Ten Thousand Villages, one messy ecommerce site

If you’re ever looking to buy some really cool global products, Ten Thousand Villages is a great place to start. I tend to head to this fair trade retailer when I’m trying to find a unique gift for a friend, which is what brought me to their site the other day. I really like Ten Thousand Villages, and they have an amazing mission and products, but their website? There are a couple odd things here that could use an update…

First of all, when I was browsing through the tabs at the top of the page, I clicked on the “Collections” tab only to find this error message. Don’t just leave a “Page not Found” message sitting there, guys. It’s time to find the page and fix the error!

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Okay, if I’m going to find a cool gift, I need to navigate to some pages that actually exist. Under the Products heading, I clicked on the Jewelry link and landed on the category page. Here, I found something weird in the left navigation. The Category filter displays all the different types of products, with little white check boxes next to them. Since I was on the Jewelry page, the box next to Jewelry was highlighted in red. This lead me to think that I should click the box beside the category to get to the page. However, this imagery is misleading, and the boxes aren’t actually clickable. After repeatedly trying to check the boxes, I realized that the text links to the page, not the box. It may not seem like a big deal, but this design isn’t very intuitive, and that can have a negative impact on the shopping experience.

tenthousand2 copyWhen I started viewing some product pages, I came across another problem. There is only one product image for each item on the site. You can click it to enlarge it, or even hover to zoom over whatever part you want. But having only one product image is pretty limiting. Take this jewelry box, for example. How does it look on the inside? What do the compartments look like? I would love to see inside, and there are other items that could benefit from having views of more angles, too. One picture doesn’t always cut it!

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These little things, like error messages, misleading checkboxes, and limited product views, can really add up. After a while, all the little missteps can lead to one bad shopping experience. It’s time for Ten Thousand Villages to reassess the site and make some updates. Fixing all these small problems can have a big positive impact!

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