Valio.fi – anna elämän maistua.

Continuing my series of (re-)design reviews (Tampere United, Nokia Sports Tracker), I’ll present Valio.fi (a finnish company “that secures milk production in Finland and the vitality of the nation’s countryside by processing milk into tasty products that promote well-being”, source), which published their redesigned pages some time ago.

Home - Valio.fi's front page

Home - Valio.fi's front page

Above is a screenshot of Valio.fi, front page (in english).

The english version of finnish site is somehow empty, so I’ll use the finnish side instead (sorry!).

I’ll review the site shortly on three two aspects (as I’m lazy, this is my blog and the third category, usability, got me bored):

  1. Design and looks
  2. Technical side
  3. Ad Hoc usability and Information Architecture

Design and looks

In my opinion the new design looks good and fresh – as it should when advertising dairy produts;)  Compared to old design the contrast is great, or what would you say? (Screen grab using Archive.org below)

etusivu_1237120224698Especially the orange compared to new blueish theme is somehow annoying in the old version,

Flowerish logo theme is repeated at page background and images, nice!

Technical side

Platform

On technical side the site uses Oracle Portal as platform (as did the old one, too). Oracle’s platform is sturdy enterprise level publishing platform which suits high traffic sites like Valio (although according to TNS Metrix it isn’t one of the 250 Top Finnish sites).

HTML Validation

Opera Mini Simulator Test (mobile use)

  • works pretty well

Styles

  • What site at 2009 uses document specific styles (with <style> -element)? Ah, I remembered, Valio.fi.

Random

  • Page naming is awful (simple SEO, Search Engine Optimization,  anyone?)
    • example 1, front page is titled “Etusivu” (front page)
    • example 2, Tilauspiste page is simply titled “Tilauspiste”
    • would it be better if it read Valio somewhere?
      for example:
      Etusivu – Valio.fi
  • URL‘s are quite pretty, no page ID’s used, nice.
    But:

    • technical platform is visible in every URL:
      http://www.valio.fi/portal/page/portal/Valio
    • so, get rid of the /portal/page/portal/ -part and yes, better!

Conclunsions

  • Redesign looks good and sports some nifty new contents.
  • Quite good a redesign on top.
  • Technical side of the site is sturdy and working, but doesn’t validate.
  • It’s generally good idea to select a CMS (Content Managemment System) to suit one’s needs. Perhaps Oracle Portal is the best solution here.
  • URL’s are are important, too. They get printed on magazines, on milk cartons (sic!) and sides of cars.
    Try printing:

    • www.valio.fi/keittokirja in stead of
    • http://www.valio.fi/portal/page/portal/Valio/Keittokirja
    • See any difference?