This is an excellent article from Smashing Magazine on how well designed, uncluttered, simple ecommerce websites work better and help you increase your profits.
Successful websites should have a clear objective.
Each page should focus on one clear message or function. Extra widgets or unrelated products should be removed.
Website users are becoming more focused on what they want to get out of a website and so websites should make it as easy as possible for their users to achieve rapid, hassle free results.
The article also showcases good examples.
My favourites are:
Apple - This redesign has deservedly won acclaim. It is the epitome in a clean and uncluttered approach to web design. There is a clear focus on each product and unnecessary information is jettisoned.
Bell - Similar to the Apple design; it has a very clean feel and the navigation is a pleasure to use.
Shoeguru - I like the way that the product image are central to the website. Great images are so important at enhancing the user experience.
Monty Don in his new role as President of the Soil Association on how to get the message across, as reported in todays Guardian:
You don’t stand on the podium with a loud hailer telling people what you do, which the British absolutely hate. You’ve got to somehow get under the skin of the system and make lots and lots of small changes.
Adobe Air allows you to run internet applications as desktop programmes. They are fast and as new applications become available (most are free), the usefulness becomes more apparant. I have a few that I already use:
Thwirl enables you to post to multiple Twitter accounts and keep updated with your friends tweets all from the comfort of your own desktop.
Shrink O”Matic - this is a neat application for resizing your images for the web. Like so many Air applications, it is quick.
Google Analytics - I still go to the website, but if you prefer you can have all your data on your desktop.
Web Snapshot - you simply type in the web address and this application will take a picture either as a thumbnail, the full web page, or a specific area. It really makes taking pictures of websites very easy.
Kuler - an easy way to get inspiration on colours. Which go with which and the like.