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  1. #1
    SitePoint Cofounder Mark Harbottle's Avatar
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    Would you buy from this site?

    I'm just doing some research on how Web design affects our perception of a company...

    If you were in the market for a diamond let's say and you had $5,000 to spend for arguments sake, would you buy online from this Website?

    http://www.overnightdiamonds.com

    These guys are a reputable family business. They have been around for ages. But would the design of their site turn you away if you knew nothing else about them but came across their Website?

    Now, what about these guys?

    http://www.aurias.com/

    Ignoring the fact they are a huge mining company, and taking the site for face value only, would you be more likely to purchase from them?

    I'd be interested to hear a few thoughts on this...
    Mark Harbottle - Co-Founder
    sitepoint.com - Master The Web!

  2. #2
    Pixels Matter! Jimknee's Avatar
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    Well, to be honest:

    1) NO!

    2) No.

    First site had the BBB seal- one of the few things in its favour.

    Second looked slick, but left me feeling 'not in control'. (waiting for Flash, looking for buttons.) Also, I didn't wait long enough to get to the actual site where I would've gotten a feel for their credibility.


  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard Aes's Avatar
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    I must say that I would have to look at this from two view points.

    The McGivern Diamonds site might entice me to use them if I were a regular person and knew nothing of web design (they could obviously make a vast improvement in that area).

    However, were I familiar with web development, et cetera like I am, the design would probably turn me away simply due to the fact that it looks as if they didn't put a lot of effort into their site.

    I realize this may be an unfair assumption, but would probably be what would happen if I were shopping for diamonds.

    The Aurias site is almost the same and the opposite at the same time.

    Again, if I was a person completely ignorant of web design, I would probably jump even more at this site, because it is flashy (excuse the pun), and looks very nice and professional.

    However, as one in the web development business, the Aurias site, while nice, doesn't exactly impress me by its excessive use of Flash, simply because I don't exactly prefer Flash being used as the main content of a site.

    So, in both cases my knowledge of the Internet could completely change my opinion of things and how I perceive them. Then again, this is just me.

    Colin Anderson
    Ambition is a poor excuse for those without
    sense enough to be lazy.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard geiger's Avatar
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    Absolutely not on the first. Unless I already know about the place's quality.

    For the second, it is more likely. It is more professional, although i'm not a fan of their design, either.

    Since I became involved with web design, it has been a big bother to see sites which are awful!

    Actually, today i went to my uncle's site for the first time only to find a site much like the first one. It didn't look very professional at all.

    So you can't judge a book by it's cover. But you sure as hell can't cover up your judgement, either (did that make sense?)

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Now, Mark, shouldn’t this be in the Web site reviews forum?
    _________________

    Personally, diamonds are one of those purchases that I’d prefer to do in person.

    From the former site, I might buy seed or guarding equipment. (Of course they don't sell guarding equipment and seed, but this is a hypothetical after all, right?) From the latter, I don’t know if I would buy anything from them, because it reminds me of all the old dot bombs out there.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard Aes's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ian Glass
    Now, Mark, shouldn?t this be in the Web site reviews forum?...
    Not quite. This is not a site review; it is, as Mark said, a research project of sorts.

    Besides, Mark can do anything he likes; so do not question him.
    Colin Anderson
    Ambition is a poor excuse for those without
    sense enough to be lazy.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
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    okay, i actually got my mum and girlfriend to take a look, and i asked them aswell, just to get a non designers perspective...

    personally i wouldnt buy from site a) as to be frank... it is Uuuuuugly! and lacks credability with me, especially if i were going to be coughing up $5K
    it looks to me like a backyard operation.

    site b) i would buy from.... because they are obviously doing quite well for themselfs, leading me to beleive that they have a base of satisfied clients.

    my mum was quite similar she didnt "trust" site a, yet she trusted site b

    and my girlfriend was the same, not realy a surprise there tho.

  8. #8
    Not a post-script error?!! guysmy's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy from this site?

