I’m supposed to be hunting down a new phone (I have a 100% track record of losing phones on buses) but for some reason I can’t bring myself to choose, the main reason being I don’t depend on my phone that much. I wish voicemail were the norm in the Philippines because there are times when I don’t feel like attending to calls smack dab in the middle of work. Or sleep. Can’t people just text or email or Facebook or Twitter or—anyway.
Android feels like the safe one. I’m disappointed Palm-then-HP’s WebOS never stood a chance. I’m enamored by the idea of the Windows Phone 7 interface especially on the Nokia Lumia 800 but I may not be able to justify anything else about it (XBOX? IE?). Then there’s the iPhone: still the device to beat, but will always cost an arm and a leg, will always get obsolete after a year. Probably even sooner just like now, as rumors about a 4G (LTE) iPhone 5 surfaced shortly after Globe and Smart officially launched (people have seen it unofficially for a week earlier) its “interest” (not even preorder) pages.
Posting these screenshots (with commentary) for posterity. If you’ll notice, it seems like the choices these two telcos made in their designs are in direct opposition to each other. The biggest A/B test in the Philippines, perhaps?
Title, URL, Favicon
Globe doesn’t seem to have a favicon on my end while Smart uses the right half of the dots on its new logo. (Side note: When Melissa Limcaoco was asked about the meaning of the new branding in the World Usability Day symposium, she said it was about going digital and how that empowers everyone.)
Smart has a pretty ugly web address (although their Twitter account uses smart.com.ph/iphone4s and bit.ly/SmartiPhone4S). If I start typing “iphone” in my address bar, guess which one shows up first.
In the title bar, Globe uses “Globe iPhone 4s” (lowercase? no!) while Smart puts “iPhone 4S” before its company name. Both sound very dull though. Wouldn’t including a short call to action be a little more enticing to customers?
Smart uses an iframe to include the whole iPhone 4S section on their site, located at http://smart-registration.com/iphone4s/index.php and displays a straightforward vertical form on the same page.
Globe takes you to a new page within the same microsite for its form, making you choose the phone and subscription specs before entering one’s personal information.
Touches of Apple
Basically every reseller of Apple products attempts to copy their website aesthetics. In Globe’s case it’s the icon + box combo.
With Smart it’s the horizontal icon navigation. Problem is, both their executions lack subtlety. The shadows and gradients are too heavy and they don’t have the shades of color for the text quite right.
If you examine each choice they made more closely, you’ll discover the tradeoffs. For example: Smart wanted to reinforce its brand and ties to the rest of the site while Globe wanted visitors to focus on nothing but the new phone. Smart put the signup form on the same page and fewer elements to look at, while Globe promotes the iPhone’s most important features and other iGadgets it’s selling. Overall, I think Globe had the better signup form, while I like that Smart’s layout is a tad cleaner.