Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Transition Era Figures

Tough to find, the little boogers.

Musket Miniatures has sculpts that are pretty rough, but a pretty good range of different people in lively poses. For some reason, the figures are found under "CATALOG" and "Rustic Rails" -- I wonder how many customers they lose by not having the figures under a link called "Figures"? The site also lacks photos of a lot of their line.

Scale Figures also has rough figures, but a very nice range of people and poses. Why they think I want to click on a link to HO figures to see a list of figures, THEN click on a link for some of those figures and THEN click on an image of a group of figures to see what they look like... well, the mysteries of model railroad suppliers' web sites run deep.

While I'm crabbing about model railroad suppliers' web site design... Last night I found a nice long links page and I clicked on all of them. Repeatedly, I came across the following annoyances:
  • Search results below the fold. Don't know how that's a thing, but it is. It's as if a customer came in your store, asked to see a product, and you showed it to her under a marble countertop.
  • Long-winded pages that required me to scroll down, down, down before they showed me any products. I encountered everything from essays on why they could no longer offer product X (before they showed me any products) to wedding announcements and other personal stories.
  • Pages where every single item in the product line was "SOLD OUT."
  • Front pages where I searched and searched around for a link to their product line, only to discover a small "ENTER SITE HERE" button... below the fold.
  • Music that started automatically.
  • Sites that insisted I download fonts to make their pages display properly.
  • Sites that insisted I download a PDF catalog... and a PDF price list (to cross-reference them myself)... and then a PDF order form, which I was supposed to print and mail in with a check. I know they're old, but that's just about every barricade they could put between themselves and my money.
  • Conversely, there were a couple sites that had a big announcement that their online shopping cart was working... at last! (That doesn't inspire confidence...)
  • Sites with their links named so whimsically that there was no guessing where they might lead.
Some sites had two or three of these problems.

Okay, I'm done crabbing. For now.

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