What to do in web design – Backcountry.com

Received an email this morning from the company’s highest-up (well, via my manager, but close enough). He was lauding Backcountry.com for its clean design. Looking through it, I’ve been grinning, nodding my head and all but drooling in my coffee. I’m impressed. It’s gorgeous and useable, 2 things that should go hand in hand in website design.

I’m a huge REI slut, both as a customer and a geek eyeing up a site for ideas and what-to-do’s, but Backcountry has ’em beat on the site front. Here are a few things I like:

  • Looks good at any screen size. The page stretches to accommodate whatever you want, just as a site should do, but also just what many sites don’t do.
  • Easy to shop by brand. REI does this well too, but I like the more extensive use of small graphical logos on Backcountry. Each brand’s page also includes a list of the bestselling items for that brand. Nice.
  • Upper-right corner has live help, 800 number, sales and a current shipping special. It’s informative, shows you other contact/shopping options you have, and gives good info in a concise use of space.
  • “Site information” is easy to find. A small box in the left nav of each page lists the main non-shopping links (help, privacy, etc.) a customer might want to access, as well as other features of the site (such as the Backcountry Blog)
  • It uses wording that tells you what a link does, but does so in a fun way.” Where’s my stuff” takes you to order tracking. “What’s wrong with this page? gives customers a way to report errors. And they just may give you a chuckle too.

Backcountry.com is well-designed, and by well-designed I mean done with 3 things in mind: simplicity, usability, and brevity. Yet there’s a good mix of fun threaded throughout. Great site, and one I’m keeping bookmarked as a prime example of “what to do in web design”.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.