Depending on your taste in jewellery, you may or may not have heard of Mark Gold. Originally from Durban, this designer of unique, bespoke creations has expanded into Joburg and the Cape, where his stores are equally famous for their top quality coffee as they are for distinctive jewellery.
As a major fan of Mark Gold’s work, I tried not to let this influence me in my review of their mobisite.
I’ve encountered thei website before and although I found it to be visually engaging (complete with Ibiza-style background mood music) and representative of their style, I felt it used far too much Flash animation. Anyone who spends a significant amount of time online attempting to extract usable information, will tell you that Flash is the devil. Luckily it’s on its’ way out, but that didn’t stop the creators of this mobisite from incorporating it into their design.
As I’ve reiterated many times in the past, a good mobisite needs to be slick, attractive and simple. While the Mark Gold mobisite attempts to be all these things, I feel it just falls short of realizing that goal. Having flash images on a mobisite is ok if you have a decent smartphone and data connection, but if not, you’re probably going to find that, at worst they don’t show up at all and at best they creep across the page like stunned insects.
In essence the mobisite is a smaller version of the main site. It has the same information and images (no music!) but the layout doesn’t really make sense to me. There is a ‘Mark Gold’ menu that gives you more insight into the brand, a ‘Jewels’ menu and a ‘Timepieces’ menu. Unlike the main site, they haven’t created separate pages for each style of jewels, which led me to completely miss a whole section of information- you’ll need to keep scrolling. I just felt that, for such unique & glamorous products, they deserved to each enjoy their own space to be admired, rather than being lumped together. These are the Mark Gold signature pieces, yet they don’t seem to take pride of place? On the main site, each range has a large picture and description that ultimately sold me on the product without even seeing the real thing. That is what needs to be transferred in a mobile platform.
I headed to the Gallery area in hopes of finding a decent sized image of some of my more favourite pieces, but just found more Flash. Although these are the same images used on the main site, they don’t have the same impact on a small screen. It would have been worthwhile to simply have a few good pics of each range.The Gallery page also has a ‘Press’ area which links to nowhere and it seems its only purpose was to fill the space.
I also noted that nowhere on the mobisite was there any mention of their coffee shops, for which they are so loved.
I feel that a bit more thought could have gone into the design of this mobisite. Perhaps it was simply created to make sure that mobile users could find the stores and access details on the move, but I believe luxury brands should always put that little bit of extra attention into things like this because their market appreciates the personal touches.