Swimming Through Shopping
A weird title, yes… But I wasn’t quite sure what else to title it!
There was a question asked on Plurk and a legitimate concern among both designers and shoppers alike.
What is a good layout for a store?
What about the interior design of a store?
Herein is my opinion only. This is from my own experience shopping for almost three years in SL and being on a less than phenomenal computer doing so.
NO SLALOM COURSE, PLEASE.
I like an open design store. I walk in the door and I don’t have to navigate too many corridors (if any) to get to see what I want to buy. I hate feeling like I’m in a maze. Plus, when my hard drive lag kicks in, I wind up with my face planted inside a random wall jutting out from nowhere and placed in my path. Granted, this may sound boring to see time and time again, but you can easily accomplish an open style layout and still make it different than everyone else.
New release islands – I’m a fan of those. So when I get a notice about a new release I want, BOOM! I TP and I know exactly where I’m going to get exactly what I want. So these walls in the middle of the layout I like and are relatively easy to maneuver around.
TO CLUMP OR NOT TO CLUMP, THAT IS THE QUESTION.
Relatively established designers with extensive lines of apparel in all shapes and sizes argue this daily: free form to display what’s available or clump those items that are similar into category areas (ya know – dresses, casual, lingerie, etc.).
My preference? Well, I’m split as well. If your store is really big and you have a lot to offer, I would prefer knowing where things are for a specific category I’m looking for. If I need a ballgown, I want to go directly to formal – not spend an hour sorting through your offerings. On the other hand, if you are only keeping a small offering of your goodies in store, free form displaying works for me as well. Some designers do this and it does not boggle my mind or keep me frustrated for hours when looking for something in particular (or nothing in particular at all! just finding something I like!).
What I really would like to encourage are more TP boards to those that have categorized areas of their numerous offerings. Many times, I find myself in a massive store, wandering up and down hallways and side passages looking for a specific category. Help a sister out, will ya?
NOW HIRING: A INTERIOR DECORATOR….STAT!
Minus what you are offering, you don’t want blank walls and blank floors taking up your valuable (and paid) space. It’s a waste. And also turns off the shopper who is in that same space. In the same breath, overused primmage, loud colors that don’t work, noisy scripts…all this is a quick turnoff to the shopper who just wants to enjoy the pleasure of…well…shopping. And well, yeah…not lag either.
What’s the answer? Again, my opinion only and I am not a certified interior designer.
Pick a style that represents you. If you are offering simple and seductive lingerie, please don’t decorate your store in a bright orange with harsh edgy furniture. It just doesn’t work. Not sure what your style is? There is never any harm in trying something out by placing it down and looking at it. Ask your customers. Like it, don’t like it….in SL, swapping furniture and textures is much quicker and easier than moving heavy furniture in RL.
Again, these are all my opinions only. Feel free to contribute your own in the comments.
Love, from a devoted (and confessed!) shopaholic,
~*~ Aly ~*~
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