Urban Outfitters

I chose to write about the design and aesthetics behind one of my favorite online stores, Urban Outfitters. I have always loved shopping through their online store because of the amount of product they have available online. Opening the web page for Urban Outfitters is like walking into one of their massive stores. They have everything for sale from clothes to apartment. I believe that Urban Outfitters does an amazing job at organizing all of their online product in such a way that makes the consumer excited to shop and keeps them shopping for more.

White Space: Right away your eyes are drawn to the beautiful contrast between the pastel color palette and the form of the layout on the web page. Everything has been organized into boxes leaving theScreen Shot 2016-07-15 at 1.37.11 PM.png perfect amount of white space so that the consumer can focus on the image of the product rather than the decoration around it. Even though there are as many as ten images on a single page, it doesn’t feel overwhelming because they did not trap any of the space by lining the images with borders and frames. A lot of times online stores will try to fill up space with overwhelming color and decoration in hopes to intrigue the consumer. This can back fire and only confuse the consumer and take their attention away from what really matters, the product.

Print: Urban Outfitters does an amazing job with print. The fonts used on their website are both soft yet attention grabbing and reflect what is written. Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 1.32.32 PM.pngFor example, the words, “Nice and Simple” are written in smooth, serif lettering. Right below this you see the words “shop women’s” in sans serif. This is a great way to balance out all of the writing on the image. Next to this image there is another image quite different.

Instead of having soft print and nice neutral tones, the image has a black background and bold type that reads, “Best New Arrivals”. This definitely grabs the consumer’s attention while balancing out the other side of the page. Choosing to have these two images next to each other paid off in my opinion because it makes the consumer want to shop both routes. On one hand, you have a very simple design with minimal colors and forms. On the other hand, you have a little bit more of a complex design with more forms and deeper colors. I believe that nine out of ten shoppers will end up shopping or at least clicking on both options because the two are so different from each other.

Options: When you click on one of the shopping route options, the website brings you to a similar format and layout with the perfect balance in contrast of white space and imagery. Once you are on this page, they give you even more options as to how you want to shop by organizing products into aesthetically pleasing compartments. This re-enforces the idea that they have such a large quantity of product and options for the consumer to choose from without clutter. This kind of layout makes online shopping feel less hectic and overwhelming.

Why: It would be very easy for Urban Outfitter’s online store to be extremely overwhelming given the amount of product available. The graphic design of their online store reflects much of what I learned from the class videos. They used tricks like white space, not trapping space, avoiding clutter, using cool color palettes, and using classic typefaces. I know that I could spend hours shopping their online store because of the many different route options given to you in a beautifully designed display.

8 thoughts on “Urban Outfitters

  1. Hi Gina!
    Urban Outfitters is definitely one of my main websites for online shopping. I like how you said that right away your eyes are drawn to the pastel colors. The use of white space really makes any color they use pop out on the page, which really does a good job of attracting customers!


  2. Hi Gina!
    I would have to agree with Nina on this one about Urban being one of my favorite sites for online shopping. It’s definitely one of the first sites I will go to if I know I want to for sure buy something. I love their color scheme on their website, it is really appealing while also giving the website a personality. I like the point you made about choosing between the two photos, I had never noticed that.


  3. Hey Gina!
    Urban Outfitters has always been a store that you can recognize immediately and I like that you pointed out the uniqueness of their website too. Walking into an Urban Outfitters store, you see classic but chic products and after looking at their website, I can totally see it. Their use of pastel colors and whitespace exactly matches their store layout, which I think is pretty cool! They do a great job at communicating their brand image.


  4. Gina,
    So funny that you write about this because I was just going through their Apartment section last night. It’s easy to get sucked into buying things on their site because they do such a great job at styling their products in their shots. And, while one product may be very different from another, they have done such a good job with their brand identity that you can almost always tell if it’s a UO item!


  5. Gina,
    I am a sucker for a site that makes you addicted to their products and I think your ability to convey the reasoning behind that addiction was spot on and very unique. I really enjoy Urban Outfitters and your discussion about white space helped me realize how important it was for the site. I appreciate the site more after reading this analysis!


  6. Hi Gina!
    Your description of why so many people are attracted to the site is exactly why I spent an entire paycheck there this week! I agree that the white space makes the site very appealing and make the images and products really pop out and make an impact to the shopper. (I also thought about writing about Urban)


  7. Gina,
    The layout and user center design of Urban Outfitters allows for browsing ability of way longer then one should be online shopping at one store, but I guess that’s what helps them to stay so popular! I like how “departmentalized” the website is. My favorite part about Urban is the ability to bundle both clothing/shoes with also home decor and novelty items.

  8. Gina,
    Urban Outfitters is a great company, I check their website every week to see what else they have in store for their customers. Their crisp and clean approach to visual rhetoric is extremely effective. As you mentioned, the white background contrasted the text and photos is very ascetically appealing. This company has done a great job of creating and maintaining a successful brand for themselves. Their stylistic approach to their website also translates very well into their stores, which adds to the experience.

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