Bad Examples: Canon Global

Screenshot of Canon Global Consumer Products page

Canon Consumer Products Page

While attempting to shop for a camera for my wife for Christmas today, I made my way over to canon.com. I selected “Products & Solutions” from the top global navigation and chose “Consumer” from the dropdown that appeared. I was taken to the page shown ¬†on the right. So far, so good.

Since I was shopping for a point-and-shoot camera, I attempted to click the box labeled “Compact Digital Cameras.” No response.

I tried clicking the photo instead. Again, nothing.

I noticed that the cursor was not changing to a pointer. I tried mousing around the page hoping to see it change. Nothing.

I decided that perhaps Canon had built the page using some odd Javascript that didn’t work properly in Google Chrome, so I tried in Firefox. Same result. None.

I opened Firebug to see what was going on. As it turns out, the boxes were not buttons at all. It was simply a list of the Canon’s product categories.

Screenshot of world map, taken from Canon.com

Oh, this is what I'm supposed to do. At the very bottom of the page.

At this point I scrolled further down the page to see if there was something extra I was missing. Only then did I see the map graphic at the bottom of the page. In small white text was the message “Please access the Canon website of your country / region for further information on products.” With my window size, it had not been visible previously.

After selecting North America, I am given the choice of “Canada-French”, “Canada-English”, or “USA-English”. I select the US version, and am redirected to the Canon USA homepage.

So Many Questions

If they were not going to provide any product information on the global website, why have Product pages? Why make the list of products look so much like buttons if they’re not going to be clickable? Why not put the map at the top of the page? Better yet, if location is truly necessary, why not ask for it right away, before the user is several pages deep into the site? Once a user selects a country, why are they sent to the country’s homepage, rather than the section of the site they had been browsing on the global site? Did Canon do any user testing??

I’ve been using Canon cameras exclusively for years. I currently own 4, and plan to buy at least one more this year. But this experience was enough to get me over to nikon.com, where I had no problem finding several cameras that might end up under the tree this year.