    Originally posted by Mark Harbottle
    If you were in the market for a diamond let's say and you had $5,000 to spend for arguments sake, would you buy online from this Website?

    http://www.overnightdiamonds.com

    These guys are a reputable family business. They have been around for ages. But would the design of their site turn you away if you knew nothing else about them but came across their Website?

    I would exit this site immediately, a huge diamond in my face connotates greed.

    overnightdiamonds.com could use a photograph of an old man with thick glasses studying the quality of a diamond. That or a group employee portrait when you enter the site. And a why not throw in the hand-written signature of the owner! Their history and credibilty would be translated from the personal level to the web. Although this sounds cliched, a diamond company needs this more than any thing else: your trust. It is difficult to aquire on the web.

    Black or dark navy blue with gold or bronze elements would better suit a luxury product color-wise.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Cofounder Mark Harbottle's Avatar
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    I was thinking of putting this in the reviews section, but because we're discussing how design affects our perception, I didn't want to confuse anyone into thinking I wanted a review as such.

    And yeah, that's right! I can do whatever I like

    Thanks for the comments so far...
    Mark Harbottle - Co-Founder
    sitepoint.com - Master The Web!

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard Aes's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention this in my post, however, the BBB does actually make the McGivern site much more credible.

    However, the big name I look for in online-transaction type sites is VeriSign.
    Colin Anderson
    Ambition is a poor excuse for those without
    sense enough to be lazy.

  11. #11
    Not a post-script error?!! guysmy's Avatar
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    AURIAS

    As for the AURIAS site, it looks good and has a new-age slash metaphysical vibe. Making it quite cool and mysterious, but let me ask you this. Who trusts that mysterious stranger seated in the poorly lit corner when you go out for a cocktail?

    The site does not gain my trust. I clicked on reassure me, and I saw this visual of a naked woman flying with a giant diamond. To me this says: "By purchasing a large and expensive diamond for your future wife, you are guaranteed eternal sexual satisfaction."



    SORRY but that's what it is saying.

    The Company section is WAY too vague, they overlooked something important.

  12. #12
    What? Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy from this site?

    Originally posted by Mark Harbottle
    I'm just doing some research on how Web design affects our perception of a company...

    If you were in the market for a diamond let's say and you had $5,000 to spend for arguments sake, would you buy online from this Website?

    http://www.overnightdiamonds.com



    Well let me say this. First off I would never ever spend that much online anywhere to anyone. I don't trust online transactions. However I especially wouldn't do it to a company wiht a site like that. For the simple reason, if they are selling something high end like this they need to create a site a little updated. Just me being picky.

    These guys are a reputable family business. They have been around for ages. But would the design of their site turn you away if you knew nothing else about them but came across their Website?

    Now, what about these guys?

    http://www.aurias.com/

    Ignoring the fact they are a huge mining company, and taking the site for face value only, would you be more likely to purchase from them?

    I'd be interested to hear a few thoughts on this...
    I do like number two because it is canadian and that is where I would place my support but also they took the time to create an easy interactive site.

    In either case the trust isn't given to me. Just a preference of coolness.
    Maelstrom Personal - Apparition Visions
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  13. #13
    + platinum's Avatar
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    Well, the second one is more speccy and uses flash. BUT this might deter your average surfer. Whilst I'm involved in web design myself, I try to look at sites from a newbie point of view sometimes, forget everything I have learned.

    The first one is streight to the point, simple and easy to find information on. I probably would appreciate that. Even if the general design is not the best.

    The second one is very fancy, and it looks great, however the flash is a bit of a offput, it is pretty small and constricted, the waiting around would bother me.

    I would actually trust the first site better, it feels a little more 'homey', I'm guessing that your average young person who would like the 2nd one, but they are not the sort of people who would be looking to buy a diamond. The 'older' generation (i.e. the diamond buyers) might feel intimidated by the flash and intricate strucure....

    anyway... hehe $5000 for a diamond... tell 'em he's dreaming

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Mark Harbottle
    ...that's right! I can do whatever I like
    Sic Semper Tyrannis!
    _____________

    I know that I'm responding to this again, but this time I read the sites...

