Archive for January, 2010

Solar City continued

Navigation

SolarCity utilizes a number of best practices with respect to navigation:

  1. Provides multiple entry points for various sections. It accomplishes that by incorporating horizontal navigation treatments without appearing too busy and through the use of drop-down menus.
  2. Upon clicking into a section the site then includes a secondary nav bar below the first facilitating navigation, and it also employs breadcrumbs below the secondary nav bar. Given the depth of content available, SolarCity was wise to use this device.

While SolarCity is a strong site, and the design team deserves kudos, there are some areas for improvement. Including:

  1. The left margin including news and photo gallery links inside various sections. This makes the site busier than necessary, and people who arrive at deeper pages, such as the Solar Lease section, will find them distracting rather than helpful. Other components, in particular the social media components (Share This Page, Join Our Community) are logical; however these things must be appropriate rather than seemingly random droppings of content.
  2. The margins and navigation items are large relative to the site. this limits the amount of contact that is available ‘above the fold’. Ideally SolarCity removes the left margin to provide more visibility to the primary content.
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SolarCity

SolarCity utilizes many best practice web optimization techniques, and may be the best-designed site we have reviewed thus far.

It clearly directs its audience, has visible and useful calls-to-action, and provides ample opportunities to increase engagement with its customers and potential customers. It accomplishes all of this while maintaining SEO best practices as well.

We will articulate all the things the site does well as a mold for other to follow and then point out the few areas for improvement (eg remove the large flash unit on the homepage).

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