Plaaza Arts has a well built, user-friendly, responsive site to buy art supplies. I like how in the beginning o f the site, there is an option to compare products. I don’t see this feature on other art sites, and this feature can be very helpful for the struggling artist, especially for the fact that the store has so many products. It can be overwhelming to choose, especially if you have never used any of them before. Of all the art sites I have chosen to talk about, this I would say is probably the easiest to navigate through. I enjoy the use of roll over in that, at the menu at the top one must click on an item in order to visit that section, for example, The Framing Studio, or, Shop by Brand, but when it comes to supplies, the roll over effect provides a very large drop down menu that has oodles of options to choose from. When condensed, this site is consolidated with the menus condensing into a hamburger menu, which when clicked on provides a window that pops up on the left with all the information, and retains the roll over drop down effect for the list of words. It is solid and not so sensitive that the window closes when pulling the curser to the side where the original site is dimmed. One must click out of the side panel in order to get back to the browser without the menu. The footer is plain and simple, and gets you back where you need to go.
Jerry’s Artorama has a fun, and a bit more playful vibe then that of Plaaza. They have ongoing contests, which is pretty cool, for example a self-portrait contest is going on now with cash prizes for the winner. When first coming to their home page, the screen oscillates between different advertisements. Jerry’s site may be a bit simpler than Plaaza when it comes to the menu displayed. The roll over drop down menu works nicely, with words highlighted in turquoise as well as underlined so one can clearly see what they are choosing. There is a text in red at the very top that tells you how much you saved because of choosing Jerry’s. There are many suggestions and advertisements throughout the site. One of the coolest features about the site is the index at the very bottom of the page, just before the footer, which is a list of all the letters in the alphabet. Once clicked on it will section off the letter into categories, brands, and products; very cool. All in all, this is a nice, user-friendly and responsive site, also utilizing the hamburger menu when condensed.
I used to shop at Utrecht when I lived in Providence, RI. It’s a nice store so I decided to check out their site! When one expands the browser, this site remains in a vertical banner with a grey screen that seems to lay in the background of the banner. I get the feeling this site might be a little older than its competitors Plaaza and Jerry’s. I enjoy the fact there are icons along with the menu items in the menu at the top of the page, even though they are a little pixelated. They implement the drop down and roll over effect for this menu as well, highlighting the word one is selecting. The menu at the footer on this site does not have the roll over effect, which makes it difficult to see what you are choosing. There are less options on this site, which can be a good thing, but also might be negative because the artist might not find what they are looking for. They do, however, give the buyer the option of limiting their search through a filer on the left, which is very helpful. Not a bad site at all, and a good store in general.