A tsunami of new “help me choose” features started hitting Websites in 2007 — and they’ve come in and out of vogue ever since.

In this Golden Oldie Case Study we put four “Find a Product” features on Sun.com, IBM.com, HP.com, Dell.com through their paces.

Turns out that the best & worst practices we saw then still apply now.

Don’t Miss: Sun.com’s “Find a Server” Feature”

Sun.com’s ‘Find a Server’ feature is still a best practice that shouldn’t be missed.

Sun.com's 'Find a Server' feature is still a best practice that shouldn't be missed

(Many of our “blast from the past” images are blurry and fragile. Please handle with care.)

This feature uses pull down menus to allow visitors to define their needs based on price, operating system, CPU, memory, and disk capacity. In our test, this feature allowed us to cut through 18 Sun Fire models to quickly find one that fit our criteria.

Like Dell (discussed below), Sun.com’s design delivers a clean, snappy interactive experience.

How could they make it better? They added an option that allowed visitors to select from typical uses or applications, such as mail server or database server — and it was a big hit.

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Category: Case Study

Class: Best Practice, Product Locators, Golden Oldie

Websites Profiled: IBM.com, HP.com, Sun.com, Dell.com

Related Research:

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