Site Review | Professional Jeweler

October 5, 1998
Oro Alexander

Oro Alexander, a diamond and gold jewelry manufacturer in Encino, CA, uses the latest Web technology to enhance its interactive catalog and trade-only shopping site.

The part of the site that is open to the public showcases four of the company's collections. A few photos provide samples of the lines, but customers can see further examples by clicking on buttons that produce pop-up windows - a JavaScript feature that saves space and scrolling headaches. One button on the Q'uortia Collection page transports users to an explanation of how the jewelry is made, complete with step-by-step pictures, diagrams and animated GIFs showing how the pieces come together.

There's also a secured area for the trade. On the home page, jewelers click on a button that produces a pop-up registration form. Once registered, users enter the catalog and shopping part of the site, which is handled by ViaWeb, a Yahoo! program that allows companies to build on-line stores. Here they can view the company's products by category or collection, add them to their virtual "shopping carts" and pay for them with credit card in a secured area. Oro Alexander offers a 2% discount on diamond orders and a 1% discount on gold orders placed on-line.

Technically speaking: To use this Web site, be prepared with at least Netscape Navigator 3.0 or Internet Explorer 3.0 and enough computer memory. (Closing other applications will help.) The site mostly only uses JavaScript and animated GIFs, which aren't as hard on your computer as Java. A Java applet is used to scroll information in the site registration pop-up window.

- by Stacey King