    Personally, I think that diamonds are a bad example for online shopping (as I've already stated). I believe that most people want to touch and hold a diamond or ring before they buy it for a lover. Now, people may research a company or setting or whatever online, but the actual purchasing of a diamond they’d do in person. It's just one of those things that is too important leave up to the Internet gods…

    Also, they both didn't address one of the primary concerns that I have with diamonds: blood diamonds. I hear an awful lot about how the civil war in Sierra Leone is financed with illegal diamonds. Frankly, the McGivern site did nothing to reassure me that they didn't have blood diamonds in their stock. While the Aurias site did say they had a mine of their own, they did not say if they got diamonds exclusively from that mine or not. The Aurias site did, however, get high marks from me on their prominent placement of environmental concerns and what they’re doing about it—the McGivern site did nothing.

    I think for this kind of purchase, content is, defiantly, king. Ironically, while the Aurias actually had more content than the McGivern site, at first glance, I thought the opposite. But, the lack of information on current events with both sites was a real concern to my social activist self.

    Even though I just gave a review of the sites and all you asked for was "how Web design affects our perception," I think that the content was more important to the buying of diamonds.

    Mark, can I ask why you're doing this research? Is it for a client site of SPD? Are you guys going to share some juicy insights in an upcoming article? Is Kevin writing a new book about diamonds?

    ~~Hope This Helps

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast malleron's Avatar
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    Well, I pretty much echo most others' thoughts here when I say:

    I would run real fast in the opposite direction if presented with McGivern's site as a prospective vendor. Not only does it look cheaply made, the URL doesn't inspire confidence. "Overnightdiamonds.com" in combination with the site's appearance of low quality only seems to give the impression that the company is an "overnight" operation. Aurias, on the other hand, is a lot slicker. The rich colors are appropriate for keeping the "luxury" theme, though I think they could have lost the nude women and still maintained their slick image.

    As an "average buyer" I'd be much more impressed with Auria and not at all impressed with McGivern. However, neither site would gain my trust enough to actually consider purchasing from them, SSL and design sense notwithstanding. Even if $5K were peanuts to me, I still wouldn't buy a diamond online, and especially not from these two. Why?

    Well, as an "average buyer" I am accustomed to buying a great many things over the Internet: books, music, magazines, toys, electronics, greeting cards, you name it. These things are relatively small by comparison in terms of margin and cost -- however, they are all *manufactured,* which in itself implies a certain sense of "common-ness" since everything that is manufactured looks and acts the same as all other items of its kind.

    And that common-ness is exactly what I DON'T want when I buy a diamond.

    Even if I was buying a $500 diamond, the last thing I want is the feeling that what I am buying is as "disposable" as a book or CD. Diamonds are intensely personal for a great many people -- both in terms of cash and emotional value. That Aurias and McGivern are hawking their wares online not only speaks of their callousness in linking such a personal event as buying fine jewelry with the common efficiency of the Internet, it also gives me a distinct sense that their wares are not of the highest quality, regardless of the photos, descriptions, measurements, certifications, or whatever. If I were the true princess of my ancestry I would probably be greatly insulted.

    Now, if these companies were following rolex.com's example of merely showcasing certain pieces and directing buyers to offline establishments so they can browse, try on and buy in person, the story might well be different. As well, if these companies were only providing educational material on their sites, their trust factor might increase since they would be positioning themselves as experts and, therefore, trustworthy merchants.
    Jenny

    ==========================
    ...living the backstory...

  16. #16
    I'm a college yuppie now! sbdi's Avatar
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    The first one no. The site doesnt really look anything special looks fairly bad actually .

    The second one is alright and looks like some sort of effort was made.
    Back Again

  17. #17
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    Even if I wanted to but from overnightdiamonds.com I don't think I would do it online. I couldn't find their shopping cart!

