User interface improvements at BizRate US
Following its new site launched in November’09, BizRate has recently fined-tuned the user interface of its search result pages. The redesign is not available on all categories, but I’m currently able to see it on the Digital Camera pages. Quick review below…
- The new layout uses a fluid design, as opposed to the fixed width used in the previous version. The ability to switch between grid and list views has disappeared; and list is the new default. I feel that it reduces the benefits of the fluid design: stretching the display of products in list view doesn’t seem that useful…
- The “compare prices” buttons are far more readable now their color changed from yellow to blue.
- The filters are now more proeminent. The title of the page is displayed in the main column, and the LREC is now displayed below filters.
- Strangely, the breadcrumb is now displayed at the bottom of the left column… Very hard to spot in the page, and I guess it could be completely removed if it has to be removed from the top of the page.
- The labels of the filters have been changed from “price / brand” to “choose a price range / choose a brand”. This may sound a very subtile change, but I think it is welcome to label filters in a more natural way. Using a verb to explain what is the goal of the facet seems to me a good design decision.
- As a consequence, there is no need to introduce facets with a “Refine your results” headline anymore.
- When clicking on the label of a facet, the list of refining options is displayed in a pop-up. Clicking on “choose a brand” displays a list of popular brands followed by a list of all brands. Clever!
- A click on the “see more options” label displays a similar pop-up that lists the “secondary” facets and their values.
- Overall, this is a great improvement compared to previous version: the filters seem more visible to users while using less space, and the behavior is natural and efficient.
“choose a brand” panel:
“see more options” panel:
First spotted by CSE Strategies in February, the BizRank is a numeric value (out of 100) associated to a product:
Bizrank Scores products from 1 to 100 based on:
- Average Review Rating
- Number of Reviews
- Review Trending
- The BizRank is displayed in a separate column and in a proeminent way for each result; and it can be used to sort products. I can hardly say if this new rating really helps the shopping experience for now (at least on the Digital Camera category, I was not convinced), but it’s a nice attempt to make a difference compared to other CSEs.
- The result set can now be filtered to only display products with “coupons” or “sales”.
- A new “see similar items” panel has been added to each result, in a way to encourage navigation among products.