With over fifty products, hundreds of replacement parts, and a huge network of sales representatives, the Electric Eel Manufacturing website took on a life of its own during development. So, our goal for Electric Eel was to simplify the experience so that anyone could easily find products, ask questions, download resources, or move forward with a purchase. Some of those features that improved the user experience included:
- Providing an easy-to-skim product organization
- Creating a support network of documents associated with each product
- Routing users who are interested or have questions about a product to the correct sales representative near them
- Help clearly answer any questions users might have
Using Simplicity throughout the site
Part of what makes the redesigned Electric Eel website stand out in its industry is the concise, straightforward content and organization. Competitor sites we researched often contained an overwhelming amount of options, links, and imagery on each page. With that in mind, we worked to achieve the opposite.
Steps that we used to organize and simplify the site:
- Dividing the home page into two categories, “Rental Industry” and “Professional Industry” to help users immediately know where to go next.
- Dividing the main menu into very clear and obvious categories, again to quickly help direct users to what they need.
- The footer has a more expanded menu, not hidden in a drop-down, that links to frequently visited areas of the site.
- Each product category has a subcategory, and each subcategory has products. Then, we organized products by starting with very broad terminology and working down to more specific terms, to guide users who may not know what they’re looking for.
- Product pages use a consistent layout to establish an expectation for users. Each time a user visits a product, they will know where to look for product dimensions, manufacturer contact information, or helpful resources such as an owner’s manual.
Directing Users to the Right Person
Electric Eel has sales representatives all over the world, so we needed to present an easy-to-use option that would select the right sales rep. based on geographic location. To accomplish this, we created a custom “Sales Representative Locator” tool.
When you visit the “Locate a Sales Representative” page, a basic text entry field asks you to type in your zip code or city. Then you can select which type of rep. you’re looking for. When you type in your zip code, the site compares to a library of sales rep. territories. The territory with the closest zip code will return both the territory and sales representative’s contact information.
Organizing a Manageable Document Library
Another challenge we encountered while developing the Electric Eel website was associating product resources. This included product brochures, operators manuals, and parts schematics with each product.
The solution we came up with was to build a document library. It supports document version control, categories and the ability to associate one document with multiple products. Without this system in place, we worried that a more manual option would be difficult to keep updated and accurate. The document library we created allows for quick updates and most importantly, a way to reduce the number of documents on the site. This is a benefit because it’s easier to keep track of fewer documents uploaded on the site.
Almost every website can benefit from having a “Frequently Asked Questions” section. This helps eliminate confusion and reduce the frequency of calls and emails to a company’s support team.
Having this page set up for Electric Eel allowed the site to answer unique questions. For example: “How do I purchase a product?” or “Choosing the Right Machine”. The other advantage to having an FAQ page is how it builds. So, over time, it creates a comprehensive, valuable resource on your website.
Focusing on simplicity was the key ingredient for building the new Electric Eel website. Because of this goal, throughout the entire development process, we looked for complicated areas. We constantly asked, “How can we make this easier for the user?” As a result, we built a website that can grow with the company. It will continually become a better tool for Electric Eel Manufacturing.