstrom. Would you like to sign in?” and continues to list the options: your account; our stores; customer service; wish list; and shopping bag: 0 items. I don’t know if the welcome statement is intentionally or not, but it deserves a comment since it’s an invitation I haven’t seen on the other three e-commerce sites I have looked at. Moving down the page, you find the typically primary navigation bar that is displayed on every page and includes the Nordstrom text logo in the left hand corner. This logo also serves as the return to the home page button and seems to be a standard on most site. Below that is the gray bar of top level or categories: women; men; juniors; baby & kids; shoes; handbag & accessories; beauty & fragrance; at home & gifts; sale; and designer collections. And finally before you see the page content, you have a search box in on the left hand side of the page, an advanced search filter option, brands as its own search category, the thread (which means nothing to me and I didn’t get it when I click on the link to view the page) and Weddings At Nordstrom as its own category on the right hand side. Weddings At Nordstrom also has its own light color background so that it stands out. But let’s be honest, the colors don’t make anything stand out. Even though silver and white are the Nordstrom colors — they don’t look good on this website and they don’t make anything stand out. They use red to grab your attention on some items, why not jazz up the sliver?
Secondary navigation is presented when you click on a category, for example when you click on ‘women’ the page that loads also includes a left hand column secondary navigation that help you search the site. And if you don’t notice the navigation, they give you a photo and form that allows you to ‘shop by:’ brand or department. It’s only after you click on a secondary navigation option that you might see additional filtering options. More often than not, the secondary navigation takes you to a photo and form that allows you to selection some options from a drop down menu. All together — it’s just too much clicking to find an item and narrow down the search. Here is the path I followed using the hierarchy of the site: Home > women > dress shop > little black dress > size.
My recommendation is to use the search feature, because short of going back to the home to start all over again, the multiple level and pages is just too much. Photo ads on the home page are nice, and unlike Bluefly.com they don’t move as fast which is easier for me to process. They also blend with the site color and lack any text — which makes the images the picture worth a thousand words. As for the font used on this site, it’s readable, although the white on gray or ‘internet’ silver is just too hard to read and blends too much. Social networks links are located at the bottom of the page, but you have to read the text to know it — since they choose not to use the icons that most users identify with twitter or facebook. Their e-mail list subscription button is also located in the bottom right hand corner and it’s fair to say that for e-commerce sites, they want you to shop. Social networks are just an after though and not why they are on-line. Over all, it’s an older site that they keep adding layers to rather than rethinking their approach to user engagement and interaction.