    To make the $5k purchase, I would call overnightdiamonds on the phone. They do accept my credit card, and they do remind me to check them out with the BBB. They seem credible, but just have a weak website.
    "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance." - Thomas Jefferson

  18. #18
    Digital Warrior Renegade's Avatar
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    Personally, I wouldn't buy from either of them.

    The first site prolly took no time to put together. No real thought was put into it. They probably did it themselves instead of hiring a professional web designer. If they don't hire a pro to do their web site, how do I know they are going to be diamond pros?

    I didn't like the second site either. Mainly because of the navigation. When I click on a link, I want to know what to expect. "Inspire me" says nothing about what is behind that link. So, where on the site do I find a product list? prices? The whole reason I am there is to compare prices on diamonds. They can talk a good talk, but if I can't find a price list in a short period of time, I will scratch them off my list no matter what the site looks like.

    The only thing that makes #2's site better than #1's, is its looks. But 2 mins of surfing that site reveals this is its ONLY good quality.

    A little off topic. But I don't think I would buy a diamond over the internet anyway. Who really cares what your new PC133 RAM chip looks like? But when I buy something like a diamond, I am gonna want to hold it/look at it/etc etc before I buy it. Especially if I am spending 5k
    --There's my 1.5 cents, now where is my change!?!?

  19. #19
    SitePoint Cofounder Mark Harbottle's Avatar
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    Mark, can I ask why you're doing this research? Is it for a client site of SPD? Are you guys going to share some juicy insights in an upcoming article? Is Kevin writing a new book about diamonds?
    Yes, we have an upcoming book on Online Diamond Purchasing being launched very soon

    No, really, the reason I asked is because I was doing some research because I got engaged recently, so I was in the market for a diamond.

    My Fiancé had picked out the exact diamond she wanted, down to the grade, color, size, etc. We had already seen it and priced it in several stores, so it was no longer necessary to do the purchase the diamond in person. If I found the same diamond online for a cheaper price, I would have purchased it (as long as it came with a lab guarantee etc.)

    When I came across the overnightdiamonds.com site I emailed them with a couple of questions and in the process I commented on their site design, suggesting in the nicest possible way, that perhaps their business would benefit from a better design.

    The owner responded, saying that their site design is intentional and that they wanted to give off the impression that they are a small family business. He said that a professional looking design would make their company look bigger than it is, which to them meant a "less customer focused" company.

    Anyway, I thought this was strange, so I suggested to the owner that I thought he could achieve both objectives - i.e. have a professional looking site while at the same time conveying the message that they value personal customer service and they are a small but reputable family business.

    I don't think he agreed with me, so I decided to put it to you guys to see what everyone else thought.

    Thank you all for the feedback...

    Oh and by the way, I never bought the diamond from either of these sites.
    Mark Harbottle - Co-Founder
    sitepoint.com - Master The Web!

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Mark Harbottle
    No, really, the reason I asked is because I was doing some research because I got engaged recently, so I was in the market for a diamond.

    My Fiancé had picked out the exact diamond she wanted, down to the grade, color, size, etc. We had already seen it and priced it in several stores, so it was no longer necessary to do the purchase the diamond in person. If I found the same diamond online for a cheaper price, I would have purchased it (as long as it came with a lab guarantee etc.)
    Congratulations, Mark!

  21. #21
    SitePoint Cofounder Mark Harbottle's Avatar
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    Thanks!
    Mark Harbottle - Co-Founder
    sitepoint.com - Master The Web!

  22. #22
    We like music. weirdbeardmt's Avatar
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    First site ... maybe, but probably not, because even from a non-designers point of view it looks ugly.

    Second site ... no because I'm not a huge fan. I also get the feeling that your average internet user actually gets more confused by flash. I don't believe it was anywhere as usable as it could/should have been.

    Besides I wouldn't buy a diamond online...

    And the last thing I am going to do is let my girlfriend look at diamonds! I don't want to give her ideas!!!

    Good luck with the research and the GF!!

    I swear to drunk I'm not God.
    » Matt's debating is not a crime «
    Hint: Don't buy a stupid dwarf ö Clicky


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