January 28th, 2008 | 1 MIN READ

OfficeMax Reinvents Navigation

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Yesterday we talked about OfficeMax' viral campaign and its goal to brand itself as "human friendly." OfficeMax has recently redesigned its website, and you'll notice right away its clean look and innovative approach to navigation.

New OfficeMax Design

Now customers can hone in on specific products with one click:

OfficeMax Navigation

Which you have to admit is more user-friendly than Staples' or Office Depot's methods, where you have to first locate the correct category, then forage from there:

Staples' home page directory

Staples Directory Mess

Staples' subcategories

Staples Step 2

Office Depot's dropdown menus

Office Depot Navigation Menu

Office Depot's refinement options

Office Depot Step 2

So, well done OfficeMax. Only 2 suggestions:

1. I would recommend OfficeMax carefully check its search logs and inventory list to make sure popular search terms are not overlooked. For example, a classic back-to-school item is a watercolor set. The navigation shows "water coolers" but not "watercolors."

No Watercolors

But I could find the Crayola product with the search box.

Watercolor Set

Same goes for items like "manila envelopes" and "wireless mouse" which don't appear in the directory menu. Of course, listing absolutely everything would make the directory larger and perhaps, less usable. So focusing on highly searched products is important.

2. I would remove the "brand" from "Browse by product, category, brand or service" from the yellow banner. You can't browse by brand until you click on a product and more filtering options appear on the left hand side. It's a bit misleading.

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