Key Web executives: Christina James, director of user experience; Helen Tapping, director of marketing communications; Kimberly Tuttle, senior manager of site merchandising
Target audience: Agencies, media companies, bloggers
No. of employees working on the site: More than 200
Last major redesign: August 2007, with additional updates in June 2009
No. of pages on the site: More than 23 million
Web developer: In-house
GettyImages.com is a resource for anyone who publishes, prints or displays content. Users can search for images, video footage and music, and license that content for use on Web sites or in printed materials—whether newspapers, magazines, corporate presentations or annual reports. The team that maintains and develops the site, which has more than 23 million pages, keeps busy making updates and changes that help boost search engine results and create a better commerce path for visitors—no small task, and one that evolves on a daily basis.
Take as example one lesson Getty learned from its August 2007 redesign. “We redid the global navigation and thought we'd show the primary information and layer additional search result information on hidden tabs,” said Christina James, director of user experience. “We thought we were doing a good thing, but customers didn't want the additional work of clicking through. They were gulping larger chunks of information than we thought they would want.”
So Getty went back to a more detailed display. Other lessons it's learned along the way: Having plenty of white space works well (it allows images to stand out), and offering lots of information is important. As a result, the site's Details page allows users to view pricing, add elements to a cart, add to an online “lightbox,” or print or download a preview image. And thanks to a recent update, the page lists physical dimensions and offers an option to view similar images or clips.
Other recent additions include new Web and mobile content as well as a Flikr collection edited in-house.
Site visitors who need help will find it's readily available; for instance, a chat feature pops up if it seems the user is floundering. “Originally our theme was finding and designing away problems; we'd prefer [users] not have to look for help, but we needed to go back and see if we were giving users what they expected,” said Kimberly Tuttle, senior manager of site merchandising.
Expert commentary—Nick Gould, CEO, Catalyst Group: The site is a leader in terms of using meta-data to help people search for images or footage. Search and browse are not only powerful but also easy to use. Visitors can actually experience a sense of discovery. The more time you're willing to invest, the more you can find; and Getty has assembled an entire tutorial that includes a keyword guide to help you find what you are looking for.
|Smith & Fong Co.|