CB2 Takes All My $$$:
It isn’t even that their products are in my price range; just the throw pillows I want average around $70 each. No one needs to spend $70 on a single throw pillow. But I still do. And, thanks to Dave Underwood, I now have an inkling as to why I (clearly against my will) have given all my money to CB2.
So here she is, CB2. The most horrible and wonderful shop I’ve ever found. It’s a subsidiary of good ol’ Crate & Barrel. And let’s just side bar about Crate & Barrel for a hot minute; they’re geniuses. They create CB2 so that when you’re young and want to humor your eclectic style, you get hooked. Then once you’re old and are hosting corporate dinner parties, you sashay on over to Crate & Barrel. You are hooked forever so that’s nice.
CB2’s Pathos Takes All My $$$:
One of the major players I see on the home screen is contrast and white space. The photos boast bold, dramatic pieces that immediately draw in the eye. Going to their website, your eyes are directly drawn into the dark, emerald green, velvet couch. Even within the photo, the white walls, (mostly) white carpet, and the overexposure from the windows brings your eyes straight to the products: initially the couch, then outwards to the chair, and then into the smaller details on the coffee table. Easy flow to showcase the products individually.
What is interesting is that, because on their home page the pictures take up the majority of the screen (not upset), the graphic design elements are more present in the photos than the actual website. Primarily, their use of white space, albeit not always white, is shifted from a tool in the design of the layout of a website to the design of the spaces they photograph. The walls and surfaces are decorated just enough to make it believable that a human lives there (and it isn’t the inside of a psych ward), but not so much that each detail isn’t given a place to shine: couches and chairs have few to no throws or pillows, coffee tables and shelves have scarce, but thoughtfully placed, trinkets, and walls have, at most, one major piece.
CB2’s Ethos Takes All My $$$:
As with most websites, the actual product pages are laid out on a grid system. Very clean, not boxes (minus the edges of some products which are photographed on a set), with just enough detail to give information needed without drawing from the actual product.
Now, this could be from too much time spent online shopping, immense OCD, or a combination of both, but I believe CB2’s grid layout is spread out perfectly. It drives me nuts when you drag your cursor over a product and the picture changes or it enlarges the picture (also hate when my food touches). I just want to get through 37 pages of duvet covers without interruption. I always place my cursor right between two images in that little column of space that runs down the page. Some places leave too much space or, worse, too little and you can’t avoid scrolling over pictures. CB2’s “column” is the exact width of a cursor. It gives enough room for each picture, but doesn’t make the page feel claustrophobic. You go, CB2.
CB2’s Logos Takes All My $$$:
The layout of their actual logo, menu, and checkout button are really standard. We read top to bottom, left to right. So it makes sense that the very top, center, and without any other frill, sits the company’s logo. Right below lie a couple things: the department menu and a, rather large, ad. While it is 95% just a picture, it also does advertise their new line. Having the menu and the ad in line with each other puts equal weight on both. Sometimes if the menu bar is horizontal across the page, people will stop at that menu before looking down at the ads. This menu is vertical (and long) and gives the reader the impulse to scroll down which, alas, there are more beautiful photos/ads. Finally, the checkout (the part my wallet hates), is the furthest option to the right even when browsing the products. Again, this is an obvious choice given our natural tendencies to read left to right.