Navigation vs Spotlight

Exploration and redesign on homepage of www.microsoftstore.com. The objective is to find ways to get rid of the navigation text links on the left side of the site but still provide users clear navigation to their categories. Our team believes the text links are not necessary because on the top of the page, there are already navigation drop-down menus for users to get to their desired page. It created extra and redundant navigation links that made the page busy and crowded. I came up with two designs: one using product image shots and one using iconography and logos to create a visual instead of the text links. We still want to provide users a quick way to get to their desired category page with one click instead of using the drop-down menu every time. Coming up with the visual is a quick way to draw users directly to the "Top Categories". 

UX Design // Visual Design // July 2015

Testing

We conducted A/B testing to see which of the two designs had a higher hit rate. The design with the logo and iconography ended up with a much higher hit rate than the product shot design. Our marketing and sales department had reservations about taking the text links off. They expressed concerns because they think the users are so familiar with text links as a quick way to get to where to they want to. We are still having on-going discussions about whether or not to implement the new design. 

Current Screenshot