Mercury Marine’s New Website Joins the Responsive Design Crowd

Mercury Marine’s new website launched today, and before the ink could dry on their press release FTR sent our staff over to investigate. Here’s the breakdown.

Like the new PRADCO and Humminbird websites, Mercury’s design is catching up to 2014 by delivering a fresh, responsive web design to users. That means their site is, essentially, a shape-shifter that blends with whatever device you’re viewing it on. Wouldn’t you know it, our site does that too, and obviously we think it’s the way to go to enhance your digital presence. But good design only gets you so far.

How does Mercury’s new project stack up from a usability standpoint?

We think pretty well.

One of the biggest problems that users face when navigating a website for a huge brand like Mercury is product selection. To be honest—if I need a part for my motor, I don’t want to look up a model number in a catalog. Really, I don’t even want to call a customer service rep on a hotline. I want information fast, simple, and easy. Mercury has done a nice job of serving that up with their selector tools.

mercurymarinepropselector
The website has some useful selection tools for breaking down a vast product line.

 

I might not know the exact model of the prop I’m looking for, but I can tell you what I’m fishing for; and I can tell you what type of boat it’s going on. Simple solutions like this make narrowing down the field a lot easier. Other areas of the website work in a similar fashion, and there are a fair number of how-to videos to help you out along the way. It’s a nice way to keep people engaged while remaining useful to the end customer.

Of special note is Mercury’s Ship’s Log app. It’s got a prominent place on the new website, and rightly so. The Ship’s Log gives captains a nice place to gather stats on their expeditions by automatically gathering time, weather and engine data from Mercury’s motors. There are some nice features which add a little extra value to the app, such as the ability to add photos and notes, as well as audio from your iPhone. Those are neat. And despite the design trend towards skeuomorphism—an aesthetic that Apple’s new iOS designer Jony Ive is trending away from—the Ship’s Log app is a great tool for Mercury owners.

Overall, we give the new Mercury Marine website an A. Building an intuitive website that looks good on any device without data-dumping is a challenge for big brands. Mercury’s site is straight-to-the-point if you want to learn about their brand, yet in-depth if you want to dive deeper.

Nice job, Mercury. Welcome to 2014.