News

03.12.2008

Rebuilding Sanitec Koło website.

The main goal of the project was to adjust the website’s appearance to the brand’s character, shorten the time needed to find necessary information and facilitate the viewing of the product catalogue. In order to respond to this challenge, 21 people – employees of Sanitec Koło, K2 Internet agency and Komitywa.com – for 11 months put in order nearly 5 thousand products of the four brands, conducted 4 testing sessions with users, prepared 100 functionality models, around fifteen graphic designs and over 200 pages of text.

Over one million people – unique users* – have visited the web pages of Sanitec Koło this year, generating 22 mln page views (PV). Each month, an average of over 100 thousand people (UV) goes to the website. This is the highest number amongst the other websites of this type. “Bearing in mind the to-date users as well as the new ones we created the new website – maximum functionality, with an intuitive navigation and such an amount of useful information than it resembles more a trade vortal than a simple business card of a company” says Dominik Zawadzki, Marketing Director of Sanitec Koło.



The purpose of the changes was to facilitate viewing of the product catalogue and navigation, and create clear starting points for the particular user groups. From the company’s point of view, what is clearly seen in the website’s construction, all target groups are vital, both direct customers (people planning to furnish their bathroom) as well as people dealing with bathrooms professionally – commercial partners, architects, installers and journalists. Thus, each of them will find the subpages specially prepared for them with dedicated content and functionalities.

“Building the site was supported by a number of research sessions, which gave us a possibility to control whether the designed website would meet the users’ expectations and guarantees the optimisation of the adopted solutions. For those reasons, we used, among others, the eye-tracking research, usability and card-sorting research, which enabled us to put the content in order and hierarchy according to the mental model of the users”, explains Artur Pszczółkowski, who is responsible for the Internet activity of Sanitec Koło in the CEE region.



The effects of considerations and research will be easily perceived by the to-date users. Not only are the looks new but also the content division and a legible product menu, which allows an intuitive navigation in a wide-ranging catalogue. The implemented changes make finding a proper product easy and quick and the data of a similar type are related with each other though the context navigation. Thanks to this solution, the website viewing is much smoother and finding the desired piece of information takes much less time.

An interesting innovation is the “clipboard” enabling the users to create their own list of products, generate their comparison and print it out. The advanced “product search engine” constitutes another element improving the website’s functionality. A quick access to required information by different target groups – commercial partners, architects, installers and journalists – is guaranteed by the so-called “starting points”. One of those points, due to its specific nature, for example, is “Bathroom without barriers” presenting solutions dedicated to the handicapped people.

”When designing the website we tried not to limit its role only to the role of a product information presentation. The new site positions Sanitec KOŁO both as a recognised manufacturer and advisor on ideas and solutions for the bathroom design. We are happy that once more we set new trends in this business and the highest standards in customer service and acquisition – no matter if they are our business partner or an ultimate user of the sanitary products”, rejoices Jacek Ciszewski, PR Department Manager of Sanitec Koło.

A huge scale of the project is reflected in the necessity to put in order nearly 5 thousand products under four brand names: KOŁO, KERAMAG, KORALLE and PANDA, and take into consideration the needs of 7 groups of users. While preparing the new website, a number of researches were conducted aimed at configuring its content and its visual side in the way to ease to the maximum the process of finding desired information to the future users.


 
“Support in decision making to the users of rather undefined needs, facilities in finding particular information related to the selected product – these are the goals which in the case of a wide range of products are not so easy to achieve without involving potential customers in the designing process”, believes Eryk Orłowski, Managing Director of Komitywa.com.

Card-sorting research allowed to arrange the website content in a clear and logical way for the user. This enabled the creators to design a proper hierarchy and structure of the site. It was also verified whether the proposed terminology is comprehensible and unambiguous for everyone.

Eye-tracking research identified the areas of the screen (interface elements) which the user pays attention to at the following stages of page viewing. Its results allowed the team to design an optimum visual and graphic layout of the new website.

Research on the website prototype, which was an effect of earlier conducted studies, helped to confirm what the users’ actual expectations are really like. This allowed for the optimization of the applied solutions.   

Due to its complexity, the implementation required not only the use of the cutting-edge research methods but also highly advanced IT technologies. The research, production and launch of the whole website were carried out by K2 Internet S.A., which thus far had been responsible for the current service and maintenance of the Koło Internet site. 

“The use of the new technologies based on PHP and Javascript ensured integration of the site with external data sources, reduced the server’s overload, which significantly decreased the costs of maintenance and enhanced the site’s visual attractiveness. We also focused on ensuring faster opening of particular pages, which allowed for an improved comfort of using the website”, said Marcin Pawlak, an Account Manager from K2 Internet S.A.
*Source: Google Analytics