Tis the season for online shopping, and so I spent my Saturday on several ecommerce sites buying gifts and racking up cashback offers on my Discover card. Target.com used to be one of my favorite big-box retailer shopping sites — they valued simplicity and style over in-your-face promos and price cuts. They found a great balance between usability, information architecture and aesthetic that is really, really hard to do on a site that serves millions of visitors daily with thousands of SKUs and a million different possible user paths.
But sadly, it seems like their most recent site refresh is taking a turn for the worse. There is just SO much going on — a banner ad above their navigation, FOURTEEN calls to action on their large intro banner, and this terrible dropshadowy, Pinteresty mess at the bottom of the page. Good job, Target, you were successful at showcasing hundreds of products on the homepage, but what happened to your minimalist look that we’ve all come to know and love?
My biggest fear? That this redesign isn’t just a redesign of the homepage… what if it’s a redesign of their brand in general? DEAR TARGET, PLEASE DON’T TURN INTO WALMART. You’ve taught us all that design has value, whether that’s on your site or in your amazing home decor department, where I find awesome throw pillows and trinkets on the daily. You’ve trained us to pay more to shop at your stores over Walmart for better designed products and punchy end cap displays, and I’m okay with that.
Anyway, I know it’s easy to criticize sites when you have no idea what the goals and metrics driving the decisions are, but there is just no way this site can live up to Target’s design standards, or if they do, then I need to seriously reconsider my view of Target’s brand.
What are your thoughts?