nicolas leroy

Review of the new BizRate

November 17, 2009

Read on the Shopzilla Publisher Program Blog this morning:

We’re excited to announce to our publishers that bizrateTMhas rolled out a redesign, and we think you’ll agree that it’s oh-so-sweet. The new bizrateTM brand launched today with a sleek new home page, piping hot search results pages, fresh product pages, and the tagline: search. compare. conquer. This redesign represents our company’s commitment to providing the best and easiest-to-use online shopping experience anywhere.

I didn’t except to write another post on BizRate, only a few days after my review of its AB test of new search result pages… Neither did I except to see such a different design than this AB test going live…

The new branding spotted during this AB test is still the same – new logo, new color scheme, new “search.compare.conquer.” tagline – but is now available through all the site, not only on search result pages. Quick review of the revamped homepage, the search result pages and the product pages, and some final thoughts…

The new homepage

A content-heavy homepage with a focus on search. Nicely executed. Quite classic.

New homepage of BizRate.com

The new search result pages

Big big surprise compared to the AB test: basically all the nice and new features tested have disappeared, and the “new search result pages” are basically the same pages as before, with the new branding applied on it.

The main changes between the AB test and the new site:

The main changes between the previous site and the new site:

Search result pages on new BizRate.com

The new product pages

Product pages on new BizRate.com

Final thoughts

Here is how I ended my previous post about BizRate AB test:

I have mixed feelings about this redesign. I’m sure one of the reasons is to not have the big picture (i.e: how will the product pages evolve with the new style? How will the new branding be explained on the homepage?)… The one exciting idea I will keep in mind is the “see more like this” option as a way to complement / replace / reduce classic guided navigation.

With the official launch, I can see and feel the whole BizRate site with the new branding – I still don’t really like the color scheme and the new tagline; and I don’t think the homepage clearly explains the new branding…

Sure the new design is a welcomed refresh over a design that started to look old; but it’s a shame all the new ideas tested during the AB test don’t appear in the final product. This situation reminds me of an old article entitled: “Good Designers Redesign, Great Designers Realign”:

The Redesigners: […] It’s been 2 years since our last redesign. Our current stuff just looks old. A redesign would bring new traffic to the site. […]

The Realigners: […] Market trends have shifted. Should our website be adjusted accordingly? Our users’ needs have changed. Do we need to adapt? We’ve added 3 new sections and a slew of new content to the site over the last 12 months. Are we presenting content as effectively as we can? Our current website does little to convey the strength of our product offering. Does our online presence enhance or devalue our overall brand perception? […]

Despite the branding change, I have the feeling the conducted AB test tried to realign, while the final site is pretty much “only” a redesign. A way to limit risks before the Christmas season?